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Preparation Timeline

NEARC Planning Timeline (6/13)


- Decide on the date of the conference (generally held in the spring). Dates that correspond to holidays, graduations, big sporting events should generally be avoided to promote attendance.

- Who will be planning the conference? (residents, chiefs, program director, chair, program assistants)

- Who will be invited? (which residencies)

- Decide on overall theme for the conference.

- Topic, lectures, itinerary of the conference is entirely up to the discretion of the host institution. Previous itineraries from past conferences are available on the MSA website for reference.

- Decide on overall duration of program and how long each program should be.

- Decide on overall program: lectures, workshops, abstract presentations and etc.

- Identify speakers for conference. Start to contact proposed speakers for availability. Will honorariums be given?

- Generally there is an abstract poster session in each conference that allows residents to showcase their research. Decide on how abstracts will be presented (posters, oral presentations, abstract competition)

- Develop criteria for abstract submission. Will there be a limit to the number of abstracts accepted?

- Will residents be able to submit and present PowerPoints as their abstract? What technological assistance will there be?

- Decide on whether to apply for CME credit. This is a complicated and expensive process. Prior institutions have chosen not to apply for this.

- Decide on budget for the conference.

- How will this conference be paid for? Will registration fees be charged to residents?


- Set a deadline for registration

- Develop a registration form

- Finalize agenda and speakers.

- Finalize the abstract portion of the conference and the abstract submission form.

- Send out invitations via email with tentative schedule and a call for abstracts. Invitations can be sent out to program coordinators and program directors who can disperse the information to their respective residencies.

- Decide on location/venue of conference. Make sure that there is an area for breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks. Make sure that there is sufficient space for poster sessions.

- Decide on vendor for food and refreshments and place order. How many meals will be provided? breakfast? lunch? afternoon refreshments?

January - March

- Send out follow-up emails to programs to promote registration.

- Organize abstracts that are received.

- Decide on abstract judging criteria if this will be a competition. Will abstracts be judged prior to the conference? Who will be on the judging panel and who will be presenting the certificate to the winners?

- Design abstract winner certificates.

- Finalize food/staff/facility.

- Design/print programs for participants or posters announcing the conference

Note: Much of the registration and abstract submissions from residents comes in after the registration deadline. Generally approximately 40-50 residents are expected.


- Follow-up with lecturers prior to conference to confirm attendance

- Send parking information. Will parking be provided?

- Obtain honorarium information for speakers if these are being offered

Day of the Meeting

- Check-in, accept abstracts

- Food

- Put up posters

- How will posters be organized so that residents can find their posters after

- Provide area for judges to deliberate if a competition is being held.

- Photographers

- IT support

- Validate parking

Resident Abstract Competition

- Develop abstract criteria for submission.

- How many abstracts will be accepted

- Will this be a competition or just an opportunity for people to showcase their abstracts?

    • Who will form the judging panel?
    • How will the abstracts be scored
    • Will the abstracts be pre-screened by judges?
    • Oral presentations?
    • Prizes? Certificates?

- Where will the posters be displayed for the meeting?

- How will the posters be displayed and organized the day of the meeting?


- Decide on a budget.

- Will a registration fee be charged?

- Approximately 50-60 patients have attended each conference in the past

- Expenses:

    • Venue facility fee
    • food
    • parking
    • honorariums to speakers
    • overtime pay for department staff who are working at conference
    • IT support
    • poster board rental


- MSA will provide $500 in support of the conference. An email requesting the support should be sent to

- The ASA resident component has a resident scholarship to fund conferences hosted by residents. Awards up to $1000 are given. So if a resident is involved in the planning process, they should email the ASA resident component president for more information about the application process to get this funding.

- Industry and recruiter agency funding may be organized.


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