These guidelines are meant for a local chair whom is planning
an entire meeting, rather than one who is working with a meeting
that is planned already (i.e. ENAR, JSM). An example of a
local chair who would utilize these guidelines is one planning
a mini-meeting, probability workshop or IMS solo Annual Meeting.
The IMS allows Local Chairs a lot of autonomy in planning
meetings to provide you the opportunity to fashion the meeting
as you wish. These are guidelines to assist you. The IMS Executive
Director (Elyse Gustafson, firstname.lastname@example.org) is always happy
to help with anything. Just ask.
The Local Chair with input from the Program Chair should set
a budget for the meeting. A sample budget might look like
The budget should be set to be break-even. Registration fees
should then be set based on this budget. In this case, we
expected 200 attendees to the meeting, so registration was
set at: $140 for members (100 expected), $50 students (20
expected) and $160 for non-members (80 expected). Although
there is no set amount that each group should pay, students
should receive a significant discount and non-members should
pay slightly more than members.
The meeting location should be selected at least one year
prior to the meeting. Your meeting can be held at a hotel,
university or conference center depending on the needs.
In some cases, accommodations for the meeting should be selected
by the local chair and a block of rooms should be booked.
The local chair should be able to arrange for a group rate.
This needs to be done at least 1 year prior to the meeting
at the same time the location is selected. Accommodations
can he held in hotels or dorms.
Registration forms should be available 6-9 months prior to
the meeting. The sooner the better. For more information on
advertising IMS meetings see Meetings
The local chair should coordinate the collection of registrations
either with his/her institution or the IMS. Registration forms
should allow for several methods of payment, most importantly
credit cards because they allow members for all parts of the
world to pay easily.
Set up catering for breaks and meals as approved in meeting
budget. This will depend on how much is budgeting for food
at the meeting. Some meetings budget meals while others just
budget for breaks. Within this budget, the local chair can
select what he/she sees fit for each meal/break.
If there is a special event, such as a banquet, the local
chair should select the menu within budget.
Request audio-visual needs from speakers. Typically, a meeting
will have a standard a/v set up that includes:
1 overhead projector
1 LCD projector
It is easiest to notify the speakers of this set up and then
have them request special items outside this list. LCD projectors
are the standard today, but most conference centers charge
a considerable amount for these. The local chair should ensure
the budget for audio-visual covers the LCD projector expense.
The audio-visual budget should include extra to accommodate
special requests. The IMS works to try and provide speakers
with all the items they need for their presentation. Some
organizations charge the speakers for items outside the “standard”
list, this is something the IMS would like to avoid.
The Local Chair with input from the Program Chair should decide
what type of printed program they would like for a meeting.
Small meetings typically allow for formatted and photocopied
abstracts while larger meetings typically use a professional
service to set these up. The program should include the meeting
schedule and abstracts. Advertising can be sold to help offset
MEETING BAGS and BADGES
The badges can be easily printed out by the person who handles
the registrations. The type and extent of meeting badges and
bags is at the discretion of the local chair and should be
Often to save money on staff, you can ask students to handle
check-in and registration for free attendance. This can vary
depending on the size of the meeting and location.
This can be set up at the discretion of the local chair. Most
meeting attendees expect such access today.
Often there are items that need to be distributed in a photocopy
format. Budget for this.
Exhibitors tend to want to attend the larger meetings, but
even meetings of 150-300 may have an opportunity for exhibitors.
If a local chair wishes to defray costs he can ask publishers
if they wish to display items or advertise at the meeting.
This is at the discretion of the local chair.