Anyone who has ever attended a Reception knows the coldness of no one greeting you at the door. (CNS seldom uses the word "Cocktail.” We are more interested in the conversation than the cocktails).
The CNS had Hosts at the door (3 or 4 couples), and silent Circulating Hosts (3 or 4 couples). They became professional hosts in one evening (as instructed, of course).
Hosts were assigned to the Honored Guest and all the speakers who were non-members (almost all the early speakers were invited guests).
Principle: Friendliness can be spontaneous at any time (if provoked, practiced, and genuine).
More CNS Lore
- It was intended that every meeting would be different. The basic objectives would remain the same and the arrangements would become more sophisticated year by year, but something about the ambience would stand out.
- The hotel management was requested to increase the cook and waiter staffs for breakfasts so members would not be delayed in attending morning meetings.
- The CNS never relied on hotel audio visual equipment. After inspecting what they had on hand, we usually ended up renting or borrowing our own equipment (in duplicate).
- A Message Center was operated for friends to find each other and relay important telephone messages (someone was always in charge).
- We encouraged the Auxiliary to plan educational events in addition to sightseeing and style shows. (Rationale: neurosurgeons get smarter every working day and spouses may not grow as fast intellectually due to household confinement -- makes for a more level playing field).
- By Laws were changed as needed, but at a low pace to maintain organizational stability.
- At one meeting, the Presiding Officer had a desk telephone to order adjustments in room temperature, or receive information, etc.
- Non Board eligible neurosurgeons and non members were welcomed to attend Annual Meetings (other societies shut them out).
- Neurosurgeons could apply for membership as soon as they completed their training (this policy soon made the CNS the largest NS society in the world, but we were more interested in continuing their education than being bigger).
- We considered the Scientific Exhibits an opportunity for members to become an active participant in the scientific program, and we wanted to maintain an appropriate balance between commercial and scientific exhibits.
- We segregated smokers.
- It was common for the Program Committees to walk through every part of the program looking for ways to make the process smoother.
- We designed and produced a CNS Key (a later President added the gavel for Past Presidents).
- Several of the CNS organizers were part of the group that organized the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies, and they did much of the planning and paperwork including proposing the name.
- CNS members reorganized and renamed The Harvey Cushing Society under the Mayfield Presidency.
- The CNS soon became a serious threat to the other three societies. Two withdrew from competition, one confining its attention to Academic faculty and the other chose to be a close knit Travel Club. Very early in the game, the CNS made the conscious decision to co-exist with and support the AANS.
- We passed the honor of being the NS spokes group to the AANS, and we have remained friendly stags ever since.
- The CNS produced the first US & Canada Directory and the first World Directory of Neurological Surgeons.
- The CNS, from the beginning, encouraged attendance and membership by foreign neurosurgeons and we are an active supporter of the WFNS. It is an international society, in fact.
- At some meeting, the paper in progress was posted outside the meeting.
- At many meetings, a Post Meeting Travel Program was operated. (Rationale: most NS are workaholics and take too little time off from work -- as long as they are spending time and money to travel to an Annual Meeting, why not add on a few days off for R&R before returning to work?)