You're thinking about offering to host a Hydra Partners meeting. Or, knowing us, perhaps you were "invited to volunteer" and you don't think it's a terrible idea but actually want to know what you'd be getting into. Here is a quick run down on some of the logistical preparations required to be a host for our "typical" US meetings.
- Typically we're seeing about 25 attendees per meeting at a Partner meeting (as of Dec 2012), but this has been on the rise. I'd say b/t 20 and 30 attendees would be a safe bet. We don't charge attendees to participate in the meetings.
- We ask the host to provide meeting space (usually one big room for plenary sessions, and then some flexible space to allow for breakouts) and for wireless access.
- We also ask hosts to make recommendations on local hotels (sometimes they reserve a block, sometimes they don't) and identify prime restaurants and/or bars.
- We typically use this wiki space to provide details about the meeting and have found it helpful to setup a meeting page in advance with subpages for things such as location, lodging information or for partners to indicate interest in attending which helps a host acquire rooms of adequate size. If you look at past partner meetings, there are some good examples of such pages and cut and paste are your friend.
- There's no requirement to fund anything (meals or even coffee/tea) as we've usually had meetings in a place that people could walk to food service and buy their own for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Some hosts, however, have taken it upon themselves to do a little catering--not required, though!)
- We don't have any mechanism in place for taking contributions from partners to help fund the meetings, so we typically either rely on the largesse of the host institution (again, not required!) or we all go dutch. When a host does pay for something, often it will be one nice lunch or one nice dinner.
- Some hosts have recently started trying to arrange for an interesting tour or (free) site (e.g., a campus tour).
That's about it--we're a simple bunch, and largely self-organizing.