The national conference serves as a skills building training forum for our membership and potential members. Renowned national and local presenters and keynote speakers are the highlight of the conference sharing a wealth of knowledge that results in the enhancement of skills for members. Areas of focus for plenary sessions, institutes, workshops and roundtables range from family preservation, youth development, social issues/civil liberties, health/mental health to professional development. The national conference is the primary source of funding for the operation of the national office and funding source for awarding scholarship for students pursuing careers in social work.
The planning of the 2009 – 2010 national conferences is most paramount at this time. At the October 2006 Steering Committee held in Detroit, MI, a decision was made to reduce the national conference from 5 days to a 3-day conference. The format for the 3-day conference will be presented at the April 2007 Steering Committee Meeting. Based on the approval of the new structure, the request for proposals will be developed in order to begin the bidding process for the upcoming years.
Included among major committee goals is the development of an annual national conference budget to reflect actual income and expenditures based on historical data in reference to spending cost, attendance and hotel occupancy. Other goals are the development of a comprehensive conference procedural manual for the organization, and finalization of the sites for the 2009 and 2010 annual conferences
Major committee accomplishments in 2006 were:
· The development and mailing of the conference registration brochure by November 30, 2006 allowed conferees adequate time to plan their conference registration. The registration brochure was also made available on the NABSW website,
· The sites for all three 2007 steering committee meetings and the Los Angeles, CA site for the 2008 annual conference were Identified and finalized,
· The co-hosting and sponsorship of the 2007 annual conference luncheon by the Detroit Marriott, and the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, and
· Establishment of an ad hoc program committee to work in conjunction with the conference committee on planning for the 2008 40th annual conference.
Forward planning efforts of the committee in 2007 will involve:
· Finalizing the structure for the 3-day national conference in order to issue request for proposals for the 2009-2010 annual conference,
· Continued collaboration with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners that serves as a venue for partnerships with the hospitality industry,
· Identification of presenters with expertise in administration/management, substance abuse and proposal writing for upcoming conferences,
· Launching on-line conference registration for the 2008 conference,
· Site identification and negotiation for the 2008 steering committee meetings, and
· Identification of corporate exhibitors and support for the national conference.