APCO (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials) International

APCO (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials) International

APCO (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials) International

Florida Chapter


(Chapter Policy Manual Section 5)

















At the time of this publication the APCO Florida Annual Training Conference and Expo is held in conjunction with the Florida chapter of NENA. All planning and execution of conference-related business shall be in full cooperation with Florida NENA and the existing Memo of Understanding (MOU) between the two chapter Presidents.

  1. RESPONSIBILITY: The conference chair (or co-chairs) shall hold the responsibility for the planning and success of the conference. If the conference is led by co-chairs, they shall have equal responsibility and work together as a team. Early in the planning process, the conference chair(s) shall appoint chairs to the committees described in section II.
  2. LOCATION: The conference chair may assist the Executive Board in securing a suitable location. At the time of this publication, the chapter is planning conferences one year ahead of the current conference. The conference chair may be called upon to assist in securing future locations.
  3. PLANNING: Several decisions must be made early to avoid difficulties or rushed decisions later in the planning process. These decisions include:
  4. EXPO services: Which exposition company will we use for the vendor hall? This decision must be made quickly in cooperation with the vendor representative and Executive Board. As soon as a decision is reached, the expo company will be expected to provide a floor plan for approval.
  5. REGISTRATIONS: Who will receive the registration forms for attendees and vendors? The registration committee and/or conference chair(s) usually handles the attendee registrations, and the vendor rep handles vendor registrations.
  6. REGISTRATION PROCESS: Decide how registrations will be stored and processed. This includes printing and distribution of name badges at the time of registration.
  7. THEME: early in the process, the conference theme shall be identified. A logo shall be drawn to represent the theme; this logo will be used on T-shirts and polos, bags, the website and all printed materials to include signage. The theme will drive the menu as well as the color scheme of conference-related materials.
  8. PUBLICITY: the conference shall be publicized early and often. All members should be contacted early and notices should be posted and regularly updated on the chapter website and all available social media outlets.


Chairpersons shall be appointed for the following committees:

  1. Audio-visual
  2. Awards and recognition
  3. Conference agenda
  4. Course schedule and instructor services
  5. Event-specific agendas
  6. Finance
  7. Food and beverage
  8. Registration
  9. Room reservations
  10. Special events and meeting rooms
  11. Vendor hall/registration/vendor services
  12. Volunteers
  13. Website/programs/publicity/signage


  1. The audio-visual committee shall assess the A/V needs of the conference. This shall occur with the cooperation of the conference chair as well as all other committees with A/V needs. Equipment shall be solicited from all chairpersons and the Executive Board in an effort to minimize rental costs. If needed, equipment can be solicited from PSAPs surrounding the conference location. Instructors and presenters shall be encouraged to bring their own equipment.
  2. All equipment borrowed from PSAPs or other sources shall be clearly marked and securely stored when not in use. Equipment must not be left in unsecured meeting rooms or other locations overnight. Any damage and/or loss of equipment shall be the responsibility of APCO Florida and Florida NENA.
  3. Should rental equipment be needed, the A/V chair or designee shall determine if an exclusive contract exists between the hotel and an A/V provider. If one exists this must be our source for any equipment rented. Should none exist, the A/V chair may then secure equipment elsewhere.
  1. A/V SETUP: The A/V committee is responsible for delivering and setting up A/V equipment in the correct room in time for the event or presentation. This should be accomplished with sufficient time for testing to minimize downtime due to inoperable equipment.


  1. Each year the Florida chapters of APCO and NENA present awards during the conference. These awards are presented during the opening ceremonies and the closing banquet. Sufficient time shall be built into the agenda to allow for these presentations.
  2. If an APCO Florida awards committee does not already exist, one shall be appointed by the conference chair(s). This committee shall review the nominations received during the awards process and make decisions as to who will receive the awards. After the decisions are made, physical award plaques shall be secured by this committee. During the ceremonies, the winning award nomination shall be read and the award presented by the awards committee and president.


  1. This committee shall arrange and schedule all classes and presentations for the conference. Instructors will be encouraged to bring their own A/V equipment. Any complimentary room nights, instructor fees or other expenditures must be approved by the conference chair(s).
  2. Classes may also be arranged through APCO Institute. These courses often carry a cost which must be approved by the conference chair(s).
  3. Care shall be taken by this committee to fill the course agenda, arrange classes relevant to the industry, and arrange courses so as to eliminate as many scheduling conflicts as possible. No courses shall be scheduled during exclusive vendor hours.
  4. Classes shall be arranged to address the needs of all attendees, including police, fire, EMS and management.
  5. Classes are normally offered in three ‘tracks’ to run concurrently; manager, telecommunicator and technician. This helps to address the needs of all attendees and avoid conflicts between classes.


  1. This committee shall prepare agendas for special events. These events include the welcome event, opening ceremonies and closing banquet, as well as any other special events planned.
  2. Any special needs shall be communicated to the conference chair(s) for approval.


The finance committee shall carry the responsibility of conference-related expenses and receivables. Any expenditure shall be identified as conference-related or chapter-related and processed accordingly.


  1. This committee shall be responsible for menu planning for all events that require food service. This includes, but is not limited to, the welcome event, opening breakfast, closing banquet and breaks throughout the conference.
  2. Members of this committee shall work closely with the conference chair(s) and president to communicate appropriate attendance numbers at each event. They shall also solicit any special requirements (diabetic diets, kosher or vegetarian meals) and communicate such to the hotel staff as appropriate.


  1. This committee shall be responsible for checking in all attendees, presenters and vendors as well as the general operation of the registration desk. Hours shall be set to accommodate the arrival of attendees, presenters and vendors.
  2. Registration also serves as an Information desk, so this committee shall also supply information as requested pertaining to locations of classes and other events within the hotel as well as local color and transportation. Registration personnel also receive found items and are expected to return them to their rightful owners when identified.
  3. The chapter credit card machine and other equipment shall be set up at Registration in order to accept on-site registration payment.


  1. This committee maintains regular communication with the hotel and monitors the number of room nights reserved. It also holds the responsibility for requesting complimentary room nights from the conference chair(s) for dignitaries, presenters and others who request them.
  2. Room night status shall be regularly communicated to the president and conference chair(s) so that the conference status is clear. Extra room blocks may be needed and these will be requested by the president or conference chair(s) upon notification from the room reservations committee that such need exists.


This committee arranges and schedules special events throughout the length of the conference. The members are also responsible for setting up and tearing down the events. This includes but is not limited to decorations, table settings and door prizes as appropriate to the event.


  1. This committee is responsible all activities relating to vendor participation, with the exception of vendor registration at the Registration desk. These members are responsible for receiving registrations and booth selections from all vendors and vendor sponsors, and will work closely with the expo company to ensure that all vendor needs are met.
  2. Care shall be taken to maintain an accurate accounting of all vendor sponsorships, booths and payments.
  3. This committee shall reach out to the vendor community as early as possible to invite them to the conference. Sponsorship levels and programs, as well as pricing and benefits, are available in the Vendor appendix to this manual.


  1. The volunteer committee is responsible for recruiting, scheduling and managing volunteers. The specific positions and responsibilities of volunteers can be found in the Volunteer appendix to this manual.
  2. Committee members shall assess the needs of the conference and assign volunteers to the following positions. This list is not inclusive:
  3. Registration
  4. Room monitor/A/V assistance
  5. APCO/ NENA display booth or table
  6. Exhibit hall greeter/floater
  7. Special event greeter/floater
  8. Members of this committee are visible by unique T-shirts and should be educated and prepared to answer questions of the attendees, presenters and vendors.


  1. This committee shall be responsible for promoting the conference through the internet, social media, T-shirts, signage and bags. Members will produce signs to direct attendees through the hotel, as well as the conference program which provides an overall schedule of the conference events.
  2. At the time of this publication, the chapter website is The chapter also employs a Facebook page and a Twitter account as well as PSConnect through APCO International to publicize chapter activities. These are the primary points of contact for attendees, presenters and vendors in the months and weeks preceding the conference.
  3. Signs are professionally produced using FedEx/Kinkos or a similar vendor. Care must be taken to produce them late enough to include all vendor sponsors but in time to be delivered for the pre-conference activities. Samples of the signs needed are found in the Signage appendix to this manual.
  4. Conference bags and T-shirts are provided to attendees, some presenters and some vendors. These are usually sponsored by a vendor and carry both the conference logo and sponsoring vendor logo. When the bags are delivered, they are to be stuffed with the conference T-shirts as well as promotional items from various public-safety sources.
  5. Bags are delivered at registration to ensure that each attendee receives only one bag and there are enough for everyone.

Revised April 1, 2012