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National MCG - Planning for the Conference; Steps and Considerations

The first phase to a successful National MCG is Preliminary Planning

1. Preliminary planning

It is the initial planning of the conference that generally involves deciding and communicating the intent to organize such a conference.

In this phase, you decide on the theme of the conference, the delegates to invite, the venue – university/college, conference center/hotel (Host County selected by delegates).

You identify adequate space for the delegates (the County Government General Assembly (CGGA)/Committee of the Whole House), opening and closing ceremonies, rooms for committee sessions, etc.

You also identify a pool of accommodation and catering service providers.

You identify what time of the year is convenient for the conference. It should NOT be during examinations, during mid-term break, during off semester holiday breaks, during national holidays, or national elections. The conference dates should not be in winter and should not collide with other international conferences.

You also consider the SECURITY of all the participants.

2. Building the Conference Team

In this phase, all critical stakeholders who ascertain the success of the conference are engaged in consultations to build consensus on the theme of the conference and agenda items. These stakeholders include the delegates, the sponsors – both state and non-state, the academia, the Foreign Service, the secretariat, and the service providers.

In this phase, the stakeholders confirm the tentative dates, venues, and cost of the conference. Besides, the stakeholders identify other key issues that need to be included in the agenda. Again, they may review the imperfections of the previous conference to assure the conference meets international standards and best practices.

This step is most critical. If no consensus is built at this stage, it is highly likely that the conference would face major hiccups. Therefore, the team is expected to identify any contingencies of the forthcoming conference and agree on the dates and venue.

At this stage, the conference project activities are identified and a PROJECT MANAGER selected. The project manager selected herein with the “The National MCG Delegate of the Year” start the preparations of the next conference of course with the consultation of the secretariat.

3. Actual Planning

In this phase, the actual costing of the conference is done. This involves considering costs for; venue, transportation, catering, opening and closing ceremonies, accommodation, conference staff, audiovisual, volunteers, SECURITY, among others.

Host county is also expected to sponsor as part of its budget on public participation as per County Governments Act, 2012. Besides, the tentative sponsors/donors of the conference are identified.

Here, delegate fees are also considered. Delegates should deposit a registration fee to an account that shall be managed by the National MCG Secretariat and Executive Board. Delegate fee may be waived if sponsors provide adequate facilitation.

In preparing for the conference, organizers shall adhere to the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act-2013, in order to enhance financial prudence and thus promote accountability and transparency.

All procurement for the conference shall strictly follow the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2005/2013.

Any further collaboration on the MCG conference is sought at this phase, for instance, identifying a media sponsor, air tickets sponsors, publishers, hotel and catering, airtime, etc.

4. Setting the Conference

This is the final phase in planning the conference. It involves activities and/with timelines that include;

Setting/confirming the conference date9 months
Reaching out to universities/colleges9 months
Reaching out to sponsors9 months
Procuring service providers9 months
Recruiting the delegates, faculty, secretariat, volunteers, interpreters9 months
Writing background papers6 months
Writing county policy position papers6 months
Inviting speakers for the opening/closing ceremonies6 months
Creating conference programs3 months
Ordering promotional items/developing e-voting system/software3 months
Booking/Confirming all essentials - Hotels, Air tickets, catering1 month
Publishing the conference schedule/Final calls/Placards*1 month
Conference (Arrivals - Tuesday evening, opening ceremony Wednesday morning,4 days

                        Actual conference - Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday

                        morning, closing ceremony/departures - Friday evening

Post Conference Review – Reporting on the Conference and Finances/Audit1 week

This schedule is subject to review by the host county and the secretariat of the National MCG