Chapter 4:  Scheduling


Scheduling:     Coordinate scheduling of programs, meals and other events. The Local Arrangements Chair needs to work closely with the Program Chair and the President to arrange times and locations for all activities.



Meeting and Banquet Rooms


Tentative information on meeting and banquet room needs will have to be given to the hotel at the time the contract is signed--possibly before the Program Chair has even been named! Therefore, use recent MAALL meetings as a guide to typical numbers and lengths of programs and ask if the hotel can be flexible on room numbers and assignments. (This may depend on other meetings they have booked at the same time.)             


When the Program Chair is named, notify her/him of the arrangements with the hotel. Confirm room needs (quantity, size, times) as the program develops and ask the hotel to make adjustments if necessary.



Typical Schedule


A typical MAALL meeting begins at noon on Thursday and ends at noon on Saturday, and follows a schedule somewhat like this:                                   


Thursday          Opening luncheon with keynote speaker

Afternoon program(s) and afternoon break

Evening reception or banquet or special event

Post-event Hospitality/Internet Room


Registration open in morning and afternoon; exhibits in afternoon


Friday              Breakfast/business meeting (possibly with remarks from AALL Representative)

Program(s) and morning break

Lunch (possibly with remarks from AALL Representative)

Program(s) and afternoon break

Evening reception or banquet or special event (possibly with remarks from AALL Representative)

Post-event Hospitality/Internet Room


Registration and exhibits open at least in the morning


Saturday          Light breakfast



(See St. Louis 2001 program at end of Publications chapter for detailed information on 2001 schedule.)


Scheduling Considerations


Meals with speakers or meetings


Avoid having too much dead time between the Friday breakfast and start of the business meeting, or between the business meeting and the start of programs on Friday. This is challenging because it=s hard to know how long the business meeting will last. Check with the President for an estimate.


Try to allow enough time at luncheons or banquets for everyone to be served before the speaker needs to speak, and try to allow enough time for the speaker that programs following don=t end up starting late. Discuss time available with Program Chair and ask him/her to advise the speaker as to how much time is available.


For any formal meals, discuss time needed for service with hotel staff.




The number, sequence, and length of programs is the responsibility of the Program Chair, but must be closely coordinated with Local Arrangements to ensure adequate spaces and equipment are available. Timing of programs also affects other events managed by Local Arrangements such as meals and off-site activities.


Program attendance on Saturday morning is typically considerably lighter than during the rest of the conference, as many people leave Friday evening or Saturday morning (AFTER breakfast.)


The following are some comments on program scheduling that were received in the 2001 evaluations:


Don't schedule sessions that require lots of info to be absorbed after a heavy lunch. Sessions involving interaction between speaker and participants may be better.


I would not schedule 3 programs to run at the same time like we did on Friday. There really were not enough attendees to support 3 programs. I would have scheduled one of those at another time to ensure better attendance.


There was not time for Q & A in some of the sessions I was in, so perhaps a tighter rein on speakers or more generous time slots.


AALL Executive Board Representative


Several different time slots have been tried over the years for the AALL Executive Board RepresentativeBnone of them perfect! The Friday breakfast/business meeting slot tends to make this session too long. The Friday luncheon session works reasonably well, but then a formal luncheon is required, when something less formal might be preferred. The Friday evening session has been problematic because the off-site event venues may not work well for a speaker, and because it doesn=t fit well with the overall atmosphere, which tends to be more social than business.              


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