Responsibilities of the Vice President’s office

Duties of the Vice President of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention

Revised September 2009

The major responsibility of the vice president is to act as program chair during the year that he/she serves in this office. In order to ensure proper and timely program development, the following timetable is suggested:

A. One year prior to the meeting (by Spring):

    1. Select the program committee.
    2. Begin to plan the format of the meeting, with special attention to symposia (see below).
    3. Meet with NBTS and OTIS representatives to coordinate activities.
    4. Contact Education Course director to coordinate activities.
    5. Check with publisher of the Birth Defects Research Journal regarding abstract publication deadlines.

B. In the Fall prior to the meeting:

    1. Plan symposia, select organizers and make sure speakers are invited.
    2. Select abstract receipt deadline.
    3. Notify newsletter editor of abstract deadline for publication in the fall/winter issue.
    4. Work with the business office to ensure timely mailing of abstract forms.
    5. Check with Education Course director regarding progress toward establishing the course program and inviting speakers.
    6. Work with the CME Program Committee and CME Provider to submit application for CME Credits.
    7. Submit applications for funding.

C. In the Winter prior to the meeting:

    1. Receive submitted abstracts and work with the program committee and the president of the society to organize the abstracts according to designated sessions and poster versus platform presentations. Consideration of available space for posters and time set aside for social activities planned by the president is necessary.
    2. Notify student affairs committee chairman of students' abstract submissions.
    3. Work with the business office to get abstract assignment cards sent.
    4. Select platform session chairs.
    5. Acquire all titles for talks from invited speakers.
    6. Work with business office to finalize the program for timely submission to the Birth Defects Research Journal.
    7. Work with the business office to notify all invited participants of travel arrangements, housing considerations, reimbursements and honoraria.  Review Session Chairperson Guidelines for policies and deadlines.
    8. Review and identify funding/grant opportunities and associated deadlines.

D. In the Spring prior to the meeting:

    1. Send necessary information to platform chairs.
    2. Deal with inevitable cancellations.
    3. Write an annual report detailing the activities of the program committee.

Additionally, the vice president should be prepared to present to the Society, at the time of the meeting, information regarding the site that has been selected for the next year's meeting.

The function of the vice president is planning the annual meeting. Planning should begin at least one year in advance.

E. Steps to planning the meeting:

    1. Read the contract with the meeting facility. The contract will give information concerning audiovisual and food/beverage functions and may contain information important restrictions or allowances that will affect your planning.
    2. Identify the number of symposia you want to have. The traditional symposia in our society have been as follows:
      1. March of Dimes Symposium - planned in conjunction with March of Dimes. This symposium is not restricted as to subject, but March of Dimes should be consulted early in the planning process.
      2. Wiley-Blackwell Symposium- planned in conjunction with the Publications Committee. This symposium has traditionally involved a single organ-system.
      3. Public Affairs Committee symposium - planned in conjunction with the Public Affairs Committee.
      4. MTA-MARTA Symposium- planned in conjunction with MTA/MARTA.
    3. When you know the symposia you want to have, recruit an individual to organize each symposium. Symposium organizers should get commitments from speakers early. The final program, including speaker abstracts will be due at the publisher in late March. Refer to the Session Chairperson Guidelines for specific dates and speaker reimbursement policies.
    4. You need to appoint a program committee. Select people with whom you can work. You can assign members of the program committee to take care of different parts of the program or you can use them to bounce off your own ideas about the program. The program committee members are also used to review abstracts (discussed below). The program committee should be in place by spring of the year preceding the meeting so that they can meet at the meeting.
    5. Make a schedule of the meeting, putting in the times you are allowing for symposia, platform sessions, and other activities. Circulate this schedule to Program Committee members and to the people who have been charged with different parts of the program. Some people have an aversion to being on certain days of the meeting (for example, the last day) so it is a good idea to find out early if one of your participants is going to be upset by his/her assigned time in the program.
    6. Remember to schedule the following events:
      1. Education course: Typically the day prior to the opening day of the meeting. Make sure the Chair of the Education Committee and you have the same ideas about when the course will be held.
      2. Council I: Typically two days prior to the opening day of the meeting.
      3. President's Welcome reception: typically the evening prior to the opening day of the meeting.
      4. Warkany lecture: Typically the first item on the regular program.
      5. Student presentation sessions: One of the platform sessions has been used for student presentations. Make sure that the Chair of the Student Affairs Committee is on board.
      6. Attended poster sessions: Usually one or two of the evenings.
      7. Banquet: Usually the last night of the meeting.
      8. Past President's luncheon.
      9. Presidents Appreciation Reception: Usually just before the banquet.
      10. Joint sessions with other groups: Keep in mind that NBTS usually meets with us and OTIS sometimes meets with us. If there are to be joint symposia or platform sessions, find out the dates of the other group's meeting to be sure the joint sessions are at a time that members of the other group will be present.
      11. Annual business meeting.
      12. Council II: At the end of the meeting.
    7. Get a plan of the conference facilities, including the number of square feet and the seating and dining capacity of each available room. In conjunction with the Executive Director, you will need to coordinate where each event will occur. Keep in mind the needs of groups like NBTS or OTIS that may be meeting at the same time.
    8. Social events and meals are generally planned by the President. Communicate with the President about which functions he/she is planning. Find out what these functions will cost because you will need to consider the social function costs in calculating the registration fee.
    9. Abstracts will need to be received in time for you and the Program Committee to evaluate them and to decide which to accept as Platform presentations, which to accept as Poster presentations, and which to reject. The publisher will need the program in final, camera-ready form by April, and the secretariat will need some time prior to the Publisher due date to type the program and to lay out the abstract pages. Plan to have your abstract decisions made by early March. The due date for the abstracts to be received from the membership will depend on how much time you will need to evaluate the abstracts. Allow for at least a month, more if you anticipate that the deliberations will be lengthy or the Program committee slow.
    10. Prepare the CME program and application for CME credits in a timely fashion so that the CME program information is available to members, along with the preliminary program, registration fee information, and abstract forms.
    11. Distribution of the preliminary program, registration fee information, and abstract forms is in November, so you need to give the secretariat a program, your decision about the registration fee, and your decision about the abstract due date by late October or early November.
    12. Plan to present your program and any problems you are having to the Council at the interim meeting in the fall.
    13. Budget Preparation:  Budgets are prepared approximately 18 months in advance and are finalized during the interim meeting of Council.  The registration fees are set based upon the anticipated revenue and expenses.  Budgets from previous year are available for reference.  Items which have a large impact on the budget are food and beverage, audio visual, and speaker reimbursement.
    14. Exhibitor relations:
      The business office typically send invitations to past exhibitors and to likely prospects, but you should double-check that the invitations have been sent. Also, it is a good idea to contact the exhibitor liaison to find out what exhibitors like or dislike about the meeting. Plan to hold a meeting with exhibitors who are in attendance so that you can find out how things are going. You and the vice-president-elect should visit the booths and make the exhibitors feel welcome and appreciated.
    15. The President's gift:
      At the end of the banquet, you will become President. Your first duty will be to give the President a gift on behalf of the Society.
    16. Your first Council meeting:
      At the end of the annual meeting, you will hold your first Council meeting, generally to consider any business that has come up since Council I. In order to have an effective Council II. Speak to the Committee chairs during the meeting and make notes at the Business meeting of things that require Council's attention prior to going home.

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