Principles and Priorities for Continuously Improving the SAA Annual Meeting

Principles and Priorities for Continuously
Improving the SAA Annual Meeting
(As adopted by the SAA Council, August 12, 2013;
Revised August 2018)

This document presents a summary of the Council’s principles and priorities for ensuring the continued development of the Annual Meeting, based on the excellent work of the 2011-2013 Annual Meeting Task Force.  Since adoption, the Council receives a report at each meeting on the extent to which these Principles and Priorities are put into play for the Annual Meeting. [See the agenda for each Council meeting, typically under “Staff Reports,” beginning in August 2013:]  

Guiding Principles

  • We will make every meeting as useful, affordable, accessible, and enjoyable as possible for all attendees.
  • We will explore new locations, structure, and content for the Annual Meeting on an ongoing basis.
  • We will embrace a culture of experimentation and will be willing to take calculated risks with respect to the Annual Meeting.  No aspect of the meeting will be off limits based on “tradition.”
  • We will encourage diversity among the people attending the meeting, contributing to its content, and benefiting from its results.
  • We will actively pursue ways of making meeting content available online.
  • We will integrate a commitment to social responsibility and sustainability into all aspects of meeting planning and execution.
  • We will continuously seek feedback from both attendees and non-attendees on all aspects of the meeting.

Priorities for Site Selection and Contract Requirements

  • We will experiment with meeting in cities of varying sizes using a combination of a convention center and room blocks in several hotels at varying price points.
  • We will reevaluate site selection criteria based on member input.
  • We will facilitate inexpensive alternative housing (such as dormitories) whenever feasible.
  • We will stipulate in all Requests for Proposals (RFPs) that free wireless access in meeting spaces is a key component of our needs.
  • We will stipulate in all RFPs the importance of fair labor practices, sustainable (“green”) practices, and donation of excess food and beverage to worthy causes.
  • Staff will actively monitor and report to the Council information about labor contracts and potential labor actions affecting the hotel sector.
  • We will strive to meet in locations governed by laws, regulations, and practices that support the values and ethics of SAA.

Priorities for Delivery of Meeting Content

  • We will deploy a mobile conference app for access to program information via smart phones and tablets.
  • We will ensure that each year’s conference website includes effective functionality and navigation.
  • We will seek to provide free and easy access to session content from past conferences.
  • We will investigate and incrementally implement online access to meeting content by various means as technology and resources permit.
  • We will implement sustainable practices in our production of conference materials.

Priorities for New Approaches to Meeting Content and Structure

  • We will experiment with new approaches to plenary sessions.
  • We will identify and implement new approaches to structured and unstructured networking.
  • We will experiment with new formats and content for education sessions.
  • The Program Committee will be encouraged to foster innovation.
  • We will actively publicize to members all efforts to consider, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of new approaches.
  • We will assess and review our meeting content and structure in order to constantly improve. 
  • We expect panels to be diverse and inclusive. This includes bringing balance to the panels, such as individual diversity (gender, race age, length of time in profession, ability, access to financial resources), institutional diversity (academic, business/corporate, government, non-profit, large, small), and geographic diversity. 
1 Comment(s) to the "Principles and Priorities for Continuously Improving the SAA Annual Meeting"
Gallo6585 says:
Scheduling (meeting structure?)

Is it possible to be told why the alumni parties were moved to Friday?

Also, Some of us like to plan ahead and would like to see the whole program as one entity as soon as possible. A unitary program versus app-driven grazing represents two very different sets of affordances and usability features, and some of us would like not to give up the one to get the other. Last year is was hard to find the whole program in advance of the meeting.