The Role of the National Conference Pillar (NCP) Chair is to provide a standardized, national approach to the planning and processes of the ORNAC National Conference maintaining the highest level of quality and outcomes measurement.

The 2019 ORNAC Conference will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia: April 26 – April 30, 2019, Tides of Change, Oceans of Perioperative Excellence

We are looking for new committee members and want to open a call for volunteers to all ORNAC Members.
The Official National Conference Planning Pillar will be led by the National Conference Pillar Chair, Linda Whyte and will be composed of the following volunteer positions which are currently open:

  • On Site National Conference & Education Lead
  • Exhibitors & Social Program Lead
  • Volunteer & Public Relations Lead

The ORNAC National Conference Planning Committee Member Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities.

ORNAC National Conference Planning Committee Members: 

Term of Office: Committee members serve for one (1) conference over 2 years.  

Selection Process: Committee members must be ORNAC members in good standing.  The ORNAC Board will post / publish a request for volunteers.  The volunteers must submit a letter of interest and curriculum vitae.  The ORNAC Board will review the submissions and select the successful candidates in conjunction with the National Conference Pillar Chair.

  • On Site Conference & Education Lead - The on-site / education lead is appointed by the ORNAC Executive and Board based on interest, skill set, and being located in the conference city.

    Responsibilities and Accountabilities:
    • Partnered with the NCP Chair in a mentorship role throughout the planning.
    • Oversees the on-site coordination of planning and activities under direction of the NCP Chair. 
    • Work with the ORNAC Executive and Event Management Plus Inc. (EM+) staff to establish sponsored breakfasts Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, and Tues and work this into the educational program
    • Liaise with the NCP Chair to ensure that poster boards are ordered at the Conference Facility and that a numbering system is set up to ensure an organized approach to presenting the posters
    • Liaise with the NCP Chair to designate a “Speaker Room” for inclusion in the Presenter preconference information.
    • Manage the overall conference evaluation
    • Set criteria for speaker and poster presenter acceptance.
    • Accept all submissions from “call for abstracts” (oral and poster). This should be done through the ORNAC website.
    • Select speakers and posters and make recommendations to the committee, the Chair and the ORNAC Executive for final approval.
    • Develop a draft copy of the full education program for circulation to the National Conference Planning Committee and ORNAC Executive for discussion and review.  Final approval comes from the ORNAC Board.
    • Ensure that the educational program is posted on the ORNAC website in the National Conference section – both draft and the final.
    • Provide the final education program for the syllabus.
    • Provide the final poster presentation list for the syllabus.
    • Write acceptance or rejection letters to all individuals who have submitted an oral abstract and/or poster presentation.  
    • Organize a database of contact information for all accepted speakers and have EM+ staff post on the ORNAC website. 
    • Review poster abstracts and make recommendations to the committee, the Chair and the ORNAC Executive for final approval.
    • Send accepted poster presenters the criteria for the posters- size, format etc.
    • Provide accepted oral presentation speakers with guidelines for remuneration of expenses, honorariums and provide the speakers with an expense form and expense report filing process.
    • Determine need for invited speakers and work with National Conference Planning Chair and ORNAC Executive to determine who the invited speakers will be and the budget implications.
    • Liaise with speakers to request photograph, biography, presentation synopsis, audiovisual needs and to answer the speakers’ questions as necessary.
    • Provide written orientation letter with background information to support the presenters in understanding the process presentation
    • Set up process for poster prizes.
    • Make sure that presentation rooms are selected based on size of presentation (plenary or breakout) and that rooms are clearly written in the educational program.
    • Ensure that audiovisual needs of the speakers have been identified and communicated to the audiovisual company.
    • Ensure that speakers are aware the audiovisual capabilities of the conference and how they need to bring their presentations, i.e. on memory sticks.(Provide a written contract for each presenter to sign and return accepting knowledge of their requirements, i.e. if there is no internet available or if there is a glitch with internet access then presentations must be ready such as them bringing them on memory sticks and having them submitted prior to the conference so the audio visual company can have them preloaded and ready to ensure time efficiency keeping the turn over time of each session to its minimum.)
    • Ensure electronic, or other form of signage is developed for the conference facility.  This includes signage for the doors and hallways.
    • Develop a list of presentation moderators in conjunction with the ORNAC Executive. 
    • Liaise with the Volunteer lead to designate room hostesses.
    • Manage the evaluation of the education program
    • Onsite tasks:
      • Ensure that volunteers and moderators meet with speakers in the speaker ready room to assist in their orientation and preparation.
      • Address any last minute audiovisual needs/changes.
      • Provide a list of room moderators to those who have been designated or volunteered (this should be accessible on the website also).
      • Be present on site during all educational sessions.
      • Oversee set up and tear down of poster sessions.
      • Set up ballot box and information for voting on the poster sessions.
      • Report any issues to the National Conference Planning On site conference lead.
  • Exhibitors & Social Program Lead – One committee member who manages all aspects of the exhibits and social program.  Manages the Exhibit Hall, sponsorship opportunities and liaises with the Exhibitors throughout the conference planning process and on site.

    Responsibilities and Accountabilities: 
    • Develop plan for exhibitor communication and provide exhibitors with all information on process, timing and sponsorship opportunities.
    • Set up a data base of Exhibitor contacts and post on ORNAC website.
    • Provide Exhibitor’s information to be posted on the ORNAC website under National Conference / Exhibitors.  E.g. Set up and tear down times
    • Work with the Education Lead to determine opportunities for sponsored breakfasts as a part of the educational program – Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, and Tues.
    • Develop a “Passport” program or other means to drive traffic to booths in the exhibit hall.
    • Establish the Exhibit Hall lay out with EM+ and include a booth numbering system. (This should also include providing a final copy to each registered exhibitor at registration ensuring the numbers and name of company are posted at each booth site prior to setup at the conference site. This could be arranged through EM+ to assist with the setup)
    • Communicate the process for electrical and internet service access to the Exhibitors.
    • Participates in all NEAC conference calls.
    • Liaise with NEAC representative(s) to make sure that policies for booth size and configuration are met.
    • Work with NEAC representative(s) to address any issues related to Exhibitors/Exhibit Hall.
    • Provide Exhibitor’s information for the syllabus.
    • Arrange booth set up and tear down times and process.
    • Organize ribbon cutting ceremony for the Grand Exhibit opening.
    • Coordinate special “draws” with the exhibitors to attract delegates into the Exhibit Hall.
    • Be available to answer questions from Exhibitors and the Exhibition Company by e mail and on site.
    • Manage the exhibitor’s evaluation.
    • Determine need for social activities within the program:
    • Sunday evening – Exhibit Opening and Reception night “Grand Exhibit Opening”.
    • Monday night - Main social event for Delegates and Exhibitors”.
    • Tuesday evening – Free Evening
    • Wednesday evening event reflecting the local culture
    • Set up themes for each event.
    • Work with the NEAC representative(s) on the grand opening of Exhibits reception.
    • Write descriptions of each social event for posting on the ORNAC website and for printing in the ORNAC Syllabus.
    • Establish a budget for each event with the ORNAC Treasurer and Executive Director to be approved by the ORNAC Executive.
    • Work with EM+ to make sure that the social program is well advertised.
    • Organize all aspects of the social events including the decorations and signage.
    • Work with the Volunteer Lead to ensure there are enough volunteers to assist at the social events.
    • Arrange for decorating the head table for the plenary session.
    • Obtain flag stands for the plenary set up of the Opening Ceremonies
  • Public Relations & Volunteer Lead – One committee member to advertise and promote the conference and to organize selection, assignment and work of volunteers.

    Responsibilities and Accountabilities: 
    • Set up a written roster of all volunteer position requirements and time required (template is available).
    • Liaise with National Planning Committee Members the needs and requirements for volunteer support at the Conference Site.
    • Put out a call for local volunteers (volunteers should be members of ORNAC) and fill positions based on skill set, volunteer preference and timing.
    • Arrange for identification of volunteers (i.e. scarves)
    • Oversee and coordinate on site assignment of volunteer services
    • Develop advertisement for the ORNAC Journal.
    • Develop a Post Card for “save the date” as well as a digital poster and distribute for all perioperative events as well as all Provincial Chapters through each Provincial Board Director for distribution to their respective Chapters, 1 year leading up to the conference. 
    • Ensure that information to advertise the conference is posted and kept updated on the ORNAC Website.
    • Select and produce a conference print, conference pin design, and conference delegate bags as recommended and approved by the National Conference Planning Committee to the ORNAC Executive and Board for approval.
    • Brand ORNAC by using the ORNAC logo on all materials.
    • Send out all advertising material to publications (ORNAC Journal) and provincial groups etc.
    • Prepare the daily ORNAC National Conference newsletter (template available) – gather information, type and have printed each evening for distribution the following day.
    • Contact radio stations and avail of all free advertising via community channel, etc.  to announce conference.
    • Develop a press release for local newspapers to inform the Public that the conference is taking place and to promote the value of perioperative registered nurses as well as the role of ORNAC.

Meetings: Held by teleconference, web based meeting platform
Related Policies/ Bylaws:  Abide by all ORNAC Policies and Procedures
Meetings and Time Commitment:

  • Committee meetings are held once per month or as frequently as required.  All remaining correspondence will be by teleconference or e-mail.
  • It is expected that each month members of the committee will spend approximately five (5) hours on committee work.

Compensation of core National Conference Planning Committee:

  • Travel expenses to and from the conference city (most economical mode of transport).
  • Hotel costs (double occupancy booked through Executive Director with Treasurer approval and billed directly to ORNAC).
  • Registration to the conference.
  • Meals as per ORNAC’s expense claim policy.
  • One item of conference clothing.  For example, a blazer or scarf.  Members provide their own pants/skirts.  The conference planning committee decides on the conference clothing item.
  • Expense Claim Forms and Policies will be provided to the National Conference Planning Committee and they must be filled out with original receipts and sent to the ORNAC Executive Director. 

Compensation for the Local Volunteers:

  • Complimentary registration for the day that the individual volunteers.
  • Parking paid for the day the individual volunteers.
  • Scarf to wear to recognize volunteer role as identifier.
  • Expense Claim Forms and Policies will be provided to the National Conference Volunteers and they must be filled out with original receipts and sent to the ORNAC Executive Director.

How to apply for a volunteer position:
If you are interested in one of the open positions, please complete the online form  and email your resume to Linda Whyte at


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