YJA Conventions are organized and hosted every two years for over 600 Jain youths, aged 14–29, from across the globe. Each convention is organized by a team of 30-35 individuals – students and young professionals – from across North America who are a part of different committees.
The following Convention Committees planned the 2018 convention in Chicago, IL. Each of the Committees was headed by 1-4 individuals selected from applications.
- The Convention Committee Co-Chairs are responsible for overseeing all aspects of the planning process of the biennial YJA Convention. They must organize all Convention Committees and report back to the then current YJA Executive Board Co-Chairs on a regular basis. They will act as the direct point of contact for all Co-Leads and serve as a liaison between the Executive Board, Convention Committees, outside vendors, and the hotel.
- These Co-Chairs are also responsible for approving the master schedule, maintaining finances and donor relationships, and overseeing all marketing and registration associated with the Convention. They will work to develop the post-Convention survey and help create PR material. They will also be very heavily involved with the hotel and will be expected to address the attendees on multiple occasions during the Convention.
- Due to the nature of the responsibilities of this position, applicants that have attended a YJA Convention before or are familiar with the planning process are preferred.
- The Adult Volunteer Coordinator Committee Co-Leads (AVC Co-Leads) are responsible for recruiting and working with adult volunteers from the local Chicago sangh. They are tasked with contacting and creating a volunteer group, training all volunteers in-person at least one week prior to the convention, walking volunteers through the hotel, creating a master schedule of all positions and tasks, and communicating plans to all volunteers before and during the Convention. AVC Co-Leads will prepare an FAQ packet in conjunction with each convention subcommittee to aid volunteers at the information booth and social events during the convention and compile the finalized list of adult volunteers to thank in the souvenir book.
- Adult Volunteer duties include, but are not limited to, making and distributing snacks, directing attendees to shuttles at the airport upon arrival, being knowledgeable about security details, and staffing the information booth.
- Due to the nature of the responsibilities of this committee, applicants who live in the Chicago area or would be available to come to the convention site and local sangh at least monthly are preferred.
- The Daytime Programming Committee Co-Leads are responsible for planning sessions for high school, college, and Jain Networking Forum attendees. Their tasks include confirming speakers, developing and implementing about 60 sessions total with a variety of topics and genres, ranging from educational, social, and school- or career-oriented sessions. They will select two keynote speakers and work with them to relate their speech to the convention theme and Jain values.
- These Committee Co-Leads will convey speakers’ needs to the Registration and Technology Committee and Hospitality and Souvenirs Committee, such as audio-visual needs, dietary restrictions, and travel information. They will also collect biographies, photos, and session descriptions from all speakers for the souvenir book in collaboration with the Hospitality and Souvenirs Committee.
- The Daytime Programming Committee Leads will create the Speaker Packet for each speaker, which includes hotel information, convention schedule, and transportation details. They will ensure every speaker has a speaker liaison throughout their stay at the convention and coordinate with the Hospitality and Souvenirs Committee to research and purchase speaker thank-you gifts. These Committee Leads are also responsible for collaborating with the Site, Social Programming, and JNF Committees to create the master convention schedule.
- The Fundraising Committee Co-Leads are responsible for creating individual and business Sponsorship Packets for potential donors. These Sponsorship Packets includes, but are not limited to, convention information, sponsorship recognition opportunities, and pledge forms. They will also create a Jain Sangh Sponsorship Packet and reach out to local and national sanghs for donations. Additional tasks include reaching out to local and national businesses for monetary and non-monetary donations and creative thinking around new fundraising campaign ideas.
- These Committee Co-Leads will sell individual and business advertisement space in the souvenir book, coordinate with the Hospitality and Souvenirs Committee to ensure all names, businesses, and advertisements are properly included in the souvenir book and coordinate with the Site Committee to ensure sponsorship banners and booths are set up during the Convention.
- The Hospitality and Souvenirs Committee Co-Leads are responsible for procuring snacks for the convention and preparing souvenir giveaways that are provided to all attendees. They will coordinate with the Adult Volunteer Coordinator Committee to staff the hospitality booth whenever necessary during the convention and ensure that all snacks are delivered, transferred, and restocked as needed. They will organize timely travel to and from the airport for all attendees, speakers, and dignitaries and work with the Adult Volunteer Coordinator Committee to secure volunteers for airport and transportation duty. They will develop and implement creative strategies to make attendees, speakers, and dignitaries feel welcome throughout the convention.
- These Committee Co-Leads will also be responsible for designing, editing, and finding a vendor to print the souvenir books. They will collect content for the souvenir book, including the master schedule for the weekend, session descriptions, speaker biographies, advertisements, donor lists, and articles from Jain youth. They will also be responsible for any raffles and giveaways.
- The Jain Networking Forum (JNF) Committee Co-Leads are responsible for JNF daytime and social programming. This includes confirming speakers and developing and implementing 45-50 sessions of varying topics and genres, such as career panels, networking, and educational sessions. They will select and confirm a keynote speaker for JNF attendees only and coordinate speakers’ needs with the Registration and Technology Committee and Hospitality and Souvenirs Committee, such as audiovisual needs, dietary restrictions, and travel information.
- These Committee Co-Leads are also responsible for JNF social programming, including daytime icebreakers, evening mixers, and creative nighttime activities. They will collect speaker biographies, photos, and session descriptions from all JNF speakers for the souvenir book and collaborate with the Hospitality and Souvenirs Committee to ensure the information is accurate. They will also collaborate with Daytime Programming, Social, and Site Committees to create the master convention schedule.
- Due to the nature of the responsibilities of this committee, applicants must be between the ages 23 and 29 as of July 5th, 2018. Applicants that have had previous exposure to JNF activities at past conventions are preferred.
- The Public Relations Committee Co-Leads are responsible for creating all promotional materials for the Convention. This includes a Convention logo, advertising materials, and marketing content for all aspects of the Convention. They will draft and send email blasts using MailChimp and create fliers and other promotional materials, such as multiple marketing videos, to drive registration. They will provide support to individual committees to draft and send targeted email blasts, fliers, and/or promotional videos.
- These Committee Co-Leads will also create unique Facebook posts for individual regional groups. They will also help develop content for the Director of Public Relations to post on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and other forms of social media.
- Due to the nature of the responsibilities of this committee, applicants with strong graphic design, writing, and video editing skills are preferred.
- The Registration and Technology Committee Co-Leads are responsible for creating and maintaining the Convention website and facilitating any and all audiovisual and technology related needs during the Convention. They will update the Convention website to include session registration and design and order wristbands and lanyards for all attendees, volunteers, speakers, vendors, and board members.
- These Committee Co-Leads will also assign hotel guest rooms to all attendees, volunteers, speakers, and board members and facilitate roommate assignments. They are responsible for attendee check-in on the first day of convention, which includes check-in procedures, organizing hotel room key distribution, and managing overflow bag storage.
- They will also be responsible for assisting the Daytime Programming and JNF Committees in meeting audiovisual and technology needs of speakers. They will also assist the Social Programming Committee with audiovisual and technology needs for late night events and afternoon icebreakers throughout the convention.
- Due to the nature of the responsibilities of this committee, applicants with a strong background in IT, audiovisual equipment setup, and website development and management are preferred.
- The Security Committee Co-Leads are responsible for researching and implementing an on-site security team. They will create a security plan for the entire convention, including weekend rules, gender separation plans, and staffing for entrance and exit points. They must coordinate with a hired security team and adult volunteers to have personnel in place at all times throughout the convention.
- These Committee Co-Leads will also recruit and manage Resident Advisors (RA), create an informational packet, conduct RA training at least one week prior to convention, and hold RA meetings each night of the convention. They must form an Adjudication Committee to handle disciplinary issues and update the Adjudication Committee Policy and Procedures if necessary.
- The Site Committee Co-Leads are responsible for acting as the main point of contact between the hotel events coordinator, YJA Executive Board, and the Convention Committee. They must communicate with the hotel staff to ensure facilities, decorations, meeting rooms, audiovisual, and food are organized as per the convention requirements. They will work with hotel kitchen staff and outside catering to ensure food is sufficient, prepared properly, and served on time.
- These Committee Leads will also coordinate with the Security Committee to create efficient and easily accessible traffic patterns for sessions, night events, and registration. They will collaborate with the Daytime Programming, Social, and JNF Committees to create the master convention schedule.