[Linux-aus] Re: LCA: bringing the process forward

Dave Davey daved at windclimber.id.au
Thu Feb 16 05:26:02 UTC 2006

On Wed, Feb 15, 2006 at 03:39:58PM +1100, Jonathan Oxer wrote:
> Damn, hit Send before I intended to. Doh!
> Hi LA,
> As was mentioned at the LA AGM and LA Update at linux.conf.au, there
> has been discussion recently of bringing forward the selection process
> so that bids for host cities can be submitted and evaluated sooner and
> more assistance given to those wanting to submit a bid.
> Traditionally with LCA and the AGM in late January teams have pitched
> fairly late in the year with the next venue officially announced at
> LCA itself. The teams involved are usually provided with the outcome
> shortly before LCA to give the winning team time to prepare postcards,
> promotional material itself. This timeframe then gives the winning
> team 12 months to make all the necessary arrangements.

Dear Jonathan:

I'm involved with the Australian Physiological Society, a professional
organisation that runs annual scientific meetings.  These generally
involve a number of keynote speakers from overseas, and 5 or 6 symposia
which may also involve overseas participants.

We have evolved, over nearly 50 years of operation, a system where each meeting
is run by a local committee, whose chair is known as the Local Secretary.
The site is selected two years in advance, and the Local Secretary is co-opted
to the Society Council (analogue of the LA Committee from the AGM 2 years in
advance of the meeting they organise through the AGM of that meeting.

This system has worked well for several reasons.  The Local Secretary becomes a
real part of the Society management for the 2 years leading up to their meeting.
The Local Secretary attends two meetings prior to theirs when they know
they will be responsible for a subsequent one, and can monitor the conduct
of those meetings for strengths and weaknesses.  There is overlap of Local
Secretaries, so experience and collective wisdom can be shared, and the
re-invention of wheels is minimised.

By having organisation in place well in advance, making arrangements with
speakers, the best of whom are often committed well in advance, is more
successful.  The Society Council has a better opportunity to influence the
content of meetings, e.g. to ensure the interests of different interest
groups within the Society are catered for, if not at every meeting, at least
over time.

When on the odd occasion, for unexpected reasons, the 2 year lead time has
proven impossible, there have always been observable consequences in the
success, and attendence, at these meetings.

I'm too new to LA to know whether the parallels are strong enough for this
model to be of interest, but because it has worked well, and stood the test
of time, I thought I'd provide you with this summary.



David F. Davey    Editor
D'Entrecasteaux   Australian Physiological Society    Phone: +61 3 6267 4852
378 Manuka Road   http://www.aups.org.au             Mobile: +61 417 206 368
Kettering                                       CDMA mobile: +61 428 674 852
Tasmania 7155                                           Fax: +61 3 6267 4791
Australia                                                 editor at aups.org.au

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