Program Operations

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Program Operations or "Program Ops": the part of the programming department that keeps things running smoothly at-con. Program Operations handles at-con rescheduling, and works with Operations to make sure people and equipment get to the proper places at the proper times, and that rooms are set up correctly for the program items that are scheduled.

It is common practice for program ops staff or volunteers to go around to function spaces giving ten- or five-minute warnings to panelists with hand gestures (or at some conventions specially made signs with "10 mins", "5 mins", "Stop Now" and "REALLY STOP NOW" on them), to help make sure items wrap up on time. Sometimes they might need to actually stop an item, especially if people are already queueing up outside for the following item, to give traffic time to move and allow the next item to start on time (or close to).

If a convention gives panelists name boards/tents to display in front of them on the table, program operations might also handle the distribution of these to the function rooms. (Some conventions just produce a single name tent per participant and distributes those to the participants in their programming packet, leaving it up to them to carry it with them from room to room. This can simplify things as far as operations is concerned.) If you are giving out name tents, your program participants will appreciate it if you print their personal schedule on the back of their sign.

Updates to the program schedule should be passed from Program Ops to the Newsletter Editor for publication, and also indicated with signage and changes to any schedules that are posted outside rooms. At some conventions daily schedules might be re-issued as handouts, and at least one convention produces a wall-sized schedule that is on display in the main floor hallway and always kept current.