Guidelines for Hosting the Annual SESAPS Meeting


Meeting Type: General meeting, sessions cover topics included in the combined March and April APS meeting.

Meeting Date: Ideally the second Thursday in November through noon on Saturday, but nearby dates may be considered.

Estimated Attendance: 300

Sources of revenue: Registration fees. $10 of each registration fee is returned to SESAPS to fund student travel grants. The rest is retained by the host institution(s).

Other sources of support: Breaks sponsored by other organizations, vendor displays, and contributions by private companies and government agencies

Financial contribution of host: typically $5,000 to $10,000, the amount mainly depending on the cost of the conference facilities

Number of special rate hotel rooms to reserve: about 100 until mid-October

Meeting rooms requirements:

  • 1 large auditorium (about 200 seating capacity) for invited sessions
  • 3 rooms with about 60 seating capacity for parallel sessions
  • 1 large open area or room for poster sessions
  • 1 small room for ~12-15 for executive committee meeting (reserved for 3 hours on either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning)

AV equipment requirements: All rooms should be equipped with USB flash-drive compatible computers and computer-screen projectors. Downloading all talks in a session before the session begins is highly recommended. Overhead projectors will need to be provided if requested well in advance by a speaker.

AV support: Experts available during sessions to respond immediately to AV problems

Registration fees: The APS will collect registration fees through on-line credit card payments. The local organizers will need to coordinate with the APS to obtain timely updates on the number and identify of registrants, and to obtain the funds they need to reserve venues, etc.

Duties of the Local Organizing Committee

The responsibilities of the local organizing committee include:

  • Making all facility arrangements for the meeting (meeting rooms, negotiate with hotels for special rate for meeting attendees);
  • Coordinating with the APS over meeting registration;
  • Making arrangements for the banquet (the SESAPS Chair or Char-Elect will invite the banquet speaker and will work with the local committee on the banquet program);
  • SESAPS has budgeted $1000 of its own funds to cover expenses for the banquet speaker and an additional $500 for ‘meeting support.' The local organizing committee should work with the SESAPS Program Chair to decide how these funds are expended. Note that by APS policy all speakers, included those who are invited, must pay a registration fee. There are no exceptions unless they are authorized by the SESAPS Executive Committee.
  • Making arrangements for the AV equipment and servicing the equipment during the meeting;
  • Maintaining the meeting web site (which should be operational by July 1 in the year of the meeting, and stay available for several years afterwards). and working with the SESAPS Executive Committee to disseminate up-to-date information about the meeting to the SESAPS membership;
  • Posting slides of invited talks on meeting web site and maintain the site (optional);
  • Working with SESAPS to distribute the meeting Bulletin (the cost of about $2,000 for formatting and printing costs for the bulletin will be paid by SESAPS); and
  • Working with partner organizations, e.g., the SPS, AAPT, NSBP, or SACNAS to create additional sessions and/or hold a joint meeting.
  • It is preferable for undergraduate talks to be integrated into the main program unless logistics makes this inadvisable.
  • SESAPS Executive Committee members and the local hosts will judge both oral and poster presentations to choose the winner of the "Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation" and the "Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation." High school students may also enter this contest. Each prizewinner receives $100 and acknowledgment on the SESAPS web page.
  • Social activities are frequently arranged by SPS members at the host institution(s). Host institution(s) should identify members of the local organizing committee who will coordinate and organize these activities.

Duties of the Program Committee

In addition to the Local Organizing Committee, which will consist of people from the hosting institution(s), there is a Program Committee. The Program Committee is chaired by the SESAPS Chair-Elect and includes persons who agree to arrange one or more sessions of invited talks. Usually, several Program Committee members are from the hosting institution(s), to assure that the program highlights talks emphasizing local research strengths, and/or is of maximum interest to local physicists and their students.

In addition, there is often a slot in the program for an ‘open house' tour of local physics research facilities or a cultural outing (museums, art galleries or historical sites). Given that tours must explicitly be put into the program schedule, this aspect of the program requires close communication between the Program Committee Chair and local organizers. It usually takes a few iterations to get the tours integrated into what is often a very tight scientific program.

The Program Committee arranges all details associated with the meeting sessions (invited sessions, contributed sessions and poster sessions). This committee works with the American Physical Society (APS) to create the sessions and to sort the abstracts into the sessions. The chair of the Program Committee works closely with the Local Organizing Committee to handle the coordination of science sessions with meeting rooms and to make sure that the AV resources are consistent with the instructions given to the session chairs, e.g., whom to contact in the event of AV equipment failure during a session. Also, the Program Chair will sometimes ask the local committee to help with identifying session chairs.

Financial Contributions By Hosting Institutions In Recent Years

Year / Host Institution / Host Contribution / No. Participants

  • 2001, Univ. of Virginia, $ 6,700
  • 2003, UNC-Wilmington, $ 3,790
  • 2004, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, $10,280
  • 2005, Univ. of Florida, $ 4,000
  • 2006, Wm & Mary and Jefferson Lab, $ 5,200
  • 2009, Atlanta (hosts: Agnes Scott College, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, University of Georgia), 342
  • 2010, Baton Rouge (host: LSU), 280
  • 2011, Roanoke (host: Virginia Tech), $10,000, 292

These costs often do not include salaries of local institutional staff members and/or students who helped extensively with meeting arrangements and registration.