Some further lessons from my attempt at conference arrangements:
- Utilize an easy to use system to coordinate, plan and facilitate submissions of papers. For this purpose, ‘Easy Chair’, an Open-source conference organizing software, has definitely helped our cause.
- Advertise in the right places. We chose to advertise in the newsletters London Mathematical Society newsletter and also put posters at related events. This was useful to get sufficient registrations.
- Invite star speakers. The best advertisement is the presence of high profile speakers in the field. We were lucky that we had funds to have three well known invited speakers.
- Never give up! Although, this is such a cliché it is so true. One invited speaker declined to come but a well phrased email from my co-organizer was convincing enough to change the speaker’s mind.
- Have good communications with co-organizers. We managed to set up a Google group where we stored all the useful documents and distributed jobs accordingly. We have also been updating the main committee about the conference arrangements.
- Arrange for couples! Some of the conference delegates might want to bring spouses along. Therefore it is good to have the option of double bedrooms.
- All types of requirements. People of various backgrounds come for conferences. Therefore, it is useful to ask beforehand about any special dietary and disability requirements.
- Book the data and over-head projectors before hand.
- Internet! Nowadays, delegates expect internet access at conferences. It is good to contact the venue’s IT services office and acquire login info for wireless and workstations as soon as possible.
I’m glad that the conference planning seems to be going smoothly. However, I suspect that the toughest part is only ahead of me as the conference draws near. I will return with a more detailed post on the conference.