NWAPDA Helpful Hints for Hosting a Meeting
The Northwest Area has 2 meetings each year.
The spring meeting is held in mid May to mid June. Once the spring meeting is scheduled, the Northwest Power Pool should be contacted to see if they want to participate in the meeting or having additional training along with our meeting This is not etched in stone as the Northwest Power Pool has a limited number of cities where they hold meetings.
The fall meeting is normally held sometime between mid-September and mid-October depending on the weather in the hosting city.
All meetings have the potential of being joint meetings with the Southwest area. This may bring twice as many attendees’ and more resources. Contact the Southwest President if you’re interested
- To insure a good turn out, check the schedule of WECC classes and Holidays to eliminate any conflicts. (Remember you are the host and you get the final say)
- Check the US and Canadian calendars and avoid scheduling close to any holidays.
- These meetings were founded around an outdoor activity, so choose your dates around good weather
- Meetings range from 1 ½ to 4 ½ days. Most people prefer not having to be gone on weekends
- Having some class time that earns NERC CEH’s has become the standard, but please keep in mind that this is not the sole purpose of these meetings. The more CEH‘s that are available, the more people will attend! 8-10 hours should be scheduled
- The hosting utility and the contact person are responsible for scheduling the meeting, creating an agenda, making all the arrangements with the hotel and meeting facilities, handle the reservations and collecting all the money for their meeting.
All funds should be made payable to the host. The NWAPDA is not set up to accept credit cards but you can certainly get set up on your own. The webmaster can set up online registration forms through our webpage
- Registration fees should be kept as low as possible, but remember that there may be unforeseen charges and costs.
- The hosting party may request funds, from the local area and/or the National APDA, if you discover your costs exceed your revenues. Funds from the NW Area are available prior to the meeting, in order to secure facilities and make deposits. Contact the area treasurer with a request by email. ( up to $1000 is available) but only for meeting expenses. Not lodging.
- Choose a facility that is easily accessible and has free high speed internet available if possible
- Please keep your agenda interesting and informative. Past meeting hosts can be very useful in helping to find trainers and speakers. Many are already APDA members.
- Many hosts offer control room tours and Dispatchers like to meet other Dispatchers and see their work environment.
- Please try and get the meeting announcement to the area Secretary for disbursement 3-4 months prior to the meeting. The Secretary will send it out to all the contact people and to the webmaster.
- Most meetings have some sort of organized function separate from the meeting. Golf, raft trips, etc are very nice to meet other Dispatchers and their spouses. Please understand that not all members may choose to participate in that function. Often separate functions for spouses and guests are arranged.
- The host should arrange any activities that may be off site from the meeting facility.
- Board members will answer any questions if needed.
- Each meeting needs to have approximately 1-1 ½ hour scheduled for the Area business meeting. An additional 1 – 1 ½ hour time slot is required if a National meeting is also scheduled.
- Meetings are not scheduled to run into the weekends.
- A dinner banquet has become the standard and many meetings have also included group lunches and breakfasts. Try and arrange meals on site to simplify transportation needs. Other functions can replace the banquets such as boat cruises, train rides, wine tasting.
- Dispatchers love raffles. Typically the money raised in the raffles go to the scholarship fund.
- Some dinners have had entertainment or presentations but it is not required.
- Meeting size ranges from 30-60 people depending on location.
- Tables for a registration area will be needed. Additional tables may be needed for vendor information, and for the sale of merchandise may be needed depending on vendor attendance.
- Many hotels will offer free meeting rooms if you guarantee them a certain number of rooms and/ or food dollars.
- Please take into consideration that several meeting attendee’s pay there own way to these meetings so keeping costs down is great for them.
- Have a room available for after the meeting socialization. (Hospitality Suites or similar) Normally open till 11 pm. A selection of water, soda, wine, other adult beverages and snacks are customary. Check with your facility for assistance and restrictions. Costco is a great resource.
- Sponsors may help pay for the things your company will not. Be nice to them and they will gladly help you out.
- Dispatchers like free things. Any free give always your company, your sponsor, or your host city, have to offer are appreciated.
Most importantly, recruit several of your co-workers for help. Hosting a meeting is time consuming. Remember to still have a good time and appreciate the effects other hosts have gone through in the past.
Updated-Doug Krust September, 2009 NW Treasurer