GETTING STARTED – General Procedures


  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Contact other speakers who can address the meeting theme and confirm the date.
  2. Request from each speaker:

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

  1. Post an announcement of the meeting date, theme, venue, and any other details as soon as possible on the MI-ASM web site.
  2. The Branch Secretary will be in charge of sending an electronic meeting announcement   





(tasks to be completed by the host organizer, working with the MI-ASM President)



  1. Adequate microphones so entire audience can hear clearly (clip-on, stationary)
  2. PowerPoint projector and laptops (some speakers bring their own laptops – ask each one)
  3. Projector for transparencies (if needed); have several transparency pens available
  4. Slide projector (to show the 2 Waksman Foundation slides; also some speakers may need a slide projector – ask each one)
  5. videotaping and/or videoconferencing microphones and cameras (be sure to obtain permission from each speaker to do this)
  6. laser pointer
  7. 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)
  8. Water and glasses as podium is a nice touch.  Flowers?!
  9. In some instances, speakers may allow the branch to post their PowerPoint presentations on the MI-ASM website – ask for permission to do so.




  1. At least 2 or 3 large tables (ex. A-G, H-M, and N-Z to facilitate rapid registration)
  2. Cash box (treasurer brings this early in the morning before registration begins)
  3. 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 time-consuming.

  1. Registration receipt forms (MI-ASM Secretary brings these to the meeting)




  1. 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.

  1. Be sure all poster presenters know the format you want their posters in (full size, small panels, etc).
  2. Be sure all poster presenters know how they can attach their posters for display once they arrive at the meeting.
  3. Request abstracts from the presenters, to be posted on the MI-ASM web site (see the Meeting Web Page section below).
  4. 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.



  1. 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 connection, etc).
  2. 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 mailings.
  3. (see the Meeting Web Page section below re Corporate Partners).




  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)




  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Corporate sponsors can be approached to see if they have any company materials they wish to donate as awards.
  4. 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”.




Enlist 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 appropriate.

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.




  1. Who will design the meeting web page and update it as the planning progresses?
  2. Where will it be posted? [it is best to post it directly on the branch website at http://mi-asm.org]
  3. 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.
  4. 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 date)
    • 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).

 Meeting organizers are free to modify this document

to suit their needs during the planning stages.  

 R. Gorton – June 14, 2002

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