Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ASET Spring Seminar in Hartford, CT: and Neurodiagnostic Education future seminar sites

                                       Faye, Christine Scott, Margaret Barlow, Scott Blodgett
The ASET Spring Seminar took place on April 18th & 19th, on the campus of Hartford Hospital.  We had the biggest turn-out  ever with 99 attendees registered to attend!  This was a real surprise to us since many of the registrations came in at the last minute!  But we welcomed all and it was very successful!
We ran two courses concurrently:  EEG Boot Camp and LTME Academy.  We received many positive comments for both courses, thanks to the expert faculty who took time out of their busy weekend to present lectures and workshops!  The setting was perfect:  a conference center on the hospital campus, and the hotel we used was a block away from the Amtrak train station, so it was very convenient for our NYC attendees to commute to the meeting.

                                 ASET staff:  Faye McNall && Maureen Carroll at registration desk
I thought you might find it interesting and informative to learn more about our “local host” program and why we are booking our spring and fall courses this way.  In years past, we used hotel meeting space to hold our two-day seminar courses.  Although it was most convenient for our course participants to stay in a hotel room and walk down to the meeting rooms in the morning, the fees charged by the hotel for this service were getting outrageous and all we could do was increase the registration fee to cover expenses.  Some examples:  one gallon of coffee:  $80 dollars.  Continental breakfast (pastry, juice and coffee)  $24 per person.  Sandwich lunch:  $35 per person!  Bottles of water and soda at breaks:  $3.50 per person.  Hotels also charge for meeting space and then there also AV rental fees:  each item has a separate rental fee, from the screen to the projector cart, to the cables to connect everything, plus a labor charge per hour.  So, an additional $500 per room for audio-visual equipment would be a low estimate.
I really wanted to make it affordable for technologists to come to our educational meetings.  So, I decided to try using free meeting space such as hospital conference centers and college classrooms.  And it was very successful!  I discovered that most hospital and college classrooms have audio-visual equipment hard-wired to a computer so, no need to worry about AV set-ups or shipping our projectors to a meeting site only to find that they had been damaged in transit!  And hospital kitchen catering services and local vendors offered full meals at reasonable rates!  A breakfast is typically $10 per person and a lunch $15 per person.   We have been able to lower the registration fees by $100 since we moved away from hotel meeting space.
So, if you are thinking about serving as a local host for an ASET event in the future, here are the primary features that we need:
  •      Adequate meeting space:  two rooms seating 50-60 people
  •     Must have a nearby hotel that offers free shuttle service for our attendees to get to and from the meeting site both days
  •       Must be in a city that has easy access to an airport with good connections around the country
  •       A person willing to be my local host coordinator, to do everything from helping me find speakers to storing our boxes of supplies until we show up to set-up meeting registration, to helping find the right catering service and hotel.
We book two seminars each year:  spring and fall.  We will be seeking our 2016 seminar locations in the next few months.  So if you are interested in taking on a project like this, please contact me directly at and we’ll talk about it!
FYI: Our 2015 Fall Seminar courses will take place at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.  We will offer the two-day EEG Boot Camp course and a 1 day MEG course.  We’ll be in a great setting with lots of expert faculty to give lectures!  See you there!