For the Fort Worth 2011 meeting, the local arrangements team made use of Google documents to facilitate collaborative planning. We developed three documents: a master list of attendees, a master scheduling document, and a preliminary planning document.
To ensure availability, group hotel reservations for out-of-town members should be made early in the spring by one of the planning committee members. Local members of this committee can be consulted to make recommendations for hotels. Also, dates should be checked to make sure that there are no large weekend events in the town or city that may be in conflict with the chapter meeting. Cost is an important consideration for members as is easy travel to the venues for the chapter meeting. A link on the annual meeting page for booking reservations can be provided for members to make their reservations.
The annual meeting form can be attached to the annual meeting page. It should include the chapter membership renewal, meeting registration cost, option to donate to the LSJ Award, deadline for registration, and address for the chapter treasurer who receives these forms and payment. It can also include any additional fees such as planned lunches. Some members preferred that these fees were separate from the registration form so that they had separate receipts, however, advanced payment for lunches helped the planning committee to organize lunch in a timely and efficient way during busy meeting days. Receipts for reimbursement can be requested from the Chapter treasurer. At the 2011 business meeting, members decided upon creating a fund for gifts of acknowledgement or dinner invitations for guest speakers at the annual meeting. The option to donate to this fund should also be included on the form.
Limit selections to a few choices; it's easy for visitors to get overwhelmed if they are offered too much. This year we programmed a Google map with our choices, and that seemed to work okay. We also made available a mechanism for viewing the map in the native iPhone Google maps app.
Be sure to make available plenty of printed copies of maps and keep them handy at all group gatherings.
I feel we were able to move toward more continuing education programming this year rather than relying so heavily on tours -- Sam Duncan
The President can request ideas from members for programming early in the planning stage for the annual meeting.
Thank you notes on the chapter letterhead should be sent to any guest speakers by the president.