Radiation Therapists of Wisconsin
 
How to Plan a Meeting
   

Forms needed for meeting planning: 

Documentation for CE.doc

Attendance Roster MDCB (all).doc

Vendor Letter.doc

Eval.doc

 

 

General guidelines for planning a meeting

6 to 12 months before meeting

  • Select date and reserve meeting rooms for Friday and Saturday night. For spring meetings, avoid spring break for UW-L students, CART weekend and Easter weekend. For fall meetings, avoid ASTRO week, as well as those before and after that week.
  • Remember that people will be attending from all over the state. Find 1 or more hotels that are close to the meeting site. A hotel conference room is ideal but can be costly. Use your hospital if possible or maybe a community center. Use your own judgment here. By contacting hotels early, many will give discounts to non-profit organizations.
  • For a fall meeting, plan on approximately 40 students to attend and 40 – 50 therapists.  Spring meetings typically have 40 students and 50 – 60 therapists attend.
  • Begin selection of topics and speakers. Provide at least 5-6 hours of continuing education.  Consider having one of the lectures done by a panel – 1 hour and 40 minutes is enough for 2 credits. Our honorariums are outlined in the bylaws. KNOW WHAT YOUR SPEAKER EXPECTS! Please ask them what they need to cover their expenses. When getting a list of speakers, it is always good to get a couple extra in case some cancel when the dates get closer.
  • Announce the meeting date at the RTOW meeting preceding yours. The sooner members know, they can make plans to be there.  Also, email the webmasters with the dates so they can update the website.

4- 6 months prior to meeting

  • Send letters to vendors. See if they would like to sponsor breakfast, breaks or lunch, or if they would be interested in having a vendor table.  Typically breakfast costs between $600 and $1000 (depending on site and attendance), break $400 to $900, and lunch $1500 to $2000.  See sample vendor letter for an example.  Make personal calls or email if possible. Calling salespersons for companies your hospital contracts with often is a great place to start.  This tends to receive better contribution results.  In addition, review the sponsor list from the prior meetings to get ideas of whom to contact.  The planning team from the meeting prior should be able to give you contact information.  Some speakers require you to supply/provide a list of speakers/topics to the vendors. Charge what you need to in order to cover your expenses.  $300 for a vendor table is reasonable.  Vendors should make donations payable to RTOW or complete payment electronically through the website/PayPal.  Contact the secretary to create online invoices for the vendors. Some may need tax id or other information.  Contact the treasurer for this information.
  • Confirm speakers.  Ask if they have a preference for the time of day they present.  Gather lecture abstract or objectives, lecture outline, and speaker CV's - these are needed to apply for continuing education approval.  Contact Sarah Seefeld at sseefeld1@wi.rr.com and Danielle Schoner at d_schoner@hotmail.com to apply for ASRT and MDCB approval. 
  • Create brochure (meeting agenda) and registration form.  Include lecture titles, speakers, fees, agendas, maps, hotel information, and the contact person's name and phone number. In calculating fees, remember that member fees are a minimum of $30.00. Non-member fees are a minimum $60.00. This is the price of our current RTOW membership plus $30.00 for non-members and will increase proportionally when membership fees increase.  This will encourage more individuals to become RTOW members. Remember, charge more if you need to in order to break even. Student members should pay between $15 and $25.  Add at least $10 for late on or on-site registration.  Registration should be due 2 weeks - 1 month prior to the meeting.  Request checks are made out to RTOW.  Forward the information to the webmaster at least 1 week before you would like the info online.  The webmaster will make an online registration form. 
  • In addition to current members, obtain addresses for each radiation therapy department in Wisconsin and those that are nearby in neighboring states. (IL, IA , MN) These are listed on the RTOW website.  In the past, we have had quite a few attendees from these states. Mail a program to each of the departments, or call and direct them to our website.
  • Choose someone to manage the meeting funds.  This person should be receiving any invoices/receipts that may be created.  This person should also stay in contact with secretary or treasurer for current registration numbers.
  • Obtain menu options. Choose continental breakfast items, morning break items and the luncheon meal. While doing this, remember that meetings should pay for themselves. In addition, don't forget about our members with special food restrictions.  Sometimes you can get a package deal for the food, which saves a lot of money.

2 - 3 months prior to meeting

  • If you have not done so, send registration information, agenda, etc. to the webmasters.  Work with the webmaster to publish this information on the website.  Allow at least one week.  Have the webmasters and secretary email members and the non-member contact list to let members know the registration information is available. 
  • Have programs printed. Ask your employer if they can supply paper to do the programs, you may be able to use your print shop.  Expect to pay six cents per page to copy at a Kinkos or similar store.
  • Make evaluation and certificate forms using templates.
  • Get folders and pens for conference packets – most hospitals will donate these.

1 month prior to meeting

  • Contact speakers and obtain their speaker introduction. Invite them to stay for luncheon and remember to include them in the head count if they are interested. If a speaker is also obtaining CEU's from the meeting, they must register as an attendee. RTOW will pay luncheon fee for all other speakers.  
  • Contact vendors with specific information regarding the meeting (directions, vendor table size, schedule).  Ask if they would like to attend lunch.  Include them in the head count.  See vendor letter template.
  • Find out what type of audio-visual needs each speaker has.  Typical A/V needs are a laptop, computer projector, wireless microphone, and podium with microphone. 
  • Get Door Prizes: Door prizes are nice, but not necessary.  Do not use registration funds or RTOW general funds to buy door prizes (you can use vendor funds if you are breaking even or have a profit).  Monies donated from vendors or door prizes donated by area businesses and hospitals are acceptable.
  • Request checks for speakers from the treasurer.  Use “RTOW Request for Funds” form on the web. Remember, scholarship recipients are required to present at a meeting and do not receive an honorarium.

3 weeks prior to meeting

  • Print final programs, course and meeting evaluation form (use template on web), sponsor list, and template for CE credit labels for packets.
  • Print CE labels. Print labels for students as well – they use the labels to verify attendance.
  • Print sign-in attendance sheet for ASRT and MDCB (use templates).

2 weeks prior to meeting

  • Assemble packets and name tags.  Remember to make extras for late registrants (5-10 is typical).  Make name tags for vendors and speakers as well.
  • Assign jobs for the meeting - registration, distribution of certificates, etc.
  • Organize introduction of speakers.

1 week prior to meeting

  • Make sure that registration tables are available.
  • Arrange for vendor tables to be set up near continental breakfast and morning break areas (if possible).
  • Give final count to food service.  Some conference centers (including Chula Vista ) make 5% extra – which you are billed for.  You do not need to include extra for on-site registration – the 5% extra takes care of this.

Day of meeting

  • Assist attendees with registration.  Print out at least three copies of the Excel worksheet for those registering attendees.  Have extra registration forms and membership applications available.  Also, have membership list available to verify membership; the secretary or webmaster can provide both lists.  It is a good idea to bring the meeting registration form, in case someone was accidentally omitted from the registration worksheet.
  • Have extra nametags, pens, packets etc. for those registering the day of the meeting.
  • Have water pitcher and glasses available for speakers.  Have a timer available as well.
  • Have honorariums available to give to speakers.
  • Handout CE clipboards (with sign-in sheet and CE labels) when there is 10 minutes left in the lecture.  Assign someone to collect the clipboards at the end.
  • Have a designated area for the meeting evaluations to be turned in.  Remind attendees to complete throughout the day.

1 day to 1 week post meeting

  • Send out thank you letters to speakers, vendors and businesses.  Designate this to the President.
  • ASRT no longer accepts sign in sheets or evaluations as proof of attendance at the meeting but this must be kept by RTOW for 7 year.  Pass these on to the Sarah Seefeld or Dani Schoner for safe keeping.  Each member is responsible for sending in their own information to the continuing education department. 
  • Type out meeting evaluations.  Send to President and person planning the next RTOW meeting.  Pass along lecture feedback to speakers.
  • Complete RTOW meeting budget form and send to the President and Treasurer within one month of the meeting.

Resort Tips:

1.     The meeting may be booked through the senior sales representative for the conference center.   Be sure to remind them of RTOW’s tax-exempt status.  You will need to request a proposal which indicated the number of rooms to block, conference room needs, A/V needs, program timelines, and catering needs.  Plan on approximately 100 attendees. 

a.     Reserve approximately 40 rooms for Friday night and 15 for Saturday night.

b.     Classroom style is preferred set-up for meeting, rounds for the luncheon. 

c.      At minimum, book LCD projector and screen, podium with microphone for meeting.  If lunch is in different room, book a microphone for the business meeting.  You are expected to bring a computer.

d.     Plan on 7 am – 3 pm for the Saturday meeting. 

e.     Will need breakfast, am break and lunch.

2.     When booking the conference room, mention that you would like it to be large enough to arrange vendor tables at the back of the room or in an easily accessible space. Plan this in to your budget – some charge extra for the tables.  Do not forget to get a table for registration too.

3.     There will be approx. $500 deposit required by the hotel to book the meeting.   Ask the sales rep to apply the deposit towards the final bill on the day of the meeting; this is not usually a problem. 

4.     Unless you are having a speaker on Friday night, you do not need to reserve meeting space for that evening.  However, check with the RTOW president to find out where, when and how many people to make a dinner reservation for their executive board dinner Friday night.

5.     For catering needs, consider utilizing one of their “packages”.  The Corporate Package includes breakfast, lunch and a break for one standard price.  Then you can choose your menu from a variety of available options. The package price will usually save you money.

6.     Since we have many members who are young mothers, consider asking the sales staff for an available room/conference room near the meeting room to utilize for their breastfeeding/pumping needs.  In past meetings, they have given us this space free of charge.  Then be sure to highlight this option and ask about needs on meeting registration forms so the membership knows of this option and you can be prepared.

7.     Plan on gratuity – not only for the food, but A/V services as well.  This can be a forgotten expense.

 

 

 

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