Staff guidance on roles and responsibilities regarding organisation of ILCC seminars.
Responsibilities of staff host
Above all, you are responsible for making the speaker feel welcome and ensuring that their visit goes smoothly and they get a good impression of Edinburgh. More specifically,
Email the speaker in advance to let them know you'll be hosting them (they should know this already but redundancy is good) and to find out:
- Whether they know how to get from the airport to their hotel (and to the department).
- When they are arriving and whether they would like to have company for dinner or a drink after arrival. (Note that the host will not be reimbursed for this dinner unless it is the only one they submit).
- Whether there is anyone in particular they'd like to meet with while here.
- Suggest at least 4 people to the admin staff who should be prodded to meet with the speaker if there are not enough volunteers. We would like to have a full schedule of meetings for all speakers. Also encourage postdocs and students who would benefit from meeting the speaker to do so, including them on the list of proddees if appropriate (students may wish to share a meeting slot if they are shy).
- Designate a student host for the speaker and make sure they know what their responsibilities are.
- Arrange dinner for the speaker and a small group of colleagues (generally for the evening of their talk; if they are around for multiple days, it doesn't have to be then). If you can't go yourself, designate someone else to be in charge of arrangements. We will reimburse the speaker, host, and a small number of others for reasonable expenses. The host should pick up the tab and submit it to the admin office.
- Meet and welcome the speaker when they arrive, or make clear other arrangements. You should have received a copy of their schedule the day before. If admin staff has not already done so, show them where they'll be speaking, ensure that any necessary A/V equipment is there (if not, speak to admin), etc.
- If the speaker is in town for more than a day or two (esp. over the weekend), find out if they want any tourism advice, etc.
Responsibilities of student host
You are responsible for organizing a student lunch with the speaker following their talk. Lunch (no alcohol, no more than about £10 per person) will be reimbursed for the speaker and a reasonable number of others (no large parties; if there are too many to have a single conversation, you've got too many (i.e. no more than 5-6 people including the speaker and yourself)).
Interested students should contact the student host, but remember that as host, you may need to do some gentle reminding/prodding to gather a full contingent. Preference should be given to students whose research is more similar to that of the speaker. The host should pick up the tab and submit it to the admin office.
Responsibilities of seminar organizers (currently Chris Lucas)
- Gather nominations for speakers from ILCC members, send invitations, and schedule talks (in consultation with potential hosts).
- Approval by the organizers is necessary for any speaker who is not on the original nomination list (i.e., visitors in town for some other reason who want to give a talk).
Responsibilities of ILCC seminar admin
In charge of most logistics before the speaker arrives. Specifically,
- Maintain web page with ILCC Seminar schedule, according to the dates/speakers provided by the organizers. Speakers should be requested to send a title and abstract when they have confirmed that they will come; this request should be repeated about a month before their talk if they haven't already sent something.
- Arrange hotel and possibly travel (or get this info from the speaker), send instructions on how to get from airport to hotel and hotel to department, and make sure speaker knows who host is. Speaker will come to admin office on arrival, get keys (if an office has been assigned) and any schedule updates, and then should be directed to the host's office.
- Arrange the speaker's schedule of meetings, including any of their requests, using host's suggestions to prod people if necessary. We would like to have a full schedule of meetings for all speakers. It's okay to have some extra time available for last-minute scheduling, but there should be a relatively full schedule ready by the day before the seminar so that it can be e-mailed to the speaker and host ahead of time and the speaker will know when to arrive in the morning.
- Send announcements of seminar talks. We are aiming to have a talk about every other week (which is less frequent than at some points in the past). In order to make scheduling easier for folks in other departments/institutes who may only come occasionally, we'll also try sending announcements a bit earlier than before. Here is the suggested timeframe for announcements, etc:
10-11 days ahead (i.e., for a Friday talk, at the beginning of the previous week):
- First announcement should go out.
- Staff host should be asked for a list of people who would be appropriate to meet with the speaker (to be prodded later if needed). Also find out from host if there are other seminar lists (outside Informatics) that announcements should be forwarded to.
- Staff host should be reminded to choose a student host and pointed to this page to clarify other duties.
- Speaker should be asked if there are particular people they'd like to meet and these should be scheduled.
5 days ahead (on Monday for a Friday talk):
- Second announcement should go out.
- People should be prodded for meetings if needed.
- Ensure student host is chosen and knows their responsibilities (point them to this page).
1 day ahead:
- Third announcement should go out.
- Meeting schedule should be relatively final by this time, and should be sent to speaker and host.
Day of talk:
- Meet speaker on arrival unless they are going straight to host.
- Make sure room is set up appropriately (double check with speaker about A/V equipment).