Forming Committees and Dividing Responsibilities

It is important to organize a dedicated group of people who have the expertise to become the book festival planning committee. It is advisable to have two festival co-chairs who will schedule and run the planning meetings prior to the event. Working with the individuals who are part of the planning group, the co-chairs should set up committees, as a division of labor is the most effective way to ensure success. The festival bookstore should be invited to send a representative to the planning meetings. Committees should include but not be limited to:

  • Speakers - authors, illustrators, publishers, and so on (contacting and securing the presenters)
  • Keynote – if having one
  • Sponsors – contacting potential sponsors and partners
  • Grants – applying for possible grants
  • Publicity – promoting the festival using all forms of media
  • Festival Bookstore – the liaison with the festival bookseller
  • Vendors – contacting and securing exhibitors including but not limited to publishers, antiquarian booksellers, crafts, local organizations, businesses, and associations, and food (if the venue does not sell refreshments and allows food vendors)
  • Volunteers – enlisting and setting up a schedule for reliable volunteers, and overseeing them on site (consider having them wear festival t-shirts or buttons to distinguish them from attendees)
  • Book Festival Program 
  • Audiovisual – including an onsite photographer 
  • Transportation and Lodging – for presenters and attendees traveling from out of the area. Train companies like Amtrak, if nearby, will often offer reduced rates for people traveling to the festival as will hotels in the area 
  • Finances
  • Evaluations

There may be committees which have will have a sub-committee. For instance, under volunteers, you will need a sub-committee working strictly on getting moderators or facilitators to be placed in each of your breakout sessions. 

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