MMF Host Guidelines
All appointed and prospective hosts should familiarise themselves with the following:
Introduction: The Marine Measurement Forum (MMF) is a series of one-day, non-profit making events that provide excellent opportunities for networking and the informal exchange of ideas, knowledge, techniques and developments across an extensive range of marine scientific measurement activities. During an MMF ‘day’ a series of short presentations on diverse marine measurement topics are interspersed with refreshment breaks that offer delegates the chance to network with like-minded colleagues. Attendees typically include scientists, surveyors, engineers and business people from a variety of organisations including research centres, academia, manufacturers, survey companies, consultants, monitoring authorities, dredging companies, port authorities, oil companies, societies, etc. Each MMF is normally hosted within southern England with occasional excursions to other parts of the UK.
General Format: An MMF covers a single day although it can, optionally, be accompanied by some form of social event the evening before. Ideally the average attendee will be able to travel to and from the venue on the same day. Frequency is targeted at 6 monthly intervals.
Steering Group: Advice on all matters connected with the hosting of an MMF event is available from the Steering Group, which comprises four long term and regular MMF attendees, representing Research, Manufacturing, Media and Distribution within the marine science sector.
Host/Organiser: The Steering Group is responsible for appointing a volunteer host for each MMF. This host will take on all responsibility for the event. Such responsibility includes the compilation of the programme for the day, advertising it to the MMF membership and promoting it to the appropriate market places. The host also assumes responsibility for all financial, accounting, legal and insurance requirements associated with the event. Support will be provided by the Steering Group, where required. A waiting list of hosts is maintained by the MMF Steering Group. Anyone wishing to discuss hosting an MMF should send an appropriate email to the Steering Group via the Contact page.
Financial: The MMF is a non-profit making series. All responsibility for financial management and funding lies with the host organisation. The target attendee price is £40-50 which normally includes the provision of light refreshments. Responsibility for financial accounting and acceptance of any profit or loss lies with the host organisation.
Attendees and Announcements: The MMF series attracts a wide range of attendees including scientists, surveyors, engineers, etc from research organisations, monitoring authorities, survey companies, instrument manufacturers etc. The Steering Group maintains an MMF Mailing List of members which is loaned to each host and will represent the core announcement medium. However, each host is encouraged to use their own marketing facilities to circulate news of the event and all new attendees should subsequently be added to the membership list by the host prior to its return to the Steering Group. Regular MMF information is also distributed by the MMF Steering Group via International Ocean Systems journal and the electronic newsletter OceanBuzz.
Presentations: A number (typically 12) of 15-20 minute presentations will normally form the bulk of the day’s proceedings supplemented by an introduction by the host and a 5 minute slot prior to, or after, lunch for a Steering Group member to announce any news. It is the host’s responsibility to invite, select and schedule the speakers with the target being to provide a programme offering a balance between scientific research, instrumentation, survey projects, etc. It is preferred that overtly sales based presentations are avoided. The success of the MMF series is founded on the varied range of presentations and that, in turn, is a reflection of the volunteer speakers. The host will monitor the market place for new developments, projects etc, to encourage speakers with novel tales to tell. Some hosts like to ‘theme’ either the whole event or individual sessions. Traditionally, the final programme is announced at least 2 weeks before the event date. Ideally, the host will facilitate the acquisition of pdf copies of all presentations after the event and forward these to the Steering Group so that they can be published on the MMF website – see Action Schedule below.
Venue: The choice of venue lies with the host but is normally selected to be easily accessible to the majority of the attendees. A typical venue will be capable of accommodating between 50 – 100 attendees, will provide ample parking spaces, will offer all normal audio/visual presentation facilities and be capable of providing refreshments, inc lunch.
Event Reporting: The Steering Group is keen to ensure that each MMF is reported via the normal media routes. The host for each MMF should seek a volunteer rapporteur to provide a brief, circa 500 words, report on the day’s proceedings to the Steering Group. The report should ideally be accompanied by suitable images. Media avenues can be agreed between the host and the Steering Group. Prior liaison with the Steering Group can often result in a suitable reporter and photographer being identified in advance of the event.
Feedback: Hosts are encouraged to provide feedback to the Steering Group in two forms. Firstly directly from the Host to the Steering Group describing their individual hosting process, highlighting any particular shortcomings or concerns that need attention. Secondly, the Host is encouraged to seek similar feedback from attendees for on-passing to the Steering Group. A standard form is available from the Steering Group for this purpose.
Web site: The MMF site (www.mmf-uk.org) hosts general and specific information regarding the MMF series. Once known and confirmed it will also provide a link to the web site of the next MMF host.
Action schedule: Each host will have his/her own particular admin, marketing, etc preferences but the following constitutes a typical “hosts template”. D-x = X days before event Date.
D-150 Identify the MMF date, venue, and proposed attendee charge. Announce details to the MMF Steering Group for approval. Establish attendee payment procedures.
D-120 Issue initial announcement circular to email list and circulate general details to journals, electronic newsletters and other contacts.
D-120 Invite identified speakers. Call for volunteers will form part of the announcement.
D-120 Commence creation of attendee and speaker lists.
D-060 Issue second announcement including draft full or part programme details.
D-015 Issue full programme, map, joining instructions to all attendees and publicise details via normal PR channels.
D-005 Compile delegate packs comprising (at least) Programme and Attendee List (name and organisation). These can optionally be supplemented by speaker details and publicity material.
D+15 Provide event report and images to the Steering Group contact.
D+30 Provide collated presentations in pdf format to the Steering Group for appending to the event report on the MMF website
Throughout the build-up schedule, the host is strongly encouraged to report regularly to their Steering Group contact who will endeavour to assist with any requests for advice or clarification.