it's over!

The conference was, I believe, a success. The talks and poster sessions went very well, and the Keynote speakers gave excellent keynotes. The conference venue was terrific, and the staff there were exceedingly helpful and flexible. The unexpected pub crawl (unexpected by me!) was also a success (we split into groups to go to different pubs, had a quick drink, split into smaller groups to go in search of restaurants, and then all met up in a final pub at the end of the evening). I shall be writing a document that describes what I think we did right, and what I know we did wrong, as well as describing various other hints, tips, and tricks, that may benefit future conference organizers. I shall post it somewhere on this website, and link to it from here. In the meantime, thanks to everyone involved - whether an organizer, helper (you all looked pretty good in orange!), keynote speaker, other speaker, poster presenter, session chair, delegate (only those who paid - if you didn’t pay, you get no thanks from me), sponsor, chef, waiter/waitress, hotel person, etc. etc.

Until next time.

Oh, wait... I recall swearing in front of witnesses that I would not organize another conference unless wild horses descended from the skies and thundered towards me with a bevy of cloaked outriders hurling thunderbolts in the general direction of my vital organs.

things to avoid when planning AMLaP

So... top tips for future organizers of AMLaP:
  • Never imagine that sending out Word templates to authors will actually ensure that everything comes back in a uniform format.
  • Never send out Word templates to authors assuming that everything will come back in a uniform format
  • Never EVER use templates.
  • N.E.V.E.R. E.V.E.R.
The program is now in press, and available for download (if anyone needs to see the abstracts) from the conference website.

program in press, almost

The preliminary schedule of talks is now published on the main AMLaP 2010 website. Posters to follow soon. The program is almost in press... It didn’t help that the templates that we circulated to authors didn’t seem to prevent them from changing font, format, etc. So it’s been a ton of work for Debbie (our admin assistant) to get everything formatted to a common style. We’ve also ordered plastic wallets for the delegates (no expense spared!) and now we just have to hope enough people register that we break even.

Decisions made, scheduling underway

Decisions were posted out on July 15th, and because of vacation (or pseudo-vacation - see my main blog), we will not work on the actual schedule until this coming week (of the 9th of August), by which time final versions of the accepted abstracts will have been submitted (we sent out a Microsoft Word template in the right format - the only error we made was that we forgot to right-adjust the text, so that will be done by us manually when we put the programme together). A draft schedule will be posted on the main website as it becomes available. Inevitably, there were some small teething problems, but these have all been dealt with. My main concern is whether we’ll break even. We have had another offer of sponsorship, and the main website will be updated as soon as I have confirmation. It is not too late to offer sponsorship...

The main website has been updated with more travel information, advice on local accommodation, and a restaurant/bar list. We cannot take total credit for this, as it is based on an extensive list updated previously by colleagues at York for a couple of meetings/conferences that have taken place in York within the past two years.

Click here for the main AMLaP 2010 website.

submissions are now in...

Click here for the main AMLaP 2010 website.

We had 298 submissions in all, up on 265 last year. The downside to this increase is that the number of ‘slots’ in the programme is unchanged (and if anything, we have slightly fewer poster slots). We envisage about 35 oral presentations and 150 posters (limited by the space available in which to put up the poster boards). After matching keywords on the submissions with keywords supplied by the reviewers, we then manually edited the assignments to better match, where necessary, abstracts with reviewers. We tried to avoid only specialist reviewers (i.e. experts on the topic of the abstract) - for oral presentations especially it’s important that they have broad appeal, and not just appeal to the specialist field. So the abstracts are out to review, and we hope to be able to send out decisions by around July 16th.

So far, all is going according to plan. We just need to update the hotel details (once they come back to us about the booking procedure) and other bits and pieces of local information (e.g. alternative accommodation, local travel, etc.)