So, you think planning a family conference is child's play? Not quite. The family conference comes with its own set of planning challenges. Review this checklist to get a sense of the issues that need to be addressed.

1) Nursery Programming

a) Equipment

i) Cribs

ii) High chairs

iii) Playpens

iv) Refrigerator

v) First Aid supplies

vi) Check-in table

b) Personnel Adequate ratio

i) Properly trained

ii) Background check

iii) First Aid/CPR trained

c) Location

i) Adequate space

ii) Carpeted

iii) Near restroom

iv) Hot water supply

d) Insurance

i) Liability

e) Security

i) Written security plan

ii) Instructions for parents

iii) Instructions for workers

iv) ID badges for workers

v) Check-in and check-out system

f) Professional Services

i) Professional services vs. self-staffing

2) Children, Student Programming

a) Equipment

i) Properly sized table and chairs

ii) Supplies for activities

iii) First Aid supplies

b) Personnel

i) Adequate ratio for supervision

ii) Properly trained

iii) Background check

iv) First Aid/CPR trained

v) Specialty personnel (lifeguard, drivers, etc.)

c) Location

i) Adequate space

ii) On-site or off-site (hotel vs. park)

d) Insurance

i) Liability

e) Security

i) Written security plan

ii) Instructions for parents

iii) Instructions for workers

iv) ID badges for workers

v) Check-in and check-out system

f) Programming

i) Community Service Projects

ii) Banquets

iii) Special events

iv) Collection project (have students bring items to event, e.g. food drive, clothing drive, school supplies, to be distributed to local agency)

v) Competition/contest activities

vi) Educational opportunities

vii) Worship services

viii) Doctrinal training

ix) Sports contests

g) Intern Program

i) Provides additional event staff

ii) Provides educational opportunity for intern

h) Family Events

i) Scheduled Outings

i) Tours (historical, children's museums, parks, etc.)

ii) Cruises (riverboats, dolphin watching excursions, etc.)

iii) Discount tickets to area attractions (theme parks, museums, etc.)

j) Spouse Tours

i) Shopping Excursions

ii) Spa Experiences

iii) Golf Outings

iv) Sightseeing Tours


Dean Jones is convention manager, Free Will Baptist Convention, National Association of Free Will Baptists, Nashville, Tenn.