Behind the Scenes of the Regional Conferences Soror Roseline McKinney, executive director for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., meets with the National Headquarters staff prior to each of the regional conferences. PHOTO BY BERNADINE WILLIAMS STALLINGS Delta Newsletter SPRING 2015 • 17 By Bernadine Williams Stallings Seven cities, nine weeks – this is the life of the National Headquarters staff during the summer months of the Sorority’s Regional Conference Cycle. This biennium, the staff traveled more than 14,000 miles across the country to set up shop in Colorado, Louisville, Tampa, Raleigh, Long Beach, Albuquerque and Boston between June – August 2014. It is an excursion met with excitement and trepidation as a skeleton crew of HQ staff has the fortunate opportunity to visit seven different cities with their own unique local cul-tures, while at the same time held responsible for catering to the needs of over 10,000 delegates. “Most sorors will never know what it takes to put on a regional conference. It is an awesome thing to witness how all the cogs and wheels turn to make seven conferences happen,” said Dr. Paulette Walker, National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Members of Delta Sigma Theta attend several regional conferences and conventions over the course of their active involvement. Excluding the once in a lifetime Centennial Celebration, most members will always remember their first convention or regional conference more than the others. It is during those first moments that neophytes, and first time attendees alike, are exposed to the gallantry and splendor of the opening ceremony; stage design of plenaries; massive signage that directs delegates anywhere from registration to the luncheons; the overall business side of Delta; and how the Deltas are all too happy to give an economic boost to the restaurants and surrounding businesses of the cities where these conferences are held. The element that most will not ever see and only few are privileged to experience is the amount of planning and preparation that goes into holding a successful conference seven times. Every detail is thought of from how to safely move, seat and feed 2,000 Deltas for a luncheon, to how many motorized scooters and wheelchairs will be necessary. Information concerning walking distances between/from official conference hotels, nearby restaurants, Delta’s bus transportation routes, and other components are all pro-vided to make for an enjoyable experience for every guest, vendor, and delegate. Behind the Scenes Walk Through Regional Conferences are on the minds of staff long before members even think about registering. If site visits and teleconferences with potential convention bureaus have not already taken place, the staff is off to the races once the newly elected or returning national president closes the preceding year’s National Convention.
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