Ever been to a SIAM conference? If you have, then you know there is a lot going on at them. Previously, I’ve helped write a guide on how to get the most out of a SIAM conference. If you haven’t, let me give you the basic setup. A SIAM conference has three types of sessions: plenary, mini-symposium, and contributed. Each is 1-1.5 hours. There are usually only one or two plenary talks at the same time, but there may be dozens of parallel mini-symposium sessions — commonly called “minis”. Each mini has 3-5 talks, which are 25 minutes each. Picking an interesting one is always a challenge.
Paul Constantine, one of my collaborators, came up with an interesting solution. If you are organizing a mini-symposium, take responsibility for advertising it at the conference. His method of doing so was to prepare small, business card-like handouts and distribute them to people you run into at the conference, in line for coffee, etc.
The info on each card was:
- (Front) The day-of-week, the time of the mini, the title, the organizer info, and the conference.
- (Back) A list of the titles and speakers, along with their time-slot.
Once at the conference, you can just hand these out to people who might be interested in attending the mini; and you can give them to the speakers in the mini to distribute them as well! This is a great way of trying to build attendance for your mini.
To help others prepare these, I created a latex template file to generate a two page business card template.
This template has info filled from my next mini-symposia.
I think this can be improved! So as a challenge to any interested readers, please fork the gist, make your improvements and post them back here. If you do use it, please post a comment. I may improve it on my own too and that’ll help motivate me to keep in touch about it.