The Mathematical Association of America
Maryland-District of Columbia-Virginia Section


Section Regulations

Summary of Responsibilities of Local Arrangements Committee

  1. Approximately six months prior to the meeting
    1. Prepare an information sheet about host institution (brief history, size, etc.) and local area attractions (including restaurants).
    2. Reserve rooms at several hotels/motels in the area. Reserve a pproximately 150 rooms for a fall meeting and 225 rooms for a spring meeting. Ask about special rates (for MAA or for your institution). Make a list of all pertinent information (name, address, phone #, links to the hotel website, distance to meeting site, special features).
    3. Reserve rooms on campus. A large meeting room (approximately 150) for the invited talks and section business meeting, five or six small rooms (about 40 each) for contributed talks (these rooms should all be in the same building), a small room (about 40) for Section NExT activities for both Friday and Saturday, a small room or lab (about 40) for the Friday workshop, a small conference room (about 20) for the Friday afternoon executive committee meeting, an area for book displays, an area for registration, and an area for dining are necessary. If possible, confirm that all small rooms have appropriate technology for talks (overhead, chalk/white board, computer projector, etc.). Make a list of these rooms, their sizes, and their equipment.
    4. Begin discussion with catering services at your institution. You will need to coordinate a reception before the Friday dinner (this usually involves hors díoeuvres and light alcohol); the Friday dinner (on the order of $25 per person); coffee, juice, water, and doughnuts/danish in the morning; the Saturday lunch (on the order of $8-10 per person); and coffee and water in the afternoon (this should not be the same coffee/water from the morning---and make sure to have enough). The cost of the morning and afternoon snacks are the responsibility of the institution. Typically they are paid by the Dean or Provostís Office. The cost of reception, Friday dinner, and Saturday lunch are paid by attendees.
    5. Reserve parking spaces at your institution. Make sure that there are plenty of spaces and that they are close to the session locations. It is the institutionís responsibility to pay for parking (if such a fee arises). Construct/find a simple map of the campus which details the appropriate buildings and parking spaces.
    6. Communicate the above information to the Program Chair and the Newsletter Editor no later than September 1 for a Fall Meeting or February 1 for a Spring Meeting.
  2. About three months prior to the meeting
    1. Provide Treasurer with written information (location, availability for set-up) about display room(s) for book publishers. Feel free to contact publisherís representatives---there is usually a $100 fee for a display table on Saturday.
    2. Arrange to have an official of your institution deliver welcoming remarks (five minutes) on the Saturday morning of the meeting.
    3. Arrange to have faculty members to serve as session chairs (This involves filling around 25 slots of 20 minutes each. Itís much easier if chairs volunteer for multiple talks in the same room.)

      It is the session chairís responsibility to:

      1. assist the speaker with any set-up requirements (computer, overhead, etc.);
      2. introduce the speaker;
      3. formulate a question prepared for the speaker at the end of the talk in case no one else has one; and
      4. enforce the time limit on the talk. This last point is especially important. Talk sessions are scheduled for 20 minutes, with the idea that a speaker may talk for 15-16 minutes and have 4-5 minutes for questions. A session chair should inform the speaker that s/he will provide a signal when 16 minutes has passed and will stop the speaker after 18 minutes.
    4. Contact the invited speaker(s) to determine arrival/departure plans and to offer assistance with local transportation and lodging (These expenses are borne by the section, but often the speakers prefer to make their own travel arrangements and get their reimbursement later.). A local B&B or your institutionís alumni quarters serve as appropriate accommodations for these speakers, if they so desire.
  3. One month before the meeting
    1. Start making signs. Your institutionís printing services are appropriate for the size that the signs should be---i.e., do not just print out 8.5 X 11 sheets of paper. Donít wait until the last minute. Contact physical services at your institution about the availability of sign holders for outside locations. See IV A. for more information.
    2. Recruit two or three student volunteers for the Saturday morning of the meeting. They should help with set-up of the registration table and book displays, posting signs on the day of the event, and serving as "runners" if anything last minute arises during the event. If one of them wants to assist at the registration table on Saturday morning, all the better. The section is willing to provide a small book from the MAA display for student volunteers (but donít tell them that beforehand).
    3. Make a small map of four or five local restaurants for attendees who do not eat the Saturday lunch.
    4. Communicate with the Treasurer about attendance at the meeting. Finalize the numbers on attendance for the catering (see I D.) after that consultation.
    5. At the time of the meeting
      1. Good signage is crucial!! There should be large, readable signs that indicate:
        1. where the parking is;
        2. how to get from the parking to session locations;
        3. how to get between different session locations (if locations are in more than one building, there should be at least one sign between those two buildings);
        4. where the different rooms are in each building (do not assume that people will read any signs for room locations that are already present); and
        5. restrooms in each building. The signs should look similar, and include something close to: MAA SECTIONAL MEETING as a header.
      2. If no student volunteers were available (see III B.), have a trusted individual available by no later than 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning to direct and assist book company representatives with setting up their displays and to assist the Treasurer at the registration table.
      3. Confirm that all rooms have an adequate supply of materials (chalk, markers) and that everything in those rooms is in order.
      4. Be prepared to introduce your institutionís official (see II B.).
      5. Take responsibility for any emergencies that may arise. You should be available to Section Officers, particularly the Program Chair, throughout the meeting. You should work off of the assumption that you may not get to attend any of the contributed talks.

    Helen Christensen, RSM; revised 2008.


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