Global Conference: Local Arrangements Off-site Networking


The dine-arounds serve as a networking opportunity for conference attendees, and also assist new members with getting to know people in an informal way. Note for 2023: the existence of dine-arounds will depend on committee resources/capacity as well as the status of restaurants close to the time of the conference. A decision will likely be made in early Spring about whether dine-arounds will be utilized.
  • Reach out to restaurants that are close to the conference hotel (preferably within walking distance, but a short ride is fine if there aren't any restaurants close by). Ideally, the venues would be able to provide a reservation for a minimum of 20 people, noting that we cannot guarantee a minimum amount, and each person will be paying separately. No more than five venues should be secured (unless they are small, in which case more can be used). Typical attendance is 50 - 75 people, total for all restaurants. Important: individual checks are required. We are not responsible for group checks, and we do not want to ask attendees to do so.
  • Once the reservations are made, send the details to the Executive Director for the web site:
    • Restaurant name
    • Time of reservation
    • Number of people for reservation
    • Restaurant address
    • Other details, as needed
  • The sign-in sheets will be placed in the registration area on-site (no sign-ups can be made in advance). Announcements will be made throughout the conference to make sure people are aware of how it works.  The committee should pay attention to the lists periodically to make sure the number of people signed up for the reservations is the same as the number of reservations.
  • Call the venues the day of the event to confirm the reservation number.
  • Assign a volunteer on-site to help coordinate the meet-ups for the dine-arounds. Ideally, we could have a volunteer for each restaurant to stand and hold a sign in an area of the lobby to help people find their group, and then to walk each group to their restaurant. If a committee member is not available, people who are attending the dine-arounds can be asked to play this role.
  • Capture a total count for each dine-around, and send it to the Executive Director after the event.

Pre-Conference Activities

  • Develop a list of suggested activities that attendees can visit before the conference. Make sure the venues are operating normally and are open during the times when people would typically visit. Announce times and places for people to meet if they want to go as a group. Send the information to the Executive Director for the web site. Note: the committee does not coordinate the activities. We only let attendees know where they can meet if they want to coordinate on their own.

Other Networking Activities

  • Depending on bandwidth, the committee could also plan additional creative networking opportunities on the same night as the dine-arounds to help people get to know either, such as :
    • Scavenger hunts
    • Trivia 
    • Other