Friday, September 11, 2009


Got side-tracked by a couple other projects. One of my mailing list sources sent me a new meeting item to be added to the Clearinghouse of the Idaho Academy of Science (KEEPING BUSY page of the Revue). While I was at it, I ran through my organizational bookmarks to see if there were any other new events that needed to be added. All that took awhile.

Also, some years back, I compiled a booklet on how to run a multi-track conference/colloquium. It includes tips from various books on organizing such meetings, plus ideas I’ve gained from experience. The experience includes being on the organizing committees for at least 10 to 15 conferences of one kind or another (several times I was general chair). Eventually, I recast the document with specific terminology for the Annual Symposium of the IAS. Still, I believe the advice is useful for many kinds of conferences.

Here’s an example that fits many situations:
Do not underestimate the number of people required to effectively run an event like the Annual Meeting. Your core organizational committee will need competent assistance for facilities and event management, technical paper review, publishing, and other matters. Paid services can provide some of this – if you can afford it – but someone has to make sure the jobs get done. They will also need clerical help, and ‘go-fers’ to pick up supplies and deliver packages.
“The preliminary needs are impressive enough, but they peak for the actual event: registration personnel, guides and go-fers, moderators for the technical sessions, A/V operators, student paper judges, and so on. (Retirees generally make responsible and effective Registration helpers. You might give them complimentary registrations for their help).”

Anyway, I had a request along those lines, so I did a quickie revision and sent it out (as a PDF document) to our current IAS President, the Symposium Director, and some others.


  1. That manual sounds interesting. Some people at work are putting together a symposium (topical conference? - not sure) and asked if I'd help. I said no, 'cause I've never done anything like that. Maybe some good tips would change my mind.
    How can I get a copy?

  2. My e-mail address is listed, in word form, at the end of the "About Me" section on the left. Shoot me an e-mail and I'll attach the PDF to my reply.