National Conference guidelines 

Contents 

General Information
Planning — Location & Dates
Accomodations
Select Menus
Transportation/Buses
Schedule
Speakers
Workshop Leaders 

Conference Announcement to SLMM Members
Printing Cost
Payment Plan
Refunds
Symposium
$500 Travel Grant
Tipping

General Information

It is the policy of SLMM that each of its events or productions be self-supporting. The Treasury will pay the invoice or reimburse the money spent for necessary deposits and other up front expenses. Please email invoice(s) to the Treasurer. In most instances a reimbursement check will be mailed to you immediately. Extra funds extended from the Treasury MUST BE RETURNED to the Treasury when all conference bills have been paid. Exceptions to the policy may be allowed if special requests have been made ahead of time and are approved by the Board.

 

Therefore, in planning the budget for a conference, every expense needs to be listed. Set the conference fee as an anticipated pro rata amount that will cover all the expenses of the conference plus an allowance for overage. This extra amount, above the pro rated figure, will provide a cushion for unanticipated expenses.

 

It is sometimes true that the number of anticipated participants is not met. In that case, adjustments to the program may have to be made in order for the Conference Committee to cover the expenses, such as canceling some of the events. If there is an obviously low anticipated turnout, it is recommended that the conference is cancelled and all deposits returned.

 

Planning

Proposal A written budgeting proposal should be submitted to the Venue Advisory Committee.

The following considerations must be planned one or two years before a national meeting:

 

1. Location

 

2. Dates

Consider the below to estimate the amount of deposits needed for the meeting.

 

3. Accomodations

Choose a hotel as soon as possible, at least a year ahead. Ask the hotel for the deposit deadline. Make a deposit (if necessary). Enter a CONTRACT or LETTER OF AGREEMENT with the hotel for a block of rooms at a group rate, which can be published in the first notice to members.Suggestion: At the beginning of the conference, deposit a check with the concierge or sales manager to tip for service. The check should be for several hundred dollars, large enough to be suitable for the quality of the hotel. This token of appreciation is meant to be distributed by the contact person at the hotel to those who have directly assisted the conference. This practice insures both service and proper etiquette. Make sure to include this figure in your estimate costs of the conference.

 

4. Select Menus

Pre-plan vegetarian selections. Choose a variety of meals with different meats from day to day. Avoid pork, or offer an alternative.

 

5. Transportation/Buses

If a trip is planned, bus service must be contracted long in advance. Include tips for the bus drivers in the budget; give each driver the budgeted amount in cash with a thank you note in an envelope. This prevents the awkward "passing the hat" done on some tours. Let the tour members know that tips have been given.

 

6. Schedule

Divide the days into appropriate segments, with a plan for one or more workshops. Rely on members as teachers if possible. Plan for speakers, free time, meal times, tours, departure times for buses, and meals, think of every detail ahead of time.

 

7. Speakers

A well–known speaker’s fee will be expensive. Rather than ask the fee, send a prepared LETTER/CONTRACT. Specify all details, the date, time, and request for a speech of a stated amount of time. List the exact fee offered as well as other perquisites: including airfare, lodging, and meals. SEND TWO

COPIES OF THE CONTRACT AND A STAMPED ADDRESSED ENVELOPE FOR RETURN OF THE SIGNED LETTER. Prepare a signature and date line for the SLMM representative and also the speaker. Sign one copy. Let the speaker know that he/she is to keep one copy and return the signed one to the conference coordinator. It might be wise to also send a brief history of SLMM. If the speaker accepts the offer, the letter constitutes

a contract.

 

8. Workshop Leaders

Budget approximately $500 per workshop which will cover a presenter’s fee and materials. Decide on who will purchase the materials needed. SEND TWO COPIES OF THE CONTRACT AND A STAMPED ADDRESSED ENVELOPE FOR RETURN OF THE SIGNED LETTER. Hands on workshops are popular. Demonstrations are also popular.

 

9. Conference Announcement to SLMM Members

Once decisions are made, notify the membership with a publication. Provide the schedule, the fees, the calendar of when payment is due, information about the hotel, rate, phone number, and travel information. Include a check box for vegetarians. Provide a response form, with a due date for return of the form.

 

10. Printing Costs

Budget for anticipated printing costs for documents that will be mailed to attendees. Allow for

postage costs as well. Try to send as much as possible by email to keep down the costs of printing

and postage. There will probably be 3 mailings, the announcement to all members, plus follow–up information for those who plan to attend.

 

11. Payment Plan

A payment plan must be structured six months prior to the event. The best arrangement has been to ask for no up front deposit but rather ask for full payment on an accelerated scale. Example: If the

member pays in full up front, they are to pay their portion of the estimated cost. If the member chooses to pay half of the payment on the first scheduled date, a handling fee ($30) will be added to their second payment.

 

12. Refunds

Determine the "No Refund" date, at least one month before your cancellation date for the hotel deposit. SLMM has a no refund policy. The no refund policy must be clearly stated on all correspondences with

the members.

 

13. Symposium

A symposium in lieu of a membership only meeting gives SLMM a desirable opportunity to interact with the host community and to serve as an agent in bringing a distinguished program to the town. For this purpose, select speakers whose reputation will attract a general audience. Fees collected from the public will help defray costs of the speaker.

 

14. $500 Travel Grant

The Travel Grant may be used specifically to aid a member, based on need of financial assistance, to attend a National Conference. Since this is an amount that will always be used for the National Conference, it should be factored into the expenses. 

Click here for a link to the Travel Grant information

 

15. Tipping

In planning the budget, tipping for the hotel and transportation has to be considered as a basic expense. Make certain the tip for all anticipated expenses is included in the contract. Settle the question of tax. SLMM is tax exempt, which might be honored so that no tax is charged on the contract, at the least, it will not be charged for food. A tax exemption letter can be provided on request from the Treasurer.

 

Total of the amounts from number 3 through 15.

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