Successful Section meetings are:
- Held at easily-accessible, affordable, and comfortable meeting sites.
- Regularly scheduled, as interest tends to lag if meetings are held too far apart.
- Convenient for the working needs of its members; dinner meetings provide a relaxing evening if they don’t start too early or too late.
- Full-day seminars with many speakers or panel discussions also work well.
- Relevant, with speakers and panels on pertinent industry topics. The best way to determine this is to discuss with Section members directly.
- Adequately publicized: post notices by website, mail schedules to members, and advertise in
The size and scope of Section meetings will vary. Sections should have regular business, election, program, and community-service meetings throughout the year.
With the exception of election meetings, many Sections conduct most business in executive council meetings (see also “Responsibilities of Section Officers”) and devote general meetings to professional programs. Summaries of business conducted in council should be available to Section membership through the newsletter or brief reports at general meetings.
Executive council meetings should be announced in advance to the Section membership to encourage them to attend. An “open door” policy for executive council encourages participation in Section management, thus providing a pool of potential Section leaders.
Section members should meet once a year to elect Section officers for the next year.
Program meetings can either be dinner or non-dinner meetings. They should follow the same general format:
- A welcoming statement, usually by the Section Chairperson, to welcome attendees and to talk briefly about the Section.
- An Introduction of the speaker.
- The speaker’s presentation.
- A question and answer period.
- A closing statement to thank the speaker for the program and announce the next meeting.
A program meeting can be speakers from local organizations, corporations, universities; round table discussions or specialized panel discussions; product demonstrations; joint meetings with other societies that focus on materials applications; site tours; and social events. Sources for speakers and discussions include local organizations, corporations, and scholars. It is a good idea to recruit speakers from other parts of the country if you are able.
Many Sections organize regional symposia and conferences. These conferences are often held in cooperation with other Sections, ACerS Divisions, or other organizations. It is important to note that any affiliation with an ACerS Section requires advance approval from either the Director of Membership or the Outreach Manager.
Community Service Meetings
ACerS Sections usually have a community service component to their programs. Sections often serve as the outreach arm of the Society; promoting ceramic and glass science and engineering at the grassroots level is a critical part of the ACerS mission. Here are a few suggestions for community projects:
- Speakers Bureau: An organized pool of ceramic and glass professionals who offer to lecture and lead discussions on industry topics and careers for schools and other civic groups.
- Donations of ACerS publications to local institutions.
- Programming courses: This is perhaps the most common Section activity in the education field. Classes have been organized for audiences ranging from elementary school students to classroom teachers, as well as local civic groups.
- Career guidance in ceramic and glass science: Sections can cooperate with local school systems on career guidance days.