ORGANISING AN AAQS MEETING AND ASSOCIATED SEMINAR / CONGRESS

Code for action : LOC = Local organising committee
AS = AAQS Secretariat

1.

CONGRESS / SEMINAR

Action

The following are some matters to be taken into account when organising an AAQS meeting and associated seminar / congress
 
 
1.1
Dates
 
 
Check that the dates do not clash with other events in the country in which the event is to be organised but also in the countries from which the organisers wish to attract the most delegates
LOC
Seminar / congress component to be maximum one day or even half a day  (in countries where small numbers of quantity surveyors are resident) or up to a maximum of two days in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa with perhaps a further day for visits to projects and / or sightseeing (the latter preferably over a weekend)
LOC
Bear in mind that delegates generally do not wish to be away from their offices longer than 2 to a maximum of 3 days (excluding perhaps weekends)
LOC
1.2
Letters of invitation
 
 
Most foreign delegates will require letters of invitation for their visa applications.   The letters of invitation should be on the letterhead of the local institution / association and should be addressed to the relevant person (initials and surname)
LOC
1.3
Venue
 
 
The venue is to be announced well in advance
LOC
All presentations, exhibitions and functions should preferably be in the same venue with hotel (s) close by.  It is preferable if the accommodation could be available at the same venue where the presentations, etc are made
LOC
1.4
Theme
 
 
It is advisable, but not essential, to select a theme for the congress / seminar
LOC
1.5
All institutions / associations to be informed well in advance
 
 
All member institutions / associations are to be informed of the congress / seminar well in advance
AS
1.6
Announcement on AAQS web page
 
 
Council and General Assembly meetings with associated seminars / congresses are to be announced on the AAQS web page well in advance with details of how to register and book accommodation and local transport
AS
Executive committee meetings will also be conveyed by e-mail to all council members, Institution Members and Practice Members
AS
1.7
Accommodation
 
 
If at all possible, provide quality three or four star hotel options but also some cheaper but clean and acceptable options
LOC
Try to arrange special rates at the hotels for bookings made before a stipulated date
LOC
1.8
Transport
 
 
It should be made clear to delegates whether transport from and to the airport will be made available, and if so, at what charge (if any). Clearly state:
LOC
 
1.8.1
Departure time (there and back)
 
 
1.8.2
Place of departure
 
 
1.8.3
Whether the delegates have to register for transport
 
 
The above arrangements may be difficult to execute as the delegates may all be arriving and departing at different times
 
 
The alternative is to provide details of available transport and to make it clear that all delegates will be required to arrange their own transport
1.9
Programme
 
 
The programme should be 100% clear as to:
LOC
1.9.1
Start time and duration of each paper
 
 
1.9.2
Venue
 
 
1.9.3
Dress code for each event (use terms such as smart casual without tie, smart casual with tie, dark suit, formal (black tie) / traditional)
 
 
If there are last minute changes to the programme, the programme should be updated and re-issued to delegates upon registration
 
 
1.10
Sessions
 
 
Break the conference / seminar into sessions.  The length of the seminar / congress sessions should be a maximum of 2 ½ hours with a substantial break in-between for tea, lunch, etc and for networking
LOC
It is usual to provide early in the proceedings for a 20 to 30 minute session in order that the AAQS President may address the gathering
LOC
President
1.11
Chairmen of sessions
 
 
Break the conference / seminar up into sessions.  Chairmen should be pre-appointed and should be the chairman for the full session
LOC
Chairmen should not attempt to summarise papers as it is merely a repeat of what the delegates already know
LOC
Chairmen to give speakers notice 5 minutes and again 2 minutes before the allotted time is up
LOC
Chairmen should ensure that the conference / seminar starts and ends on time.  Punctuality is absolutely essential, even to the extent of starting proceedings before all the delegates are in place
LOC
1.12
AAQS banner
 
 
An AAQS banner to be displayed at all joint AAQS / local institution events.  The AAQS Secretariat to provide the banner
AS
LOC
1.13
Miniature flags
 
 
Miniature flags of all member countries to be displayed at meetings and associated seminar / congresses.   The AAQS Secretariat to provide these miniature flags
AS
1.14
Seating arrangements and configuration
 
 
Cinema style seating to be provided for seminars and congresses
LOC
A high table is not necessary.  Only for the opening ceremony and when a panel discussion is required is a high table necessary
LOC
Provide a lectern for those speakers who wish to use a lectern and a flip chart for those who wish to make use thereof
LOC
1.15
Lunch breaks
 
 
Sit down lunches are preferable but could be expensive.  Finger lunches are acceptable
LOC
Lunch invariably takes longer than is anticipated.  Allow one hour for finger lunches and at least 1¼ hours for sit down lunches
LOC
1.16
Tea / coffee breaks
 
 
Tea / coffee breaks should be at least 20 minutes but preferably up to 30 minutes.   This gives delegates time to refresh but also for networking
LOC
Venue operators are to ensure that all delegates can be served within 10 minutes.  If large numbers are involved they should provide multiple serving points
 
 
1.17
Punctuality
 
 
Punctuality is essential
LOC
Event is to follow published programme whether delegates are present or not
LOC
1.18
Name tags
 
 
Name tags for the delegates to the seminar / congress are to be provided.  Name and practice to be displayed, large enough for those with weak eyes to read.   Consider using neck name tags which have the advantage of having a plastic pouch for entry tickets, etc
LOC
Double sided place cards and neck name tags are to be made available for official delegates and official observers at exco, council or general assembly meetings 
AS
1.19
List of delegates
 
 
A nice touch is to publish for the delegates a list of all delegates attending the congress / seminar.   State name, practice and contact details
LOC
1.20
Papers
 
 
Papers to be a maximum of 35 to 40 minutes including 5 to 10 minutes for questions and answers.  Delegates become bored with longer papers.  If a long paper is essential or desirable, split into more than one presentation
LOC
The organisers of an AAQS seminar / congress shall decide whether or not copies of written papers will be made available to delegates and at what charge (if any)
LOC
Written papers are preferably to be handed out after presentation in order to ensure that delegates listen to the speakers and are not tempted to read the written paper during the presentation
LOC
Organisers should bear in mind that it takes a lot of effort to provide a written paper and should therefore not lightly call for such
LOC
All presentations to be on Power Point.  Use large font.  Bullets should be a brief summary of the point to be made in order to jog the memory of the presenter.  Speaker to be requested not to read from the Power Point item by item.  Screen to be large enough and projection far enough to ensure large and readable projection

LOC
Presenters of papers

Test the projector and computer compatibility beforehand and again at least an hour before the first presentation.  Presentations should be loaded onto the compatible computer well beforehand (encourage speakers to bring along computer sticks with their Power Point presentations or to E-mail them beforehand)
LOC
Presenters of papers
Speakers to be notified before the event that they are to keep to the time allotted or face the possibility of being dismissed before completion
LOC
Presenters of papers
Papers to be interspersed with light hearted presentations, but with a message
LOC
A general calling for papers is not desirable.  This invariably results in many papers being poorly presented.  Rather call upon known speakers to present papers of their liking and / or as may be required by the organisers
LOC
The organisers of the congress / seminar may call upon the AAQS to provide a list of speakers and their specialist / favoured topics in order to assist them in selecting speakers from a broad front in Africa
LOC
Subject to funds being available, speakers may be given a small gift in order to show appreciation for their time and effort
LOC
1.21
Visual aids
 
 
Determine from speakers whether they require visual aids such as white boards, overhead projectors, flip charts, etc other than computers and projectors.  Have the basics available in any event
LOC
Ensure availability of an extra electric bulb for the projector in case of failure
LOC
1.22
Power supply
 
 
Check availability of standby power supply for the conference / seminar venue in event of failure
LOC
1.23
Government speakers
 
 
More often than not government speakers disrupt the punctuality of a conference/seminar. They are also inclined to cancel attendance at the last moment or send others to present papers on their behalf
LOC
Do not lightly invite government / political spokesmen to address the conference/seminar. Having expressed this opinion, the AAQS nevertheless realises that in many countries work from government sources may be a large percentage of total QS work.   Also, that it is necessary for the AAQS to promote the quantity surveying profession to all governments in Africa
LOC

2

AAQS MEETINGS

  
2.1
Commitment to attend
 
 
Organisers to obtain, well in advance, written commitment from official AAQS delegates to attend the relevant meeting.  Do not leave this to the last moment
AS
2.2
Time for AAQS meetings
 
 
From experience it has become clear that AAQS exco meetings take about 5 hours of working time (excluding tea and meal breaks) with council and general assembly meetings a little longer (say 5½ and 6 hours respectively)
LOC
The AAQS exco, council or general assembly meetings are separate from the congress / seminar
LOC
2.3
AAQS meetings are closed meetings
 
 
Open or closed meetings:
Although all AAQS official meetings are closed meetings (accredited delegates and accredited observers only) it has become usual practice to allow non-accredited delegates/observers from Institution Members and one representative from each Practice Member to attend.   Such non-accredited observers may, at the discretion of the president, participate in the discussions but will not be allowed to vote when a vote is called for
 

LOC
ASPresident

Exco meetings
Exco members (namely president, immediate past president, outgoing immediate past president, three vice presidents, secretary general, honorary treasurer and chairmen of the boards) should be present, but all council members of the region in which the meeting is being held are encouraged to attend as council member observers. Presidents (chairmen) of the relevant AAQS region are also encouraged to attend.  All other council members and not more than one representative from each Practice Member may also  attend as observers if they so wish
 

LOC
AS

Council meetings:
All council members to attend if at all possible.   Observers may attend as hereinbefore mentioned
LOC
AS
 
General assembly:
All council members should attend if at all possible.  Institutions Members have the right to send delegates (with voting powers) and observers (no voting powers) in accordance with a schedule in the constitution.   Other observers may also attend as hereinbefore mentioned
LOC
AS
2.4
Joint congress / seminar
 
 
All congress / seminars to be held as joint AAQS / local institution events and should be advertised as such
LOC
2.5
Agenda
 
 
The agenda for exco, council and general assembly meetings are to be sent by the secretary general to all delegates well in advance of the meeting.  Also bear in mind the requirements of the constitution in this regard
AS
2.6
Seating arrangements
 
 
It is desirable to provide a U-shape seating arrangement for exco meetings and, depending on numbers, for council meetings.   If space is a problem then observers may be seated in a row behind the official delegates.   In all cases sufficient work top space should be available as delegates generally have many documents to consult during deliberations.   The local organising committee should check well in advance that the required seating arrangement has been adhered to
LOC
Adopt cinema  style seating for the associated seminars / congresses
LOC

3.

GENERAL

 
 
3.1
Involving other organisations
 
 
There is no objection to giving other related organisations such as ICEC, RICS, CASLE, FIG, etc a speakers opportunity and / or allowing such organisations to arrange meetings back to back with an AAQS congress / seminar.   In such event it will be expected of such organisations to compensate the organisers of the event for the cost of the venue they may use and for lunches, tea / coffee, etc
LOC
AS
3.2
Expenses and charges
 
 
Delegates as well as speakers are generally expected to pay for their own air fares, transport and hotel accommodation.  Only in exceptional cases will speakers be offered a fee for their services
LOC
AS
Host institutions / associations to bear all expenses associated with the congress / seminar as well as for the venue and refreshments for the official delegates at the AAQS meetings (whether it be exco, council or general assembly meetings)
LOC
Official AAQS delegates, official AAQS observers (in the case of the general assembly) and speakers are preferably not to be charged for attending the congress / seminar.   If funds do not permit such arrangements, it should be made clear to all from the outset that they will be charged for attending the associated congress / seminar with the charge stated.   Speakers are not to be charges to attend the associated congress / seminar

LOC
 AS

Strict control is to be introduced in order to ensure that those who are required to pay to attend the seminar / congress and / or special events do in fact do so.  This may, for instance, be achieved by not allowing delegates without a name tag into the seminar / congress venue and / or by issuing entry tickets to those that have paid for special events such as banquets and subsequently controlling entry
LOC
3.3
Photographs
 
 
A photographer should be available to take an official photograph of the delegates attending an exco, council or general assembly meeting.  A copy of such photograph to be made available free of charge to those on the photograph, funds permitting
LOC
Organisers of a congress / seminar may arrange for a roving photographer who could sell photographs from a focal point at a pre-determined price.  This is to be well controlled.   On one occasion delegates and speakers were ostensibly interviewed by a television crew and were sold fake video recordings
LOC
3.4
Action list
 
 
Organisers of AAQS seminars / congresses should draw up an action list (preferably with a tick sheet) to ensure that all matters, albeit minor, are attended to
LOC

4.

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION FOR DELEGATES

 
 
The following information is to be provided to the AAQS Secretariat and the potential delegates well in advance in order for the delegates to make the necessary flight, accommodation, visa and other arrangements

LOC
AS

4.1
Initially a broad programme indicating when proceedings will commence and end.   This is in order for the delegates to make their flight / transport arrangements.   Hereafter a detail programme not varying from the initial start and end dates (times), should be provided as soon as possible
LOC
4.2
Accommodation options indicating rates for single and double occupancy together with distances of the hotels from the seminar / congress venue and the suggested mode of transport to get to the seminar / congress
LOC
If special reduced rates are applicable, the method to ensure that such rates will apply to be stated
LOC
It should be made clear whether delegates are to make their own bookings (in which case contact details are required) or whether block bookings are to be organised (in which case the procedure to ensure a booking is to be stated).   Resolve the situation when a booking is made and the delegate for some reason or other (flights, visa, etc) does not pitch
LOC
4.3
Sight seeing opportunities are to be listed and recommendations in this regard made.   This is required in order for delegates to decide whether they will extend their stay or arrive early in order for such opportunities to be exploited
LOC
4.4
Transport arrangements to and from the airport and whether the delegates are to book the transport themselves.   Also cost.   Remember that delegates may be arriving and departing at different times
LOC
4.5
Whether AAQS speakers are required for the seminar / congress and what is expected of such speakers.   Such arrangements to be made long beforehand as it takes time to prepare papers
LOC
4.6
The dress code for each event to be stated as delegates should know beforehand what they should bring along.   Dress code varies from country to country.   The dress code for the exco meetings is smart casual with no tie.   This dress code for council or general assembly meetings to be stated by the organisers (either smart casual with tie or smart casual without tie).   State also the dress code for the associated seminar / congress, a cocktail party (if such is arranged) and a banquet (if such is arranged), the latter usually black tie or dark suit with tie or traditional
LOC
Self-serve (ie a buffet dinner) is not to be called a banquet but rather just a dinner
LOC