State Meeting Guidelines, Procedures, and Timetable

Quick Tips for State Meeting Hosts:


  • Work with your State Chair - they will help!
  • Keep the meeting simple in regards to planning and costs so that you don't need a large number of attendees to make it work
  • Get email addresses of GLPA members in your state and adjacent states from the GLPA Membership Chair for invitations
  • Send out an email invitation 4-6 weeks prior to the event
  • Reserve a block of rooms if you are hosting an overnight event. Many events are only one day or part of a day
  • Be clear about your expectations regarding an RSVP or registration.
  • Send an email reminder (or two) a couple of weeks before the registration deadline, and ask for reminders to be posted on social media
  • Please use the GLPA logo (Insert link to style sheet when we have it) and do not modify it in any way.

Summary of Required Business Activities at State Meetings & Caucuses


Business Activities performed at State Caucus (during the fall convention)

State Chair elected at GLPA Business Meeting every two years

                Select a State Meeting date and location

                Notify the Newsletter Editor of meeting date and location


Business Activities performed at State Meeting (Spring)

  • Recruit new members.  
  • Get nominations for GLPA awards (if you are meeting before the deadline of the vernal equinox)
  • Remind guests of GLPA resources
  • Encourage people to attend the fall conference

GLPA State Meetings Guidelines


  • Introduction
  • Each state is encouraged to meet twice a year
  •  State Caucus is held during the annual GLPA Conference
  • A State Meeting is held at an institution within the state (typically in the spring)
  • State Meetings are generally open to all planetarians and planetarium vendors - not just current members of GLPA
  • The purpose of State Meetings is to
  • Encourage the participation of planetarium professionals in activities of the larger planetarium community.
  • Provide an opportunity for planetarium professionals within a state to become acquainted and to develop cooperative ties
  • Present papers and share information
  • Conduct state business, such as
  • Discuss selection of sites for future meetings
  • Discuss selection of future State Chairs
  • GLPA Membership solicitation
  • By their nature, State Meetings shall be small, inexpensive, and informal

  • Expenses and Funding
  • By keeping expenses to a minimum, it is hoped that State Meetings can be conducted without a registration fee
  • keep meeting to a single day (like a Saturday morning and afternoon)
  • include only one meal -lunch- with everyone paying for his/her own at a nearby restaurant (perhaps a sponsor will cover lunch)
  • minimize travel during meeting; if traveling is required, car pool
  • a guest speaker is not required, but if (cheap) local talent is available, use it
  • Expenses
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • duplicating costs - registration materials, agenda, etc.
  • travel or lunch expenses for a speaker from host or other nearby institution
  • name tags
  • Funding
  • host institution - your institution may be willing to absorb some expenses such as duplicating and name tags
  • GLPA - state meeting hosts may obtain up to $100 from the GLPA Treasurer. Following the meeting, receipts should be sent to the Treasurer
  • If you host more than one state at your meeting, you may receive up to $100 for each state (IL, MI, IN, OH, WIMPS, or Beyond the Lakes — which counts as only one state!)
  • Sponsors - ask vendors who have technology in your planetarium if they would be willing to cover the cost of lunch for the attendees or another part of the meeting.
  • local business - perhaps a philanthropic business or civic organization will provide money, duplicating, or postage

  • Program
  • at some point prior to sending out registration materials, you will have to plan your program for the meeting
  • keep things simple - you'll be surprised how fast your schedule will fill up
  • Possible activities
  • registration/check-in
  • set your starting time to allow time for your guests to travel from their homes to your facility
  • allow at least 30 minutes for people to arrive and check in - provide name tags and a final agenda
  • if possible, serve coffee & light breakfast foods while your guests browse around your facility
  • time to see your facility
  •  let people explore your theater, work areas, dome access, etc.
  • plan time to show your equipment
  • paper sessions - allow time for other planetarians to present brief papers
  • planetarium show - present one of your planetarium shows
  • guest speaker - if you can get someone from nearby - maybe a local university
  • GLPA membership recruitment - often done by State Chair
  • answer questions about GLPA and the annual GLPA Conference and encourage membership in GLPA
  • membership material is available from the Membership Chair
  • conduct state business - led by State Chair
  • gather news for GLPA Newsletter
  • discuss selection of sites for future State Meetings
  • discuss selection of future State Chair (voted on in the fall, every two years)
  • Group Photo
  • Informal is fine
  • Creates another record of the event
  • conclusion - wrap up your activities early enough that your guests can get home by a reasonable time
  •  Involve other planetarians from your area
  • Contact other nearby planetarians and invite them to help with the meeting
  • Your State Chair can help with advice and emailing members
  • Registration
  • Send out registration materials by email
  • Include:
  • cover letter - "we invite you to attend the 2020 Indiana Planetarium Meeting..."
  • tentative agenda/program-include the time zone
  • map showing how to reach your facility
  • registration form to indicate intention to attend (Google Forms is a good option)
  • paper submission form - request to present a paper at meeting
  • GLPA can provide email addresses
  • contact the Membership Chair
  • contacts include both GLPA members and all known planetarium facilities within the state and adjacent states
  • registration materials should be sent out 4 to 6 weeks before the day of the meeting
  • Receiving registration
  • set a deadline for registration forms to be returned about one week before the meeting
  • expect people to decide to attend at the last moment (this shouldn't pose problems for you -State Meetings should be simple enough that the number of people attending isn't critical)
  • some guests may wish to arrive the night before - especially if they have a long distance to travel
  • be prepared to suggest nearby accommodations and restaurants


State Meetings - Timeline


       Time                                     Activities                                                                         


6 to 2 months                  * reserve or arrange for meeting rooms

before meeting                * contact other area planetarians about helping

                                        *prepare tentative agenda

                                        *contact potential guest speakers

                                        *consider expenses and possible sources of funding

                                        *contact Membership for email addresses and Membership brochures

* send notice of meeting to GLPA Newsletter Editor (deadline for winter solstice issue is November 1, deadline for spring issue is February 1.)

*send a “save the date” email out to potential participants


6 to 4 weeks                    *prepare registration materials

before meeting                *email registration materials

                                        *confirm arrangements with guest speaker and/or other planetarians


4 weeks to                       *receive registrations

start of meeting               *contact planetarians about presenting papers

                *prepare final agenda

                *prepare name tags

                *arrange for morning refreshments

                *arrange for someone to check in guests as they arrive


after meeting                 * write "thank yous” to guest speaker and/or planetarians that assisted with meeting and to any companies that donated money or services

                *send receipts to Secretary/Treasurer for reimbursement (up to $100) from GLPA

*send (or have someone else send) a report on the meeting to the GLPA Newsletter Editor

*send group photo to GLPA Social Media Team

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