Guidelines for Hosting a Meeting

If you are considering hosting a meeting of the Seaway Section of the MAA, the most important thing is to be sure your institution has the necessary resources such as rooms, technology, and food services as well as an agreement to cover specific costs. This guide can help you see what is involved and what the host institution is committed to providing. Remember that every meeting is going to be different in some aspects and these are general guidelines to assist in the initial decisions.

  1. Outline of a Typical Meeting
  2. Planning Responsibilities of the Host Institution
  3. Financial Responsibilities of the Host Institution
  4. Dining Facility Requirements
  5. Classroom and Conference Room Requirements
  6. Program Planning and Attendance

A. Outline of a Typical Meeting

The exact times can vary for sessions as well as starting and ending of the entire meeting, these are part of the planning process that takes place in consultations between the Local Host and Program Chair.

  • The Executive Committee meets on Friday from 3 to 6pm, and there is usually a workshop or minicourse that begins at 2pm.
  • The general meeting begins on Friday evening with a social hour at 6pm. The banquet runs from 7 to 8:30pm. A speaker then talks for about an hour. Often there is a student game after the speaker which may run until 11pm.
  • The Saturday morning session starts between 8:30 and 9am and ends at 12noon. Lunch from 12noon to 1:30pm. The afternoon session runs from 1:30pm to about 4pm. The meeting end with a keynote speaker or just sessions.

B. Planning Responsibilities of the Host Institution

For the meeting to run smoothly, it is essential that a local committee be appointed to carry out the tasks below. The head of this committee is referred to as the local host and works closely with the program chair during the planning process. In addition, several volunteers are needed to staff registration tables on Friday evening and Saturday morning, and it might be important to have a number of volunteers to direct participants to venues on campus during the day Saturday. It's common to ask students to take on or help with both of these roles.

  • Choose and invite banquet speaker for Friday night.
  • Determine an official welcomer at the start of Saturday's program, often a dean, president, or department chair.
  • Arrange for refreshments at registration on Saturday morning, as well as beverages (and possibly snacks) during the afternoon sessions.
  • Arrange for setup and troubleshooting of any needed technology for talks or meetings.
  • Arrange the social hour, banquet, and lunch with appropriate dining services.
  • Reserve rooms in advance for all of the sessions on Saturday as well as the Friday afternoon meetings and workshops.
  • Reserve a block of rooms in a local hotel.
  • Collect any checks mailed to campus for pre-registration and meals, and prepare a list of pre-registrants.
  • Moderators for talk sessions are usually arranged by the program chair and student program chair. However, these chairs may request that the local organizer help find moderators. If you would like to participate in or organize the selection of moderators, please inform the program chair.
  • Make and place appropriate signs on campus to direct participants to necessary buildings and rooms.
  • Issue a meeting packet to each registrant upon arrival, including any meal tickets, name tag, receipt, meeting program, and campus map.
  • Provide a campus map, and travel and parking instructions for the Newsletter.

C. Financial Responsibilities of the Host Institution

It is critical that the host institution agree to financially assist with the meeting in very specific ways. Administrations are often persuaded that hosting a state-wide group of educators, concerned with questions of mathematics education, is a worthy activity to support. Local hosts should consult with the Chair or Program Chair of the Section early in the planning process in order to discuss the costs which will be incurred by the meeting.

  • The host institution is responsible for any costs associated with the Friday night banquet speaker. This includes transportation and hotel expenses as well as any honorarium. An honorarium of \$100 is common.
  • The host institution is responsible for refreshments during registration Saturday morning and beverages (and possibly snacks) at the end of the meeting.
  • The host institution agrees to the use of reserved classroom space during meetings, workshops, and sessions at no cost to the section.
  • There may be an additional cost for student helpers, supplies, and technology setup.- It is common to include a service charge of \$1 or more in setting the prices for the banquet and lunch as long as the costs are still reasonable.

Note that Publishers interested in displaying their wares may be willing to pay rental fees for space.

D. Dining Facility Requirements

  • The Social Hour and Banquet Friday evening are generally either on campus as a catered event in an isolated space, or at a local restaurants.
  • It is especially convenient for travelers to have the Friday banquet at the hotel where many of them are staying, such as one where a block of rooms has been reserved.
  • The space should be isolated from others so that the banquet speaker can be heard without distraction, and have technology capabilities most speakers come to expect.
  • If a projector and screen must be set up in the room, be sure there is someone available for the setup.
  • Friday evening there is often a game for students immediately after the speaker, so be sure the room can continue to be used until at least 11pm.
  • During registration Saturday morning there should be refreshments available, including both hot and cold beverages. These should be available throughout the morning sessions.
  • Lunch should be in an on-campus facility, preferably near the buildings the sessions are held in.
  • During the Saturday afternoon session there should be hot and cold beverages available, and possibly small snacks.

E. Classroom and Conference Room Requirements

A variety of rooms will be needed for different session including those Saturday morning as a whole group, and Saturday afternoon in parallel sessions. It may also be arranged to have an ending keynote talk which would require a larger room as well.

Friday: A conference room and one other meeting room are needed on Friday afternoon. Technology availability is important in those rooms.

Time Capacity Function
2-5pm 25 Workshop
3-6pm 15 Executive Committee

Saturday The morning Plenary session is all in one room, while the afternoon sessions are parallel, including student sessions, and are generally smaller.

Time Capacity Function Number to Reserve
8:30am-12pm 175 Plenary Session 1
1:30-4pm 25-50 Parallel Sessions 10

F. Program Planning and Attendance

The section officers plan the Saturday program. By tradition, the host arranges only one event: the banquet speaker on Friday.

  • Expect from 75-125 on Friday evening, most likely 100, and from 150-200 on Saturday.
  • Attendance is generally higher for spring meetings.
  • 75 cars may require campus parking on Saturday.

PDF version of Guidelines