Guidelines for Organizing a Section Meeting of the ISAAPT

Compiled by Conley Stutz, Physics Department, Bradley University, Peoria, IL 61625 (retired).
Updated, revised, and expanded by
Carl Wenning, Physics Department, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790 (retired).

Last updated on September 9, 2014, Carl J. Wenning

These guidelines are intended to assist those who are considering or have agreed to hold a meeting of the Illinois Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. The Illinois section holds two meetings per year -- one in the fall, usually in October, and one in the spring, usually in April. Most meetings are scheduled to begin on Friday and ending at noon on Saturday. Workshops are often scheduled for Friday mornings with the first plenary talk starting at 1:00 p.m. Longer workshops may run into Friday afternoon and some may be scheduled for Saturday morning when necessary to accommodate the presenters.

I.  Things to consider before offering to hold a meeting

  • Are you willing to expend the time and energy it takes to plan and hold a one and a half to two-day meeting of 50 to 100 people?
  • Are the facilities adequate for holding the Friday evening banquet for from 50 to 100 people, workshops, plenary sessions, and parallel paper sessions?
  • Will you have the cooperation of your colleagues, secretaries, students, and administrators?
  • What financial backing can you expect from the Section and other sources? (Usually registration fees and contributions from the host institution are expected to cover the costs of the meeting. Sometimes vendors are willing to pay for space or contribute in other ways. The Section will usually attempt to cover any shortfall in funds. (More on projecting costs will be found in later sections of this guide.)
  • Are there dates available at your institution for holding a meeting? (Watch for conflicts with other major campus events, class meetings, etc.)

II.  Offering to hold a meeting

The offer to hold the meeting should be made at least two years in advance (arrangements can be made if offer is made with a shorter lead time) before the meeting and should consist of a written communiqué to the Council of the Section and should consist of the following:

  • A commitment by an individual, the department, and the school to host the meeting.
  • The preferred dates.
  • The names addresses and phone numbers of individuals who will act as local program chairpersons.
  • Special requests to be made of the Section or its officers.
  • The sources and adequacy of funds.

III.  10-12 months before the meeting

Soon after receiving approval of the Council of the Section the local organizing committee should meet and proceed as follows:

  • Inform the program chairperson of the Section of its plans and progress toward implementing these plans. Often it is convenient for the purposes of planning to select a theme for the meeting, such as, "Physics and Technology".
  • Make sure that the Section Webmaster and Section newsletter editor are informed as soon as possible of all plans so that the membership is informed of the meeting and what is being planned.
  • Divide the responsibilities for carrying out the plans among the members:
    1. Reserve campus facilities and make arrangements for refreshments
    2. Plan the banquet and contact the speaker
    3. Develop forms for submitting abstracts and registration. Consult with the Section Webmaster about the details of the online Call for Papers and online Registration.
    4. Plan workshops and contact leaders
    5. Seek keynote and other plenary speakers
    6. Contact and invite vendors
    7. Recruit students to act as ushers and man the registration desk
    8. Gather information on local motel and eating accommodations
    9. Compile and make mailings
    10. Contact your university president, college dean, and/or departmental chair for institutional support as appropriate.
    11. Contact local businesses for support if appropriate. (Be sure to inform your university's development office before contacting businesses for financial support.)
IV.  7-8 months before the meeting

Hear progress reports from the organizing committee members and decide on the following financial matters.

  • Invited speaker expense including board and room. The decision as to the number of invited speakers depends on their availability and the funds available.
  • Workshop expenses and facilities requirements. Here again the number of workshops depends on the conditions at the host institution.
  • Banquet expenses including speaker and guests
  • Souvenir costs if any are to be provided
  • Mailing costs
  • Fee to be collected from vendors, if any
  • Refreshments costs
  • Costs for producing programs, name tags, etc.
V.  6-7 months before the meeting
  • Room reservations:
    1. Banquet room for sufficient for the usual number of participants, 50 to 100 people.
    2. Room for plenary session 50 to 100 people.
    3. Rooms for workshops, the number depending on the number and size of workshops being offered.
    4. At least two rooms for parallel paper sessions.
    5. A room for commercial displays by vendors, such as, laboratory equipment and publications.
  • Confirm arrangements for banquet and plenary speakers which includes obtaining title and subject matter of talks and the costs involved. Also reserve accommodations for the speakers.
  • Confirm arrangements for workshop presenters which includes obtaining such information as the cost and content of the workshop. Also reserve accommodations for the workshop presenters.
  • Procure sufficient sets of mailing labels for all mailings from the Section officer maintaining the membership data base.
  • Arrange for receiving, printing, and programming abstracts for the final program.

VI.  5-6 months before the meeting

  • Prepare and make first mailing to all members, and to college and university physics departments calling for submission of abstracts of papers to be presented. This mailing should include:
    1. Directions for preparing and submitting abstracts
    2. A note indicating the equipment that will be available in the presentation room and a form for requesting special equipment required for matting the presentation
    3. A preliminary program announcing the main speakers and workshops.
    4. A note of encouragement for the submission of papers by undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Prepare a registration form to be sent out with second call for papers.
  • Prepare maps and list of motels and hotels to be sent out with second mailing.
  • Contact vendors offering them the opportunity to show their products and to provide door prizes and/or refreshments, etc. (See attached list of vendors.) Indicate the charge, if any, and the size of the space that will be provided for them.
  • Check with the Section president as to what awards, if any, are to be presented and when. The Outstanding High School Physics Teacher award is traditionally presented at the spring meeting; the Distinguished Service Citation is traditionally presented at the fall meeting. Awards are presented during the Friday evening banquet.

VII.  Three months before the meeting

  • Contact the food catering office to confirm places, dates, menu, and times for meals and other refreshments.
  • Send out a second call for papers which should include:
    1. Registration forms.
    2. Maps
    3. Lists of hotels, motels, and restaurants and the range of charges
    4. Preliminary program including schedule of events and abstracts if available
  • Make phone check to see what vendors are participating.
  • Work out a detailed budget to help ensure that no money is lost by the meeting. All Section meeting are expected to be self-supporting. Set registration and fees accordingly. Consult the budgeting information below for important information. Note that ISAAPT dues collected at the time of the spring and fall meetings are not to be considered part of the receipts of the meeting. Dues are collected at meetings as a matter of convenience for members only. Collected amounts for dues should be transmitted directly to the treasurer and are not to be used to pay meeting expenses.
  • Additionally, the registration fee should include (for both spring and fall meetings) an additional $3 to cover the cost of the Student Research Symposium, and an additional $5 to provide "insurance" against under budgeting and a bit of additional income for the ISAAPT if the meeting is in the black.
  • Work carefully with the ISAAPT webmaster to make certain all important information appears on the ISAAPT web site.

VIII.  One month to six weeks before the meeting

  • Make mailing which should include:
    1. Program including abstracts received.
    2. Specific maps and directions for finding meeting places and parking.
    3. Registration forms.
    4. Call for late papers and take-fives.
  • Extend an invitation to the appropriate administrative official to welcome the group at the opening plenary session and to attend the banquet.
  • Arrange for Section members. to chair the various sessions.
  • Check with speakers and workshop presenters and inform them of accommodations that have been arranged for them.
  • Send acknowledgement to presenters informing them of the time and place for their presentations.

IX.  Two weeks before the meeting

  • Put together a final program including descriptions. Should there be a shortage of papers call on members of the Council of the Section and others to help solicit papers from colleagues and students.
  • When assembling the program, keep in mind the following points:
    1. Workshops are generally presented on Friday morning in parallel sessions ending at noon. Rarely, workshops may be presented on Saturday afternoon following the close of the main program.
    2. The general program begins on Friday at 1 p.m. and concludes at noon on Saturday.
    3. Avoid scheduling invited speakers in parallel with any other activity.
    4. Schedule parallel sessions for contributed talks as needed.
    5. Session talks should be grouped by theme (active learning, teaching methods, demonstrations, research, Student Research Symposium, etc.)
    6. Include 30-minute break periods if possible. Breaks serve two important purposes: (a) they provide time for informal conversations, and (b) they can be shorted to bring the meeting back on schedule if it is running behind. Breaks generally should include refreshments and treats.
    7. As you develop the meeting program, be certain to avoid spreading yourself too thin.  Avoid assuming all responsibilities for running the meeting yourself.  If you are serving as a program moderator and you are needed elsewhere, you will not be able to manage your duties completely.  Also, be careful not to rely too strongly on student help unless students can be trusted completely to fulfill their duties in a timely and professional manner.
  • Send the final program with descriptions to those who have pre-registered which should include:
    1. A request that they inform their colleagues that late registration is acceptable.
    2. A list of the participants registered for each of the workshops.
  • Prepare extra copies of the program for distribution for those registering on arrival and others.
  • Alert campus security of meeting and confirm parking arrangements.
  • Check with co-hosts (SPS, TYC21, etc.) to see if there are any changes in their agenda(s) that might affect your meeting plans.

X.  The week preceding the meeting

  • Arrange for a table, place and a roster of workers for running the registration desk.
  • Arrange for helpers to usher people to various locations.
  • Give the caterer a final count of meals required for the banquet, and check to see that the refreshments will be delivered at the appropriate times and places.
  • Prepare a list of meeting participants, name tags for those pre-registered, tickets for the banquet and any other special events, seating assignments for the banquet and signs to direct people to the appropriate locations.
  • Make a final check to assure guest speakers, commercial exhibitors and workshop presenters are informed of the times and places where they are expected to be, and other provisions that have been made for their stay and presentations.
  • Obtain money for a cash draw consisting of perhaps $200 in small bills.
  • Print out from the ISAAPT web site some additional registration forms that can be used by on-site registrants.
  • Be certain that workshop leaders know about and are informed to pick up from the Registration Desk all necessary CPDU documentation and survey forms for distribution at the workshops.
  • Be certain that session chairs know they must introduce speakers and limit their talks to the times specified in the meeting program.  Send the session chairs an email note in advance of the meeting, pointing out the "Session chair instructions" (see below).

XI.  Day of the meeting arrange for the following

  • Put signs up to direct people to proper locations.
  • Be sure all doors are unlocked and rooms are ready for use and audio visual equipment is in place.
  • Be sure registration materials and personnel are in place.
  • Have people available to direct exhibitors and presenters to proper rooms.
  • Check to see refreshments are in place.
  • Make sure that someone is available to introduce authorities and speakers.
  • Make last check on banquet preparations.
  • Set out your cash draw with money for making change for registration payments.
  • Have on-site registrants complete a registration form to be turned over to the treasurer along with all conference receipts at the end of the conference.

XII.  During the paper sessions arrange for the following:

  • Be certain to stick to the program schedule as closely as possible due to the fact that overlapping sessions might be occurring and a program that runs off schedule results in needless interference.
  • Session chair instructions:

    1.


    2.
    3.
    4.
    5.
    6.
    7.
    Try to start and end all sessions on time. If someone ends early, invite the next presenter to get ready but don't introduce them until the starting time. This is really important when there are parallel sessions. Everyone appreciates and expects to stay on time.
    Introduce yourself and where you teach. Tell the audience about items 4 and 5.
    Introduce the presenter. "The (first) presenter is _____ from _______ . The title is __________ ."
    At the 11 minute mark, announce that "There are 4 minutes remaining."
    Stand up 2 minutes later and announce "2 minutes remain."
    Call for questions only if there is some time remaining when the presenter has finished.
    Conclude with something like "Let's thank our presenter (or speaker)"

    Please Note - Some sessions include Take Fives. Please introduce them as they are listed. It is common for each of these to take less than five minutes. Move directly to the next one on the list. If any time remains, ask if there are any other impromptu Take Fives.

  • Be certain to apply similar time constraints on invited speakers, but especially during the Friday evening banquet. Please be certain that the banquet session ends promptly by 9 PM as some participants have to drive long distances before the night is out. Permit perhaps 15 minutes of Q&A, but then draw the session to a close telling participants that they may continue to question the speaker following the close of the session.
  • During a spring meeting where Student Research Symposium papers are being presented, be certain that at least two (preferably more) evaluators are present and prepared to score SRS presentations.

XIII.  Following the meeting arrange for the following

  • Take care of money being certain it is properly deposited after having been been counted and accounted for.  Please use the Cash Transfer Form that you can obtain from the treasurer.
  • Be certain invited speakers are able to depart in a timely and safe manner.
  • Inform the treasurer and keeper of the database of all who attended and paid Section dues.
  • After settling accounts locally settle accounts with the treasurer of the Section. Please use the Meeting Accounting Sheet that you can obtain from the treasurer.
  • Write thank you letters or thank the following verbally:  sponsors including the school administration, participants, workers, exhibitors, and especially to colleagues that helped.

A Checklist for Planning an ISAAPT Meeting

I.  One to two years before the meeting

_____ a. Secure approval of the appropriate administrators to hold the meeting.

_____ b. Get commitment from colleagues and others to help.

_____ c. Pick a date and an alternative date.

_____ d. Secure approval of the Section Council.

_____ e. Investigate sources of funds.

 II.  10 -12 months before the meeting

_____ a. Inform appropriate Section officers and representatives of plans.

_____ b. Put together an organizing committee and divide up responsibilities

 III.  7-8 months before the meeting

_____ a. Do financial planning

_____ b. Issue invitations to plenary and banquet speakers.

_____ c. Issue invitations to workshop presenters

 IV.  6-7 months before the meeting

_____ a. Reserve necessary rooms

_____ b. Make banquet arrangements

_____ c. Reserve accommodations for speakers and workshop presenters.

_____ d. Order mailing labels

 V.  5-6 months before the meeting

_____ a. Mail first call for papers

_____ b. Prepare materials for second mailing

_____ c. Invite vendors and exhibitors to show their wares and provide prizes, etc.

_____ d. Be sure Section officers are informed of your plans

 VI.  3 months before the meeting

_____ a. Finalize catering arrangements for banquet and other refreshments

_____ b. Mail second call for papers including registration forms, maps, preliminary program, etc.

_____ c. Make second contact with vendors and exhibitors

_____ d. Arrange for individuals to chair sessions

_____ e. Inform campus security of the meeting and arrange for parking

_____ f. Work carefully with the ISAAPT webmaster to get all meeting and registration on the ISAAPT web site

 VII.  1 month to 6 weeks before the meeting

_____ a. Make final mailing which includes preliminary program, specific instructions, registration forms, late call for papers

_____ b. Invite local celebrities to welcome participants and attend the banquet

_____ c. Confirm arrangements for speakers and workshop presenters

 VIII.  3 weeks before the meeting

_____ a. Finish official program and mail to all who have pre-registered and to colleges and universities

_____ b. Check with co-hosts if any (SPS, TYC21, etc.) to see if there are any last minute changes in their agenda that might affect the plans for your meeting

 IX.  Week of the meeting

_____ a. Arrange for registration by preparing materials such as name tags, etc.

_____ b. Assign helpers, ushers, etc.

_____ c. Give caterer final counts

_____ d. Arrange for seating at banquet for invited guest and others

_____ e. Inform workshop leaders and session moderators of their responsibilities

X.  Day of the meeting

_____ a. Put direction signs up

_____ b. Unlock doors to rooms being used

_____ c. Make sure registration materials and personnel are in place

_____ d. Make sure there are guides available

_____ e. See that all your session leaders and presenters are present

_____ f. Provide for introducing greeters and plenary speakers

_____ g. Be sure refreshments are in place

_____ h. Make last check on banquet preparations

 XI.  Following the meeting

_____ a. Take care of money affairs locally and with Section treasurer

_____ b. See that speakers depart in a timely manner

_____ c. Mail attendance list with dues, etc. to Section treasurer

_____ d. Write thank you letters to all who participated

_____ e. Be sure newsletter editor receives copy of all abstracts, meeting program, and list of exhibitors.


Important Budgeting Information for Hosting an ISAAPT Section Meeting

Budgeting for a meeting can make all the difference between breaking even and a financial disaster. Meetings are expected to be self-supporting. If there is a shortfall due to unforeseen circumstances, then the ISAAPT can move to cover expenses.

Budgeting requires that you carefully consider sources of expected revenue and areas of expense. Below are a few of these elements of budget planning:

Income

  • Registration Fees
  • President's Office*
  • Foundation
  • College Office*
  • Physics Department*
  • Local businesses
  • Vendor Fees
  • Workshop fees
  • Local Corporations
  • Fees for the meals
  • Rossing Fund**

Expenses

  • Honoraria for invited speakers:
    • local and regional talent $100 to $250
    • national talent $500
    • institutional speakers usually contribute their services without an honorarium
  • Travel costs for invited speakers
  • Room & board for invited speakers
  • Room usage
  • Media usage
  • Printing
  • Envelopes
  • Postage
  • Secretarial help
  • Phone calls
  • Banquet expenses and gratuity
  • Complimentary banquet meals for staff/guests
  • Section Dues***
  • Registration Fees****

*Sponsor Support

Combined, the university, college office, and physics department might be asked to contribute approximately $500 to $1,000 in support. This support might be for travel expenses associated with invited speakers or for hosting breaks by providing for refreshments.

**Use of the Rossing Fund for Joint Meetings 

Declaring a joint meeting between adjoining AAPT sections or the ISAAPT and other organizations is the prerogative of the ISAAPT Executive Council only. Joint meetings require formal consent of both organizations' leadership councils. During officially declared joint meetings, it might be possible to use the Rossing Fund (contact Treasurer for details) to pay in part or in full expenses associated with one or more guest speakers. Use of the Rossing Fund is at the discretion of the ISAAPT Executive Council only and must be pre-approved by the Council. Conference hosts should be aware that the $30,000 principle of the fund may not be used; only investment income in excess of the principal may be used. In some years investment income can amount to zero.

***Dues

ISAAPT dues collected at the time of the spring and fall meetings are not to be considered part of the receipts of the meeting. Dues are collected at meetings as a matter of convenience for members only. Collected amounts for dues should be transmitted directly to the treasurer.

****Registration Fees

Registration fees normally are expected to cover all expenses associated with a meeting unless supplemental support is obtained through grants, gifts, or other types of support such as the Rossing Fund which may be used only during joint meetings. Such support may be used to lower the registration fee for a meeting as an enticement to increase registration numbers. Registration normally should be completed through the ISAAPT web site, but on-site registration will still be possible. Due to the need to produce added materials to address the unpredictable needs of on-site registrants, the on-site registration fee will be $5 higher than that available online. (Policy approved at the Spring 2014 Council Meeting)

The registration fee should be large enough to cover meeting expenses, and should include (for both spring and fall meetings) an additional $3 to cover the cost of the Student Research Symposium.

Expected Attendance

It's not possible to predict in advance how many will register for your meeting. Well promoted joint meetings (ISAAPT, SPS, TYC21, two-state) with two or three well-known speakers have, in the past, drawn from 90 to 100 registrants. Meetings that have not been as well promoted and which have featured local talent have drawn from 40 to 50 registrants. Keep this in mind as you estimate your expected attendance for budgetary purposes. BUDGET CONSERVATIVELY, and count on fewer attendees that you might honestly expect.

Finances of Meetings including Joint Meetings

The ISAAPT normally will handle the registration process and its treasurer will collect all registration fees (and dues as appropriate) from its own conference hosts for the purpose of payment of bills (and membership). This also will be the case during joint meetings with other Sections unless agreed to otherwise in advance. After dues payments are removed from the income and all bills are paid, the ISAAPT will retain all excess income. In the case of joint meetings with other sections, remaining income will be distributed in proportion to the amount of registration fees (only) by each section membership. (Policy approved at the Summer 2014 Council Meeting)

Budget Deficits

While it is preferable that all meetings generate a small profit or at least break even from a budgetary viewpoint, it is acceptable - with the prior authorization of the ISAAPT Executive Council - to plan a meeting budget that includes a deficit if the purpose of that deficit is to bring in unusually interesting or qualified speakers that normal meeting registration fees would not otherwise completely cover. (Policy approved at the Summer 2014 Council Meeting)


Accounting Forms

There are two accounting forms with which meeting hosts should be familiar:

  1.  Receipts Transfer Form
  2.  Profit-Loss Statement

The Receipts Transfer Form should be completed by the meeting host before transferring meeting receipts to the ISAAPT Secretary/Treasurer. Both the conference host and Secretary/Treasurer should count all money upon transfer. The amount being agreed upon, both host and Secretary/Treasurer sign the Receipts Transfer Form in duplicate and keep a copy for their records. The Profit-Loss Statement is completed by the conference host and transferred to the Secretary/Treasurer after all meeting bills have been paid and accounting completed.


Guidelines for Administering the Student Research Symposium

The ISAAPT Student Research Symposium is held only during the spring meeting. Nonetheless, there are duties associated with the symposium for even the fall meeting host.

Fall Meeting Hosts

  • will announce the existence of the awards by including copies of the official "STUDENT RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM -- Spring Awards Program" flier along with the fall meeting registration mailing.
  • will add $3 to the registration fee and subsequently turn this $3 over to the ISAAPT secretary-treasurer for use in the spring awards program.
  • will confirm with the head of the Committee for the Distinguished Service Citation that an appropriate plaque has been obtained for presentation at the fall meeting.

Spring Meeting Hosts

  • will, if the meeting is held during the Lenten season, make available non-meat alternative entrees (vegetarian, fish, etc.) during the Friday evening banquet.
  • will re-announce the existence of the awards by including copies of the official "STUDENT RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM -- Spring Awards Program" flier along with the spring meeting registration mailing.
  • will add $3 to registration and subsequently turn this $3 over to the ISAAPT secretary-treasurer for use in the awards program.
  • will include a check-off box on paper submission form indicating desire for participation in Student Research Symposium.
  • will prepare an agenda in which all Student Research Symposium papers are presented sequentially, preferably during the first paper session.
  • will confirm with the head of the Committee for the Outstanding High School Physics Teacher Award that an appropriate plaque has been obtained for presentation at the spring meeting.
  • will confirm with the ISAAPT secretary and president that appropriate plaques have been obtained for the Student Research Symposium for presentation at the spring meeting.
  • will collect and compile the evaluation forms and determine award winner(s). (Ties will be broken by an examination of written comments. Representatives from the Executive Council as appointed by the President will serve as tie breakers.)
  • will contact the ISAAPT secretary-treasurer to have checks prepared in the appropriate amounts for all monetary awards.
  • will announce winners and present awards at the appropriate time with the assistance of the ISAAPT President.

Promoting the Meeting

Web Pages for the Meeting

The process of hosting a meeting has been simplified by providing up to date information on the Web pages for the meeting.  See various years of "Past Meetings" on the ISAAPT home page for examples.

Mailing List and E-mail List

Mailing labels are available via the Web if you wish to do a hard-copy mailing. The secretary and Webmaster both maintain an up-to-date e-mail list.

Hard Copy Mailing

Due to the increasing and essentially unrecoverable cost of hard copy mailings, we no longer have a hard copy mailing just for a given meeting.  We now use the Illinois Physics Teacher newsletter as the medium for hard copy distribution of information about the meeting as it is mailed out approximately a month before both the fall and spring meetings.  This mailing includes everyone who has paid their section dues in the past three years.  There is no need for a Registration form or a Call for Presentations form to be mailed.  All advanced registration is done online and only a few attendees register at the table.

Content of Mailing to Membership

Prior to each section meeting, an announcement about the meeting is sent by e-mail via the Webmaster.  There is also a direct mailing. This should be a first-class mailing if the time is short; a second-class mailing is suitable if the information is entered into the mail at least 30 days prior to the meeting date. The mailing should include the following: a cover letter which constitutes an announcement and invitation; the tentative agenda; information about invited speakers, workshops, and special events; suitable information about the Student Research Symposium; registration information; registration form; paper submission form; a guide to hotels; and city and campus maps. There is no need to create the form or agenda from scratch. Examples can be found on the ISAAPT Web site under "Past Meetings".

Coordinating Promotion

The mailing dates of the ISAAPT's newsletter, The Illinois Physics Teacher, are based upon dates of the section meetings. It is the editor's goal to have the newsletter in the hands of the membership approximately one month prior to the spring and fall meetings. This serves as an excellent promotional source for the meetings. The meeting information should be provided to the editor in a timely fashion so that it might be included in the usual mailing.


Differences between the Fall and Spring Meetings

The differences between the fall and spring meetings are minimal -- but important.

The spring meeting:

  • Student Research Symposium
  • Presentation of Outstanding High School Physics Teacher Award

The fall meeting:

  • Presentation of Distinguished Service Citation
  • General Meeting of the membership at conclusion of Saturday morning session

Important Miscellanea

Agenda Planning

The agenda should contain time for both invited and submitted papers. Invited speaker typically address plenary sessions for 45-60 minutes. Submitted papers are typically limited to 10 or 15 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for questions and answers. "Take 5" presentations also are part of the agenda. They may either be clustered at one time, or interspersed throughout the agenda. Adequate time should allow for participants to return to their lodgings to freshen up at the end of the afternoon session and before the beginning of the evening banquet.

Workshops

Workshops are particularly important for the professional development of in-service high school physics teachers. The meeting host(s) should work with the ISAAPT Committee for the Preparation, Recruitment, and Retention of High School Physics Teachers to develop at least a full day of workshops and talks geared toward the improvement of teaching. It should be noted in any solicitation for workshops that up to $500 is available for materials from the Executive Council for the material support of such workshops. (Approved summer Council Meeting 2014)

ISAAPT Online Support

The ISAAPT has a long and successful record of managing online meeting registration. Meeting hosts should work with the ISAAPT web master for the purposes of communicating information to the membership and arranging for online registration, publication of the meeting program, creation of name badges, and so forth. Useful information relating to campus maps, parking locations and procedures, and such should be communicated to the web master in a timely fashion.

Breaks and Refreshments

Break times can sometimes be one of the most important aspects of a Section meeting. Breaks should not be rushed; rather, they should be leisurely and probably last about 30 minutes if at all possible. Breaks should feature a variety of drinks (water, soda, punch, tea, coffee, etc.) and treats (snack cakes, finger foods, munchies, fruit, etc.).  Breaks should be held in rooms reserved for such a purpose and generally should not be held in wide open areas such as atriums and hallways.

Post-meeting Survey

Starting with the fall 2014 meeting, each meeting will include a survey to determine best how to improve future meetings. The meeting host should work carefully with the ISAAPT Executive Council to develop a specialist assessment instrument. This survey should be available in printed form for use at the conclusion of the meeting and available online for those who fail to submit the survey at the meeting. A sample online survey is available. (Policy approved Summer 2014 Council Meeting)

Door Prizes

Not infrequently door prizes are obtained in advance by the host. Door prizes may be given away at the end of the meeting. Due regard should be given to see that the door prizes are awarded quickly and efficiently.

Commercial Exhibits & Informational Fliers

Commercial exhibitors are both welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting to show and demonstrate their latest products for educational and other purposes. Commercial exhibitors are often housed in the same room as the refreshments so that they can receive maximum exposure to the conferees. It is not inappropriate to ask for door prizes or even assess an exhibitor's fee to help offset the meeting costs in exchange for the opportunity to exhibit. Exhibitors prefer to come to well-attended, well-organized meetings. Contact exhibitors a year or more in advance if you want them to schedule a visit during your meeting.

Guidelines for Administering the ISAAPT Student Research Symposium Awards Program

The ISAAPT Student Research Symposium is held only during the spring meeting. Nonetheless, there are duties associated with the symposium for even the fall meeting host.

Fall Meeting Hosts

  • will announce the existence of the awards by including copies of the official "STUDENT RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM -- Spring Awards Program" flier along with the fall meeting registration mailing.
  • will add $3 to the registration fee and subsequently turn this $3 over to the ISAAPT secretary-treasurer for use in the spring awards program.
  • will confirm with the head of the Committee for the Distinguished Service Citation that an appropriate plaque has been obtained for presentation at the fall meeting.

Spring Meeting Hosts

  • will, if the meeting is held during the Lenten season, make available non-meat alternative entrees (vegetarian, fish, etc.) during the Friday evening banquet.
  • will re-announce the existence of the awards by including copies of the official "STUDENT RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM -- Spring Awards Program" flier along with the spring meeting registration mailing.
  • will add $3 to registration and subsequently turn this $3 over to the ISAAPT secretary-treasurer for use in the awards program.
  • will include a check-off box on paper submission form indicating desire for participation in Student Research Symposium.
  • will prepare an agenda in which all Student Research Symposium papers are presented sequentially, preferably during the first paper session.
  • will confirm with the head of the Committee for the Outstanding High School Physics Teacher Award that an appropriate plaque has been obtained for presentation at the spring meeting.
  • will confirm with the ISAAPT secretary and president that appropriate plaques have been obtained for the Student Research Symposium for presentation at the spring meeting.
  • will collect and compile the evaluation forms and determine award winner(s). (Ties will be broken by an examination of written comments. Representatives from the Executive Council as appointed by the President will serve as tie breakers.)
  • will contact the ISAAPT secretary-treasurer to have checks prepared in the appropriate amounts for all monetary awards.
  • will announce winners and present awards at the appropriate time with the assistance of the ISAAPT President.

Web Pages for the Meeting

The process of hosting a meeting has been simplified by providing up to date information on the Web pages for the meeting.  See various years of "Past Meetings" on the ISAAPT home page for examples.

Mailing List and E-mail List

Mailing labels are available via the Web if you wish to do a hard-copy mailing. The secretary and Webmaster both maintain an up-to-date e-mail list.

Hard Copy Mailing

Due to the increasing and essentially unrecoverable cost of hard copy mailings, we no longer have a hard copy mailing just for a given meeting.  We now use the Illinois Physics Teacher newsletter as the medium for hard copy distribution of information about the meeting as it is mailed out approximately a month before both the fall and spring meetings.  This mailing includes everyone who has paid their section dues in the past three years.  There is no need for a Registration form or a Call for Presentations form to be mailed.  All advanced registration is done online and only a few attendees register at the table.

Content of Mailing to Membership

Prior to each section meeting, an announcement about the meeting is sent by e-mail via the Webmaster.  There is also a direct mailing. This should be a first-class mailing if the time is short; a second-class mailing is suitable if the information is entered into the mail at least 30 days prior to the meeting date. The mailing should include the following: a cover letter which constitutes an announcement and invitation; the tentative agenda; information about invited speakers, workshops, and special events; suitable information about the Student Research Symposium; registration information; registration form; paper submission form; a guide to hotels; and city and campus maps. There is no need to create the form or agenda from scratch. Examples can be found on the ISAAPT Web site under "Past Meetings".

Coordinating Promotion

The mailing dates of the ISAAPT's newsletter, The Illinois Physics Teacher, are based upon dates of the section meetings. It is the editor's goal to have the newsletter in the hands of the membership approximately one month prior to the spring and fall meetings. This serves as an excellent promotional source for the meetings. The meeting information should be provided to the editor in a timely fashion so that it might be included in the usual mailing.

Differences between the Fall and Spring Meetings

The differences between the fall and spring meetings are minimal -- but important.

The spring meeting:

  • Student Research Symposium
  • Presentation of Outstanding High School Physics Teacher Award

The fall meeting:

  • Presentation of Distinguished Service Citation
  • General Meeting of the membership at conclusion of Saturday morning session

Agenda Planning

The agenda should contain time for both invited and submitted papers. Invited speaker typically address plenary sessions for 45-60 minutes. Submitted papers are typically limited to 10 or 15 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for questions and answers. "Take 5" presentations also are part of the agenda. They may either be clustered at one time, or interspersed throughout the agenda. Adequate time should allow for participants to return to their lodgings to freshen up at the end of the afternoon session and before the beginning of the evening banquet.

Door Prizes

Not infrequently door prizes are obtained in advance by the host. Door prizes may be given away at the end of the meeting. Due regard should be given to see that the door prizes are awarded quickly and efficiently.

Commercial Exhibits & Informational Fliers

Commercial exhibitors are both welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting to show and demonstrate their latest products for educational and other purposes. Commercial exhibitors are often housed in the same room as the refreshments so that they can receive maximum exposure to the conferees. It is not inappropriate to ask for door prizes or even assess an exhibitor's fee to help offset the meeting costs in exchange for the opportunity to exhibit. Exhibitors prefer to come to well-attended, well-organized meetings. Contact exhibitors a year or more in advance if you want them to schedule a visit during your meeting.

Last update: September 9, 2014