PROPOSED CONVENTION GUIDELINES
The FCB Convention Committee will assist Host chapters in coordination of preliminary and local arrangements for the convention. This includes: contacting and working with appropriate hotels to ensure availability of suitable facilities and services, planning the structure and program of the convention, and arranging details such as speakers, entertainment, tours, and other events. Although the FCB convention coordinator is responsible for finalizing negotiations, the host chapter initiates the process and oversees local convention operations. HOTEL ARRANGEMENTS To be considered as a convention site a hotel/motel must be accessible to people who are physically disabled (including wheelchair users), as well as to those who are blind or visually impaired. Areas of public access should meet the FL Access Code for accessibility and the American's With Disabilities Act (including appropriate ramps, door widths, and braille and/or raised large print labelling of elevator buttons, floor designations, and rooms as well as having Braille and large print materials).
GUEST/MEETING ROOMS Secure a family hotel rate for guest rooms (try for one rate regardless of the number of occupants in each room). Establish that there will be no charge for any necessary meeting rooms.
MEETING ROOMS Note: One or more microphones and operational PA systems should be available for meetings. The podium should have a mike for speakers and, in large meeting rooms, one or more should be available for the audience to be easily heard. All rooms should be well lit, have good ventilation and air conditioning and be wheelchair accessible. Aisles and space between rows of tables or chairs should permit easy access. Friday Programs - 1:00 - 5:00 pm: a room to seat 100 - 125 (preferrably classroom style) for a special seminar or workshop if desired.
7:00 - 9:00 pm: a room to seat 50 - 60 people (preferrably classroom style) for the pre-convention board meeting.
9:00 - 11:00 pm: a large room that can hold 100 - 150 people for the cocktail/social party, with chairs and round tables.
Saturday Programs - 8:00 - 9:00 am: one large room to accommodate 200 people for the opening session (classroom style preferred, but theatre style is acceptable)
9:00 am - 12:00 noon & 1:00 - 5:00 pm: A minimum of two meeting rooms to seat 50 people each, classroom style, for seminars and special interest meetings. Additional space may be needed depending on the number of seminars/group meetings being held.
9:00 am - 5:00 pm: Exhibition Space should be in close proximity to the meeting rooms for easy access by the convention attendees. Multiple electrical outlets must be available for high tech equipment.
EVENING 6:00 - 7:00 pm: A large room for the pre-banquet cocktail party, which would hold 200 people. This could be held in the same room as the banquet. A cash bar is provided.
7:00 - 9:00 pm (approximate times): Awards Banquet The banquet room should seat approximately 200 people, preferably at round tables seating no more than 8 to a table.
9:00 - Midnight (approximate times): This period is devoted to entertainment and the FCB raffle drawing. The entertainment area may or may not be in the same room as the banquet, but must contain a dance floor, a small stage, and tables and chairs to seat up to 200 people.
Sunday- 8:30 am - Noon: Business Meeting One large room seating 200 - 250 people, preferably classroom style.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE SERVICES
1. Establish the menus and cost for meals for the banquet.
2. Negotiate the cost of cash bar drinks.
3. Stress the absolute necessity of having fast meal service in the hotel/motel dining areas, as well as during the banquet.
4. Early service for breakfast is necessary due to the speakers on Saturday and the business meeting taking place on Sunday morning.
5. Braille and large print menus should be available in the hotel dining rooms. OTHER SERVICES TRAINING OF STAFF Appropriate sensitivity training should be provided to help hotel staff better serve their blind and otherwised disabled guests. A member of the Convention Committee, knowledgeable member of the local group, or representative of an agency serving Blind people should consult with the hotel management and staff to answer questions and ensure their sensitivity orientation. - (See the accompanying brochure.)
DOG GUIDE WALK
A convenient area should be set aside to walk dog guides (sandbox, etc.). It should be cleaned regularly and have a trash receptacle for those who wish to pick up after their dog.
An in-house telephone message service, perhaps using an answering machine, can be established for the convenience of,convention guests. Important information such as meeting schedules and locations, events, and hotel data would be easily available to convention attendees.
SUGGESTED CONVENTION OUTLINE REGISTRATION
Friday 12:00 - 7:00 pm and Saturday 8:00 - 9:00 am
FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING: 1:00 - 5:00 pm: Seminars if desired.
7:00 - 9:00 pm: Pre-Convention Board Meeting
9:00 pm - Cocktail/Social Party Cash Bar. If tickets for free drinks will be given to those who register, determine how much the drinks will cost and how much the host chapter will pay for them. Try to include snacks during the party.
SATURDAY SEMINARS & MEETINGS:
8:30 - 9:00 am: Convention's Opening Meeting includes welcoming speeches and announcements.
9:00 am - 5:00 pm: Exhibits
9:00 am - Noon: Seminars in various meeting rooms.
2:00 - 5:00 pm: Special Interest Groups hold meetings and additional seminars in various rooms.
SATURDAY EVENING ACTIVITIES:
6:00 pm: Cocktail Hour with cash bar
7:00 pm: Awards Banquet The individuals to be seated at the head table will be determined in advance by the Convention Committee. The,master of ceremonies, who introduces the head table and banquet events, also is selected by the Committee. Selection of an appropriate guest speaker is important. Upon presentation of each major award, the Awards Chairperson will give a brief explanation of the award and its' recipient.
9:00 pm - Midnight (approximate times): Dance The dance will begin right after the banquet and also include a cash bar. If the same room is to be used, the hotel must be able to clear the tables quickly and set up for the dancing. Note: A live band should be used.
8:30 am - Noon: Convention's General Business Session A chapter's delegates should be seated together. The General Business Session should be completed prior to the normal checkout time of the hotel/motel. Post-Convention Board Meeting will follow the Convention's General Business Session.