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Meeting Organizer Handbook: Finalizing the Meeting Dates

The choice of dates is often brought up for general discussion by the membership at DDA Business Meetings. DDA meetings may be held at almost any time of year, but some effort should be made to schedule meetings when they will be most convenient. Among the factors to be taken into account are major holidays, academic schedules, seasonal rates at hotels and conference centers, climatic conditions, and special events. In the case of special events, we may wish to coordinate our activities so as to take advantage of an event (as in the Pasadena meeting held during Voyager's Neptune encounter) or, conversely, we may wish to avoid a conflict (such as meeting at a big university over homecoming weekend.)

Finalizing the Meeting Dates

Once a date for the meeting, or a range of dates, has been approved, it is up to the Local Host to confirm the availability of meeting space and lodging on those days. The dates should only be announced in the newsletter and released to the AAS after this confirmation is obtained.

Making a Formal Agreement or Contract

Chances are, the Local Host or Local Organizing Committee will make arrangements to hold the meeting at a hotel or conference center. In that case, the usual way to proceed is for a formal agreement or contract to be drawn up with all the details in it concerning the facilities and services required for the meeting and the exact schedule of events. A listing of costs for specific services is a necessary part of such an agreement. DDA meetings normally pay for themselves, and all the costs must be known (as far as possible) so the registration fee and banquet costs can be determined in advance. A sample schedule is available which may be a helpful reminder of all the elements involved.

The draft agreement should be shown to the other members of the Program Committee and it's probably a good idea to run it by the DDA Chair and the Treasurer before signing. The Local Host may sign such an agreement on behalf of the DDA.

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