IMG Checklist 02

Extension Master Gardener December 19, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

Back to: Planning Checklist | Hosting an International Master Gardener Conference | International Master Gardener Committee (IMGC)


This is a listing of suggestions, none of which are mandatory, that the International Master Gardener Conference Committee has prepared to help prospective sponsors of Master Gardener international conferences plan a successful conference.


Major activities for conference planning include:

1. Site Selection

a. meeting site facilities

b. meeting rooms

c. banquet space for ___

d. wide hallways - Handicap access

e. easy access to transportation

f. facilities

g. access to shopping and other

h. amenities for spouses and kids

i. trade show space availability

j. need to know cancellation penalty

k. hotel facilities

  • reasonable room rates with conference discount for at least 2 days before and 2 to 3 days after (hotels will offer discounts for more days occupied in their facility)
  • negotiate lowest possible guaranteed room reservations for free meeting space same for meals to be served as part of conference in hotel)

l. need to know penalties charge for space if guarantees not met

m. child care facilities and possible

n. youth activities

o. typical meals costs, availability of nearby facilities for food

p. nearby accommodations


2. Mailing Activity (e-mail can be effectively used in communicating between committee heads and widespread individuals, however don't assume that everyone involved has a computer available nor is computer literate!!)

a. general publicity, national - 18 months ahead of conference to state coordinators

  • ask for cooperation in getting word to state MGs
  • make state coordinators aware of Search for Excellence program national

horticulture shows, etc. for increasing attendance and awareness of the MG Program b. directed mailing, national - 6-9 months ahead of conference agents mailing with more

  • information about conference and telling about
  • exhibit space arrangements
  • registration forms to state
  • coordinators (or agents)
  • request to adjoining state's coordinators asking for mailing lists
  • update letter to national
  • committee re; registration and participation


3. Publicity

a. 12 months pre-conference

b. to state coordinators and selected media

c. info about conference dates

d. set up web site for conference, and registration materials, three discussion groups:


9 months pre-conference

  • to selected horticulture and trade magazines, re: conf. dates

6 months pre-conference

  • nationwide to agents and state program coordinators
  • conference dates and program

1 month pre-conference

  • news release prepared for attendees
  • accommodate radio, television (public & cable) video, etc. to promote awareness of MG program.

4. Exhibitor Activity - will a trade show be included with the conference? (part of income) a. 18 months pre-conference

  • letter to prospective trade show exhibitors with application forms included
  • (also send to state coordinators and MG association groups)

b. 9 months pre-conference

  • follow up letter and/or phone calls, to same list as above

c. 6 months pre-conference

  • letter to state associations re: free exhibit booths

d. 3 months pre-conference

  • letter of instructions to exhibitor applicants

5. Fundraising Activity

a. 12-18 months pre-conference b. Letter to prospective donors (using mailing list of national groups who participated in previous conferences). c. Invitation to assist and description of conference plans. d. Individual letters and phone calls by fund raising committee to follow up on letters described above

6. Program

Search for Excellence committee send information to state coordinators guidelines

Call for speakers


And finally, these parting words are from the Oregon NW Regional Conference Co-Chair, Master Gardener Bill Pennington, Have fun!! Hosting a … conference is a wonderful experience. Sure, it is a lot of work but with so many volunteers willing to pitch in and help, the work becomes easy and fun too. We had a large number of MGs from all over the state working on the conference because they wanted to be involved and contribute whatever they could to make the conference successful. The opportunity to network with gardeners from other areas was really great and appreciated by all who attended and certainly strengthens the Master Gardener Program. We look forward to attending conferences in other areas in the future and hope that others may benefit from our experience.


a. Deadlines:

  • Speakers select topics and contact speakers 18 months pre-conference
  • national prominence speakers for drawing audience 2-3 years in advance
  • topical speakers for MG general interest
  • theme special emphasis speakers (leadership, volunteer management,etc.)
  • speakers to encourage and stimulate
  • costs for speakers
    • honoraria
    • expenses for lodging,
    • transportation
    • providing support during conference
    • taping proceedings?

b. Followup packet of information needs to go to IMGC that includes;

  • samples of form letters , historical record of activity that will help succeeding *conference planners including:
  • attendance numbers
  • trade show participants
  • donors (national)
  • final budget
  • final evaluations

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.