Organizational Documentation

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Meeting Documentation


The Secretary should send a request for agenda items to the Exec Team two weeks before the meeting. Meeting agendas should be made available to the ConCom within the week of and at least three days before the ConCom meeting.

Once finalized, the agenda is sent to the webmaster to be posted to the ConCom Staff Updates page of the website. Once the webmaster has confirmed that the agenda has posted, the Secretary posts an announcement to the norwescon-concom Google Group mailing list either as a standalone post or as a response to the previously posted meeting announcement.


The Secretary is responsible for recording minutes of discussions at the monthly ConCom meetings and any Exec-only meetings that may be called during the planning months or at the convention itself.

One or more assistants may also take notes at meetings for which they are present to ensure nothing is missed. Assistants' notes should be provided to the Secretary as soon as possible following the meeting for review and inclusion into the draft minutes.

Following each meeting, the first draft of the minutes should be sent to the Exec team for review and corrections. One week after draft distribution, the final version of the agenda is sent to the Exec team for an approval vote (see the Policies and Procedures manual for details on the approval process).

Once approved, the minutes are sent to the webmaster to be added to the ConCom Staff Updates page of the website. Once the webmaster has confirmed that the minutes have been posted, the Secretary should announce availability in the norwescon-concom Google Group mailing list, either as a standalone post or as a response to the appropriate meeting announcement message.

Minutes may be taken in whatever manner works best for the Secretary or their assistant. In the past, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel templates have been used. As of Norwescon 43, the current Secretary is using the iOS app for Meetings.

Sheets

Each meeting has a physical sign-in sheet to track attending volunteers. The sign-in sheet collects the volunteer's name, whether or not they are new to the ConCom, and (optionally, for new volunteers or updated addresses) email address.

Following the meeting, the sign-in sheet is scanned and archived in the Secretary's files. Archiving is for potential future reference if there is a need to track volunteer hours through ConCom meeting attendance (some grants may require this information).

norwescon-concom Google Group Updates

New volunteers are added to the norwescon-concom Google Group mailing list.

  1. Click on "Manage Members".
  2. Click on "Direct Add Members".
  3. Enter a comma separated list of all email addresses to add.
  4. Enter the welcome message.
  5. Set subscription options to "All Email".
  6. Click "Add".

The Secretary may also keep a record of when addresses are added to the mailing list. This is currently being done with a text file with one line for each group of additions noted by date, plus the current version of the welcome message. Each line of the text file looks something like this:

11/4: (address), (address), (address)
Welcome Message

As of November 2019, the current welcome message being sent is:

Welcome to the Norwescon ConCom mailing list! This is a limited membership mailing list for communication among concom members; you have been added because you have signed in at a ConCom meeting or registered as staff for Norwescon 43 (hooray!). You can view this mailing list and update your subscription preferences on the web at (there are also links in the footer of any message you receive from this list).

A full list of NWC43 planning meetings and supporting documents, including meeting agendas and minutes, can be found on the Staff Information page of our website:

Thanks for being a part of the Norwescon ConCom!

— Michael Hanscom, NWC43 Secretary

Onions and Roses

"Onions and Roses" is Norwescon's general term for feedback to the convention: "onions" are feedback for items or areas that can be improved, "roses" are feedback for items or areas that went well. Feedback is welcomed year-round, but is primarily collected at the convention and in the days and weeks immediately following the convention. An annual post-convention summary report is generated in time for distribution to the Exec Team at or before the annual Exec Team Retreat that formally starts the next year's convention planning.

The Secretary may hire an Onions and Roses volunteer to perform all related duties.

At-Convention Feedback

Comment Cards

During the convention, feedback comment cards should be made available on tables throughout the convention space, at the convention Info Desk in the hotel lobby, and in the convention office. The Onions and Roses volunteer should make arrangements with the Info Desk manager and the convention office manager to ensure that any comment cards left at these locations are collected by or delivered to the Onions and Roses volunteer by the post-convention meeting. Any blank comment cards should be retrieved from the hotel convention space when the convention closes and either recycled or retained to be reused the following year, if appropriate.

For Norwescon 42, a short survey was added to the comment cards and was also posted to the Norwescon website allowing members to rank their satisfaction with various areas of the convention on a four-point scale (poor, fair, good, and excellent). This data was incorporated into the final Onions and Roses report.

Onions and Roses Panel

There is an Onions and Roses panel held on the final day of the convention, traditionally as the last panel of the weekend, immediately following the Closing Ceremonies. The panel allows members to directly communicate their feedback to the convention's Exec Team. Panel participants generally include the Chair, Programming, Member Services, Convention Services, and Special Events department heads, with the Secretary or the Onions and Roses volunteer taking notes on any comments made; other Execs are welcome and encouraged to attend as well.

Post-Convention and Year-Round Feedback

Feedback may be sent at any time to the email address either directly or by using the website contact form. Email to this address is monitored by the Onions and Roses volunteer for collection and, when deemed necessary, can be forwarded to the appropriate Exec for further review and potential action.

Feedback may also be received via various social media methods, including in the norwescon and norwescon-concom Google Groups, on Twitter (ideally using the hashtags #nwconion and #nwcrose for easy discoverability), on Facebook via posts in the Norwescon group, comments to posts in the group or on the Norwescon page or messages sent via Facebook Messenger, or other such channels. Feedback can also be extracted from blog posts about the convention, if any are found that contain relevant commentary.


The current method for collecting feedback is a spreadsheet document. The spreadsheet has one tab for each feedback source (O&R Panel, Post-Con Meeting, Comment Cards, Email, Social Media, and Other). The following table is a sample of the data collected under the Social Media tab; the other tabs have similar tables, omitting the "Source" and "URL" fields. The sample data displayed is not actual submitted feedback and is only for illustrative purposes.

Department Area Type Statement Source URL
Programming Panels Rose The costuming panel was great. Really enjoyed the hands-on samples! Twitter
Special Events Dances Onion The DJ never played my request. They should get better music! Facebook
Member Services Art Show Rose The GOH artwork this year was incredible! I bought three prints for my home. I hope they can come back! Blog

Collecting and storing feedback in this manner allows for easy sorting of data by department, area, and type of feedback for data analysis and final distribution in the Onions and Roses report.


After at least one month following the convention, but with enough lead time to allow completion of the final report before the Exec Team Retreat, the Onions and Roses volunteer should deem collection for the current year finished. Any feedback received past this point should be considered suggestions for the next year, unless it applies directly to specific events or incidents at the most recent convention. Received feedback is then reviewed, sorted and categorized by Exec and department, and final reports generated for the Exec Team and the ConCom. The final report should include a summary of any trends or areas of interest seen during review of the data along with a presentation of all feedback received. Personally identifying information and feedback with potentially sensitive information should be stripped from any reports made available to the ConCom; the Exec Team may receive a report that includes such information.

The ConCom version of the Norwescon 42 Onions and Roses report (2.8MB .pdf) may be used as an example.


The Secretary is responsible for updating the bylaws document when changes to the bylaws are approved. The bylaws original document is a Word .doc file kept by the Secretary. When changes are made, a .pdf copy is generated and posted to the ConCom Staff Updates page of the website.

The bylaws are also available on this Wiki.

Policies and Procedures Manual

The Secretary is responsible for updating the Policies and Procedures document when changes are approved. The original document is a Word .doc file kept by the Secretary. When changes are made, a .pdf copy is generated and posted to the ConCom Staff Updates page and the Policies and Guidelines page of the website.

Updates to the document are made through collaboration with the full Exec team. Each Exec is responsible for reviewing their department's section of the document and suggesting edits. Once all Execs have reviewed their sections, an Exec Team vote is held to approve the full document.

In the most recent review process (for version 15 of the document, still under review at the time of this writing), the Word document was brought into Google Docs for easier collaboration and change tracking. The final document will be exported back into Word .doc format for final formatting and to ensure proper table of contents generation.


This Wiki is a new project, begun in November of 2019, in order to create a centralized space for storing procedural documentation for all the various departments within the ConCom. Ideally, this will (eventually) have all "this is how we do it" documentation. Realistically, that goal may be a long way off.

For more details, see the page.