Organisation of BHS Meetings

Notes for organisers of national meetings

The Honorary Secretary is charged with achieving a balanced programme over the course of a year and also, whenever possible, avoiding clashes with meetings of other societies. It is therefore helpful to have potential meeting topics identified well in advance. The aim is to finalise the year's topics by April of the preceding calendar year.

Once a meeting topic has been identified, and approved by the Main Committee, the Honorary Secretary is responsible for appointing an organiser, often the proposer of the topic.

The organiser should verify the proposed date and location with the Hon. Secretary to confirm the meeting in the rolling programme. At this stage, the outline details of the meeting should be entered on the Events page on the BHS web site.

It is expected that each regional group will promote one of their proposed meetings as a national meeting every 12 months or so.

The main objectives of the meeting plus ideas for presenters, should be discussed and agreed at a Main Committee meeting, bearing in mind the wide range of interests and activities of the society's members including diversity issues when planning your invited speakers and session chairs. The Committee should be presented with a draft programme for approval. The Society attaches particular importance to the stimulation of good discussion, and meetings must be planned to allow adequate time for audience participation.

Pre-meeting stage

The organiser should appoint a reporter for the meeting, see also Notes for 'Speakers an Reporters' below.

Publication of the papers

Consideration should also be given to the desirability and feasibility of providing copies of the papers. Attendees should have a synopsis containing the main points covered by each speaker.

There may be post-meeting publication of extended papers, e.g. as a BHS Occasional Paper. Organisers should also encourage authors of exceptional papers to submit to the BHS supported 'Hydrology Reserarch' journal (HR). If a national meeting may yield a number of papers that could lead to a Special Issue this should be discussed with the Editor of HR.

Budget for the meeting

Venues should be chosen to minimise costs.

The Society’s policy is that speakers should not be paid for presenting at meetings and that reimbursement should be limited to receipted travel expenses only.

A spreadsheet - Budget Proforma for BHS National Meeting Cost Estimates - to help estimate meeting costs can be found here

Once submitted, this will set in motion discussion with the Hon. Treasurer whose approval of the costings must be obtained.


The organiser of the meeting should produce a flyer to be available to download from the Event listing on the web. The text should be checked by the Honorary Secretary before being sent to the Web Manager. Further publicity will be via promotional text in Circulation and circulated using BHS HYDROLOGT (by the Technical Secretary or the Honorary Secretary on request).

A deadline for booking should be set 10–14 days before the meeting; this is required to facilitate catering arrangements.

Bookings and enquiries should be directed to the Secretry at ICE: for some events there may be a direct link to the ICE Conference Office.

If appropriate, arrange with ICE for CPD registration of delegates.

Post-meeting stage

Ask speakers if they give their permission for their presentations to be posted on the BHS website: these should be sent to the Tech. Secretary to upload.

The Reporter is responsible for producing a written summary of the papers and discussion for Circulation (see below).

The organiser should prepare a summary financial statement, to be sent together with copies of receipts and invoices to the Honorary Treasurer, who will collect any profits or settle losses.

The organiser should send an email of thanks to the host (if applicable), chair persons and speakers.

A brief meeting report including attendance figures and any lessons to be learned should be submitted to the Main Committee via the Honorary Secretary.

Speakers should submit their Travel/Expenses claims to the BHS Treasurer using the attached proforma.

Notes for speakers and reporters 

Speakers should send to their meeting organiser some biographical notes (say a paragraph), one week before the meeting, to assist the session chair with his/her introduction.

Speakers should be absolutely clear about how long they have been allocated for their presentation, and how much further time will be available for questions. As a guide to planning, a reasonable rate of speaking is about 100–150 words per minute and a slide or transparency can take from 2–3 minutes to explain adequately. Please ensure that visual material will be legible at the rear of the lecture room. Graphs and diagrammatic material should be as free as possible from fine detail.

Please use any microphones provided.

A reporter will be appointed for each meeting to prepare a summary of the main points of the presentations and subsequent discussions for publication in Circulation, the Society's Newsletter. Publication should be in the edition immediately following the meeting except in exceptional circumstances. The report should not exceed 2000 words and selected images from key presentations are especially welcome. The originals of illustrations shown at the meeting should be obtained from the presenters. Permission to reproduce such material should be obtained from the originator and acknowledged in the caption.

As a matter of courtesy, the reporter should where possible show his or her account to the listed speakers. However, the need to meet a Circulation deadline is a key consideration. Major contributors to the discussion may be named, but in doing so the reporter must where possible ensure that the named person is in agreement with the remarks that have been attributed to them, and that their full name and affiliation is given.

Reports should be prepared as soon as possible after the meeting and forwarded to the Editor by email.