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Planning a conference or seminar can be challenging, whether you invite 50 people or 500.  That is why The Office of Conferences and Institutes (OCI) was created -- to assist with coordinating conferences.

Who Pays for a Conference?

The participants do. Costs incurred to conduct a conference, including the cost for OCI’s service, are generally covered by participant registration fees, and may be supplemented by grants, exhibit fees and sponsor contributions.

What Services are Provided by OCI?

Meeting Logistics

We handle hotel arrangements from the site selection process through the contract negotiation for amenities such as guest room blocks, meeting space, meal functions, and other special services as required. Due to the volume of events we manage each year, we are experienced at negotiating significant rate concessions from hotels and other vendors.

Audio Visual Operations

We will schedule, order and coordinate the operation of audiovisual equipment for your group. Rental of AV equipment can often run into the thousands of dollars, and with hands-on management, we can negotiate maximum service at the most reasonable price without compromising quality.

Printing and Graphics

We’ll design and produce printed announcements, brochures, agendas, proceedings, abstract books, registration cards, conference letterhead, and signage, all with a logo tailored specifically to your group. If desired, we’ll arrange to have customized materials such as name badges, certificates, notebooks, portfolios, T-shirts, canvas bags, and other specialty items created for your participants.

Promotion and Publicity

The key to a successful event is getting the word out to the right people. Promoting your conference is one of OCI’s fortes.

We’ll prepare and disseminate conference announcements to associations and trade publications for their “Calendar of Events” sections. Let us help you generate widespread publicity for your conference. We use both the printed and electronic medium to get the word out as quickly as possible, and can also assist you with generating mailing lists.

Conference Web Site

Perhaps most important we will develop and maintain a Conference Web Site exclusive to your event. Through this web site, we can accept online conference registrations, establish links to other websites of mutual interest, link to attractions in the area of your conference and promote the conference, publicize field trips and special events using color photographs and enticing information.

Registration Processing

If you’ve ever been involved in the registration process, you know that it can be complex and time consuming -- writing receipts, recording credit card transactions, reconciling deposits, maintaining databases, making name tags, and preparing registration packets.  We’ll handle it all, from the first phone call to the last minute registrant. Registration entails issuing receipts, enclosing a letter to each registrant communicating additional conference details, recording all financial and registrant information on a database, making name tags for each individual and preparing a final list of participants for distribution on-site. On-site registration service entails having OCI staff members present to register walk-ins, serve as the liaison with the hotel for meeting details, check meeting and banquet room set-ups, and assist with A/V equipment. OCI handles pre-conference registration and onsite management, and is on-the-job from beginning to end.

Financial Planning

OCI handles all aspects of conference finances including managing income and expenses. Detailed budgeting is our expertise. We will develop a zero-based, full-scale estimated budget to project every possible conference cost you could incur. This budget becomes a working guideline throughout the planning process and we maintain an up-to-date budget until the conference is over. Upon conclusion, we’ll provide an actual budget and reconcile all expenditures so you will have a complete financial record -- right down to the penny!

Travel & Transportation

Our staff can arrange for speaker travel and reimbursement of expenses, and make arrangements for charter buses, field trips, airline and hotel reservations, rental cars and other travel needs as required.

Record Maintenance

We’ll maintain detailed records for you from year-to-year, and if your conference is a repeat event, this will especially help your organization develop a conference history to serve as a guideline for future planning and help you budget more accurately.

OCI Staff ContactS


  Beth Miller-Tipton, CMP

Conference Coordinators: 

  Sharon Borneman

  Jhanna Gilbert  

  Shelby Sowder

  Mandy P. Stage, CMP

  Holly Paszko

Basic Services Coordinator: 

  Margot P. Farbstein

Office Manager:

  Ann Groover


  Kim Brand

Fiscal/Registration Assistant:

  Lisa Thornton Wiley 


   Greg Wilson



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Last update 02/13/2008

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