At earlier neurosurgical meetings (not CNS), there were many TW Members (or AA, UA, US, DL, CO, NW). Attendance at annual meetings was required. These TW Members flew into the meeting site, registered, and flew home the same day. A few never attended a meeting for years. Some attended the luncheon without paying for it (no ticket) and the society picked up the deficit.
The CNS maintained an attendance record (we required attendance too), but we avoided being a meeting cop. Instead, we gave almost everyone a job to do. Our target was 75 percent active participation in the annual meeting -- this was achieved from the beginning.
The jobs were important to the vitality of the society like the following:
- Chair and Secretary presiding at scientific meeting
- Host or Sergeant at Arms in charge of the audience (safety, comfort, seating, privacy, evacuation in an emergency, etc.)
- Audiovisual Officer
- Exhibit Officer
- Registration Officer
- Greeter at a reception, luncheon, and banquet
- Program Committee
- Arrangements Committee
- Host for Foreign Attendees
- Host for Speakers
- Host for Honored Guest
- Post Meeting Tour Director
- Local Information Officer
- Message Center
- Membership Committee
Multiple persons were assigned to these kinds of tasks so no one was burdened with the same task for the entire meeting.
Hosts at social events included members and spouses. At the first few meetings, spouses were in charge of the Registration function.
Principle: members with something important to do attend and stay for the whole meeting.
Incidentally, there were (and may still be) TW Professors, who spend more time in the air than on campus (usually at taxpayers expense).