Hosting an Annual Meeting

Suggested ISAM Site Item Checklist For Annual Meetings

ISAM has now met in:
Palm Springs 1999
Cairo 2000
Tel Aviv & Trieste 2001
Reykjavik 2002
Amsterdam 2003
Hesinki, 2004
Mar delPlata 2005

As local organizing committees are established and submit proposals to ISAM's site selection committee, it has been recommended that an itemized checklist be established leading to a contract between ISAM and the organizing committee. We hope that you will find based on our experience this chronological checklist helpful as you plan for our conference.

Site Location

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Conference Venue

Please forward website address or brochures to ISAM's office

Main hotel accommodation:

- address

- room quality (number of stars, etc)

- cost per participant (single/double)

Other hotels

Scientific Venue (if different from hotel)

- website address or brochures if different from hotel

Anticipated Level of Support

So far our conferences attract between 200 and 300 registrants. It is anticipanted that these figures may go up as our association matures. The support expected for ISAM falls under the following categories:

  • Site Visit
    By one or two external reviewers several months before the meeting who will review the venue, social agenda and anticipated scientific and social programs with the organizing committee

  • Support for Board Meeting and Board Members
    Currently to ensure continental representation, our Board is composed of up to 20 people including our Executive Assistant and the editors of our e.journal and/or website. The support requested involves:
    - Meeting room for up to 20 people for one full day prior to the scientific meeting along with meals as well
    as health breaks for the day
    - Hotel accommodation within the main hotel for up to 20 people x 5 nights
    - Free conference registration and access to provided meals and planned social events
    - Travel support for board
    In return for the above support, each Board member attending will participate in one or more scientific events and be available for ad hoc consultations including the basic course of Addiction Medicine with the local community during the conference.

  • Support for ISAM Committees and Task Forces
    ISAM conducts its business by developing position papers on various issues. A 2-hour slot in the program must be available for what is an enjoyable interactive experience with experts. A large room with 6 or 7 round tables for up to 50 people during the 2-hour slot is required. Beverages would be appreciated depending on time of meeting.

  • Support of ISAM Business Meeting
    Towards the end of the conference a one hour meeting is required for ISAM's members to conduct the association business. The attendance is about 30 people.

  • Fellowships for developing countries
    ISAM's visit to a country is an opportunity for the local organizing committee to secure 10 to 15 fellowships for developing countries. These fellowships are prioritized for presenters at the scientific conference from economically constrained countries. In order to ensure "equal opportunities", a list of prior recipients will be made available to the organizing committee.
    ISAM's office is pleased to participate in the selection process based on past experience but holds no responsibility in the financial understanding between fellowship recipients and the local organizing committee.

  • Support for ISAM office
    As the revenues from dues are very limited in a worldwide organization, ISAM's office relies on the funds generated by the annual meeting for its existence. The conference contract for Reykjavik was for $30,000 US. In Helsinki, the office will receive the difference in registration charged to each non-ISAM registrant. We anticipate receiving half this amount prior to the conference and half afterwards. The office will supply the organizing committee with a corresponding membership list of more than 800 senior physicians from 90 countries across all continents.
    The office will also organize an ISAM booth at the annual ASAM meeting as well as one potential major annual venue if required. The meeting will also be advertised on the ISAM website and ISAM newsletters as well as the ISAM e.publication.

Anticipated Sources of Support (please list)

Scientific Program

Currently our scientific program is 2 ½ days long. We are also anticipating to provide a one-day course in Addiction Medicine the same day as the Board meeting. It is therefore possible to plan for a scientific meeting that will include one full day (Thursday) and two mornings/half days (Friday and Saturday) to allow international visitors to visit the local resources and /or sites without the need to absent themselves from the scientific venue. The afternoons would be a good opportunity for local registrants to attend presentations in their own language.

It is highly recommended that individual presentations be no longer than 30 minutes including questions and up to 40 minutes for plenaries. A poster session should also hold prominent place in the program to accommodate not only poster requests but also a potential overflow of papers. Prominence of this important contribution is usually achieved around a meal or social with authors in attendance.

Booths from industry or local and international organizations are welcomed and a good source of revenue.


The Local Organizing Committee decides on speaker honoraria as appropriate.

Mutual Help

A room will be reserved at 7 AM and at 10:30 PM for mutual help meetings.

Registration Dues

Anticipated registration dues have ranged between US$350 and US$450 for early and late registrants for non-ISAM members with a US $100 reduction for ISAM members. Non-medical attendants are welcomed. A special registration may be charged for the Wednesday course on "Basics of Addiction Medicine" to defray speaker expenses.

Social Program

ISAM participants enjoy both science and socials. Socials are a welcomed opportunity to mix with our local colleagues, they should also be appropriate to an international audience. If located in a remote location, transportation to and back from the event is always appreciated as well as safer. In either case clear instructions of transportation need to be provided.

Continuing Education Certificates and Evaluation

CME certificates are to be made available signed by ISAM's president and the head of the local committee by the end of the meeting in exchange for a brief evaluation form.


The meeting in Reykjavik was sponsored and opened by the President of Iceland. Some form of official recognition is anticipated and appreciated as well as essential for the conference and local community profile. This recognition should extend not only to the local organization but to ISAM's mission and goals as well. Time for acknowledgments and awards is also required.

Wrap-Up Session

A wrap-up session with the local organizing committee is anticipated at the end of the meeting to review our common experience and add to our planning knowledge.

It is not anticipated that each meeting will be a carbon copy of the others but the outline of our expectations may facilitate the work of the local organizing committee as well as facilitate negotiations resulting in a contract. Most importantly, we need a mutually beneficial meeting.

It is very important for you to know that we are gratified in your interest in having ISAM visit your country.

Yours truly,

N. el-Guebaly, MD