CONFERENCE PLANNING GUIDELINES
STARTED – General Procedures
- The President-Elect is
in charge of establishing the venues for the two meetings to be held in
the upcoming year s/he is President. The President then works directly with
the host institution organizers to plan the two meetings.
Ø The President
should make sure that the host organizers receive a copy of this Conference
Planning Guidelines document.
- Decide on a meeting
theme and Foundation Speaker (use ASM Speaker brochure which is mailed
annually to the MI-ASM President or check the current list of speakers at www.asm.org).
Ø The MI-ASM BOARD LISTSERV is
a good way to electronically discuss the possible themes, or theme discussion
can be an agenda item for a Board meeting.
- Select one or two dates
and see if the desired Foundation speaker will be available (email or call
the Foundation speaker very early in the planning stage)
Ø Ideally this should be done
5 – 7 months prior to the meeting if possible.
- Contact other speakers
who can address the meeting theme and confirm the date.
- Request from each
a) what their presentation
needs will be
b) a brief bio for the web page
c) whether or not they will
allow MI-ASM to post a link to their personal web page
d) whether or not they will
allow MI-ASM to videotape their presentation
- Post an announcement of
the meeting date, theme, venue, and any other details as soon as possible
on the MI-ASM web site.
- The Branch Secretary
will be in charge of sending an electronic meeting announcement
to the MI-ASM MEMBERSHIP LISTSERV.
to be completed by the host organizer, working with the MI-ASM President)
- Adequate microphones so
entire audience can hear clearly (clip-on, stationary)
- PowerPoint projector
and laptops (some speakers bring their own laptops – ask each one)
- Projector for
transparencies (if needed); have several transparency pens available
- Slide projector (to
show the 2 Waksman Foundation slides; also some speakers may need a slide
projector – ask each one)
- videotaping and/or
videoconferencing microphones and cameras (be sure to obtain permission
from each speaker to do this)
- laser pointer
- Provide driving
directions for all the speakers; arrange with speakers flying in for them
to be picked up at the airport and transported to their hotel (most
out-of-town Foundation speakers come in on Friday and stay overnight in a
nearby hotel at MI-ASM expense)
- Water and glasses as
podium is a nice touch. Flowers?!
- In some instances,
speakers may allow the branch to post their PowerPoint presentations on
the MI-ASM website – ask for permission to do so.
- At least 2 or 3 large
tables (ex. A-G, H-M, and N-Z to facilitate rapid registration)
- Cash box (treasurer
brings this early in the morning before registration begins)
- Name tags and permanent
black/blue markers (secretary may bring these or the host institution may
provide them. Be sure you double check who is responsible for name tags)
An alternative – the host institution may have their own name tags with
a logo (MSU Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Department did this). Name
tags with the MI-ASM logo can also be printed ahead of time, but this is very
- Registration receipt
forms (MI-ASM Secretary brings these to the meeting)
- If you are planning a fall
meeting, you might consider going through the ASM Spring General Meeting
Book (the Poster Session sections) and make a list of anyone from Michigan who presented a poster
at the national meeting. If time allows, locate email addresses of these
individuals on their institution web pages and email each of them an
invitation to also present their poster at the MIASM fall conference.
Ø Through the ASM website, it
may be possible to search for people from Michigan who presented posters at
the national ASM meeting. If available, this would streamline the search for
individuals to contact.
- Be sure all poster
presenters know the format you want their posters in (full size, small
- Be sure all poster
presenters know how they can attach their posters for display once they
arrive at the meeting.
- Request abstracts from
the presenters, to be posted on the MI-ASM web site (see the Meeting
Web Page section below).
- Non-students are also
welcome to present a poster (ex. post-docs, faculty, or professional
clinical/industrial microbiologists) but they will not be considered for
“Best Poster” awards, since this is strictly a student award.
- The MI-ASM Corporate
Liaison person, working with the meeting planners, will contact the
various Corporate Partners (“sponsors”) and determine who would like
exhibit space at the meeting. Be sure to inquire as to how much space they
will need (ex. 1 or 2 tables, access to electrical outlets or internet
- We need an efficient
method for letting corporate partners know when our meetings are; the
sooner they know the conference date the sooner they can plan to exhibit
at that meeting. This contact with corporate partners can be electronic or
the Meeting Web Page section below re Corporate Partners).
- Contact your
institution’s food service staff very early in the planning process to
make sure that the date of the MIASM meeting does not conflict with some
other major event that may already be booked for lunch. There is only so
much an overworked food service can accomplish with the space and staff
they have! If there is another
event going on at the same time, you might consider having a caterer
handle the breakfast and lunch for MI-ASM.
- If the meeting is for a
Saturday only, you will need to plan for a Continental Breakfast and
Lunch. Make sure extra coffee and tea will be available for breaks between
the morning speakers.
- Establish a deadline
date by which the food service staff need a final
head count. Then add another 10-15 meals beyond that so that last-minute
registrants will have a meal.
- If a BUSINESS MEETING
will be conducted in conjunction with lunch, be sure that microphones are
available so that everyone can hear. The MI-ASM portable speaker system is
usually on hand for luncheon meetings (Contact person: Mike Cohen)
- MI-ASM awards the “Best
Poster” with a textbook award and a one-year membership in both National
ASM and MI-ASM. The textbook award has been Phillip Gerhardt’s METHODS text
published by ASM Press.
- The meeting organizers
should also decide if they wish to award other books or other prizes to
students, either via raffle drawing of names (undergrad and grad separate)
or some other instrument.
- Corporate sponsors can
be approached to see if they have any company materials they wish to
donate as awards.
- In some situations
where there are a large number of posters (> 10), the planners may wish
to consider awarding other categories besides “Best Poster”. For example,
“Best Poster by a Graduate Student (Research and non-research
universities)” and “Best Poster by an Undergraduate Student”.
STUDENT GUIDES & SIGNS
student helpers from the host institution to:
Ø make signs to post around campus
to direct people to parking, or to the proper meeting building, etc.
Ø be available at registration
and during the meeting to assist the planners should any emergencies develop.
Ø help with registration, if
Ø help poster presenters set up
their posters. This can be time consuming for the presenters, so having extra
students to help them is a nice service to provide.
Ø be at the entrance of the
building to direct attendees to the proper registration location.
MEETING WEB PAGE
- Who will design the
meeting web page and update it as the planning progresses?
- Where will it be
posted? [it is best to post it directly on the branch website at
- If the meeting web page
is posted on the host institution’s server, be sure to provide a link to
that web page from the home page of MI-ASM.
- As a minimum, the
meeting web page should include (order not considered here):
- Agenda (with times of
speakers, breaks for viewing posters, lunch, workshops)
- Speakers: title of
their talk, brief biography, links to their home pages if available
- On-line registration
form and the directions for using it
- Breakfast and Luncheon
choices (are choices available? If so, include directions on how to make
their choice known to the planning committee and final lunch headcount
- Hotel info (may not be
needed unless the conference spans Friday and Saturday)
- Maps and driving
directions to the meeting site (or at least links to this info)
- Poster Presenters –
directions on submitting your poster and abstract for on-line posting.
Also include a contact (phone and direct e-mail link) of the person in
charge of posters (usually the host organizer).
- Descriptions of any
special workshops or tours being offered and how to register for them. Be
sure to state the maximum number of people that can attend the workshop.
Describe any alternate events for those not attending the workshop.
- Corporate Partners –
be sure to include a prominent link to the official Corporate Partners
page on the MIASM web site. Also
list any corporate sponsors who are directly covering breakfast costs or
some other aspect of the conference.
- If known in time, post
a list of corporate exhibitors who will be at the conference (and include
web links and/or direct email links if known).
If anyone has suggestions for modifying this
please contact John Geiser.
He will make the changes to the original
distribute them to members of the MI-ASM Board.
organizers are free to modify this document
suit their needs during the planning stages.
R. Gorton – June