LCAC

Questions And Answers

This page provides guidance for commonly asked questions. Please contact us with any additional questions.



Tips on how to Host a Regional Conference

Thinking of hosting a regional conference, symposium or workshop? Hosting a regional event can be a very rewarding and enriching experience. With proper planning and organization, it could bring the entire weather product and service provider community together with those who require timely and accurate weather support. Therefore, this page is dedicated to provide some practical tips and lessons learned from others who have hosted regional conferences and workshops. There are several key areas that must be addressed in order for your regional conference, symposium, or workshop to be most successful:

Topic/Theme

  • Come to clear agreement on a topical area or theme that you want to investigate, discuss, or focus on
  • Present your ideas and options for a topic or theme to a cross-section of weather and non-weather experts from your region/area that agrees needs to be resolved, discussed, or needs investigation
  • This topic/theme should be one that a preponderance of experts believe needs to be discussed in a conference type forum
  • Make sure that your conference is truly regional and focused on a particular topic, one that makes it unique and different from all the rest of the "national" type meetings that are held each year

Organization

  • Form a small event organizing committee; be also prepared to form committees focused on specific areas (e.g., program, food/drink, publicity)
  • Decide early who should be on this committee; the list should be representative, balanced for your region/area, and consider weather, decision maker, and public/consumer components
  • Hold regular/routine meetings; keep committees informed through face-to-face meetings, e-mail, and conference calls

Venue

  • Where should we hold this conference?
  • How long will this conference be? Your goal or purpose and topic will drive the length of your event. Shorter events are easier to organize but you might not be able to cover all that you want to cover
  • This event site should be as convenient and accessible as possible; balance cost with ease of access, location to mass transportation, etc.
  • The site for the venue should be naturally related in some way to the topic/theme of the meeting; this will help ensure credibility and support

Logistics

  • People will attend the meeting - helping the cost - if they see big names in topic that you are discussing. Get as many speakers as possible, big names too. If these speakers come then others will volunteer to talk. Overbook the speakers with the knowledge that 2 to 4 out of 40 to 45 will not make it at the last minute
  • Get local involvement as much as possible - speakers, sponsors, media (newsprint and tv, radio) etc.
  • Timing is almost as important as where your event is held. Ensure your event can meet a need in your area (e.g., Should we discuss winter storm forecasting before or after the winter storm season?)
  • Consider use of local/nearby/on-site and recommended vendors since they will likely give you the best deal; discuss options with others who have had events at the same location that you are planning
  • Have one session - this makes for a full room and easier to organize.
  • If you want the participation/attendance of the broadcast meteorology community, you cannot hold a conference during a sweeps month (generally November, February, May or July). Broadcast meteorologists are simply forbidden from taking time off during these periods, and *will not* attend your conference. We learned that one the hard way. If you need to check specific dates for the sweeps periods, check with a local broadcast meteorologist, they are set well in advance.
  • Have a great timekeeper to keep speakers on track; have them put the lectures on the same media and have several volunteers who are media experts
  • Get students to volunteer for the media and registration desks and they can attend for free. Therefore, try to hold the conference when it fits the university schedule as well.

Cost/Budget

  • This is very important; after you’ve decided where this event will occur, how long it will be, and what type of food and drink will be involved, estimate early on how much this event will cost to host
  • Brief the organizing committee on the event costs, and suggest means to raise the funds to cover all expenses (registration fee, corporate/agency sponsors, individual contributors, consider venue food/drink alternatives

Sponsorship/Funding

  • Once an approximate budget has been established, agree on an approximate registration fee that you’re comfortable with
  • Estimate the amount of funding you’d like to solicit from corporate/agency sponsors after all known income has been subtracted from estimated expenses

Publicity/Marketing

  • PR/marketing is an important area; get an enthusiastic volunteer to lead this portion as soon as possible
  • Use ALL available media/means to get the word out; short, professional, and attention-grabbing promotional items work best
  • Make a web site early giving all the information on the conference, put this on the AMS conferences page too
  • Get the word out early AND OFTEN; leverage newsletter articles, BAMS, e-mail, phone calls with colleagues, other related societies, friends, etc.

Starting a Chapter Web Site

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) allows chapters up to 1 GB (1000 MB) of disk usage. Additional disk usage will be allocated on a case-by-case basis. The AMS does not support scripting tools at this time. If you are interested in starting a Chapter Web site, please contact Kelly Savoie (ksavoie@ametsoc.org) for a web address and password.

Use of the Local Chapter Logo

The regular AMS logo cannot be used as a stand-alone graphic on local chapter Web pages, but we have created this special graphic for use on those pages. To download this image from your browser right click on the logo and if using Netscape choose "Save Image As" or if using Internet Explorer choose "Save Picture As". This action will copy the image to your local pc. For any assistance, please send an e-mail amschaps@ametsoc.org.

How to Submit Chapter News

As you may have heard, January 2002 will mark the first issue of the new and improved Bulletin (BAMS). Both the structure and content of many sections of BAMS will be changing, including the Chapter News. Our goal is to do as much as possible to highlight the people of AMS, their activities, projects, and interests. Making the Chapter News as appealing as possible is an important part of this goal. Each issue we will select a few of the most interesting submissions to feature prominently. We will condense others to publish as short summaries.

With this in mind, we ask that when submitting chapter news, you use the following guideline:

We request only 1 meeting summary per submission. Because we want the content of the chapter news in BAMS to be as fresh as possible, we are unlikely to publish submissions made about meetings and events more than a month old.

We want the section to feature the "buzz" in your chapter--weather concerns, special projects, community outreach, and educational activities---topics that your local meteorological community is talking about. Please do not include treasurer's reports, business meeting information, chapter elections, or any other routine chapter details with your Bulletin news submission. This information is welcome, however, we ask that it be sent separately.

If available, please provide transcripts of speakers' presentations and/or photographs. Photographs of special ceremonies, tours, projects, events, and awards are welcome. We ask that photographs be in TIFF format if they are sent as an e-mail attachment.

We also suggest that news summaries be reviewed by guest speakers before they are submitted for publication, especially if the discussion was very technical. It is necessary to provide first and last names of officers and speakers (plus their titles) mentioned in news. It is also requested that any acronyms used be defined and that news is complete and easily understandable.

In addition, please include a contact name and phone number. We prefer news to be e-mailed to the manager of marketing/special programs at chapnews@ametsoc.org. Please indicate that the message is chapter news on the subject line of the e-mail. We reserve the right to make stylistic changes in the submission prior to publication.

How to Start or Reactive a Local Chapter

Regular local chapters

Any group of at least five members of the Society desiring to form a local chapter may petition the Council for authorization to do so. The petition should include a tentative plan consisting of the type of organization envisaged, the purpose of the organization, planned frequency of meetings, expected meeting places, an estimate of the potential membership and the geographic area it will serve. The petition should be sent to the Secretary-Treasurer of the AMS. If it meets the minimal conditions stated above and all petitioner's have been verified as active members of the Society, it will be sent to the members of the Council for vote by mail ballot unless a meeting of the Council is scheduled within the next forty days. Action by the Council will be forwarded to the petitioners by the Manager of Special Programs, the local chapter point of contact. New chapters will be provided with a list of AMS members within the immediate area of its location upon receipt of appropriate zip codes.

Student chapters

Any group of five student members of the Society desiring to form a student chapter may petition the Council for authorization to do so. In addition to the signatures of five student members, the petition must also be signed by two faculty members. The signing faculty members must also be members of the Society. One faculty member must be designated as the faculty advisor for the student chapter. The petition is similar to that of a regular chapter. The petition should be sent to the Secretary-Treasurer of the AMS. If it meets the minimal conditions stated above and all petitioners have been verified as active members of the Society, it will be sent to the members of the Council for vote by mail ballot unless a meeting of the Council is scheduled within the next forty days. Action by the Council will be forwarded to the petitioners by the Manager of Marketing/Special Programs, the local chapter point of contact.

K-12 student chapters

Any group of at least five students desiring to form a pre-college student chapter may petition the Council for authorization to do so. In addition to the signatures of five students, a teacher or other adult advisor must also sign the petition. The petition format is similar to that used to form regular local chapters. The signing adult must already be a member or be willing to join the Society. This is necessary for the chapter to receive important AMS-related materials. Each pre-college chapter must have a participating adult advisor. Appropriate adult advisors may be teachers, librarians, school principals, scout leaders, etc. The petition should be sent to the Secretary-Treasurer of the AMS. If it meets the minimal conditions stated above and the petitioning adult advisor is verified as a member/associate member of the Society, the petition will be sent to the members of the Council for vote by mail ballot, unless a meeting of the Council is scheduled within the next forty days. Action by the Council will be forwarded to the petitioners by the Manager of Marketing/Special Programs, the local chapter point of contact. The signing adult advisor will receive a complimentary AMS t-shirt after the petition has been approved.

Reactivation of a chapter

Any group of at least five members of the Society desiring to reactivate a local chapter may petition the Council for authorization to do so. The petition should be sent to the Secretary-Treasurer of the AMS. Action by the Council will forwarded to the petitioners by the Manager of Marketing/Special Programs, the local chapter point of contact.

How to Update your Chapter Directory Listing

As the reporting of election results is a requirement, it is crucial that chapters update their directory listing when elections have been held. If you need your local chapter account number for access, please contact Kelly Savoie at AMS Headquarters ksavoie@ametsoc.org. Please keep in mind that the chapter president/chairperson is required to be a member (Associate, Member, Student) of the Society and that elections should be held annually in the spring. If the chapter president/chairperson is not a member or pending member of the Society, then the chapter will not be recognized as being active. Membership applications may be printed from our Web page or requested from Headquarters. Please be advised that chapters will be considered inactive if the reporting of officers has not been made for two or more years. Chapters inactive for two or more years will be dropped from the Chapter Directory. We ask that you update your last election date even if your officers were reappointed. If there are other address/email changes throughout the year, please update your listing. This will ensure that your chapter remains active in our files and that you receive all emails/mailings from Headquarters.

How to Become a Member of the Local Chapter Affairs Committee

If you would like to volunteer as part of the Local Chapter Affairs Committee, please complete a form here. You should choose "Executive Committee" for the commission and indicate that you are interested in the Local Chapter Affairs Committee in the description of interests. We would love to have you join our team!

How to Become a Member of the American Meteorological Society

Please visit this link.

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