Meeting Guidance for Organisers, Speakers and Rapporteurs.

Thank you for your interest in the Society's meeting programme. Mid-week National meetings are usually held on the third Wednesday of the month, from October to June at a variety of venues around the country.

Membership of the Society is not compulsory for attending these free meetings, but please consider joining if you can because without our membership support we would not be able to hold these meetings:

Membership Information.


Thank you for agreeing to organise a National Meeting. The success of a National Meeting depends upon many factors, amongst the most important of which is the clarity and relevance of its content. These notes are intended to assist the organiser, presenters and the rapporteur with their contributions to the National meeting programme.

National meetings vary in character, but the majority will feature several speakers (up to 5 or 6) in a one-day programme. The Society attaches particular importance to the stimulation of good discussion, and meetings should be planned to allow adequate time for audience participation.

We ask our organisers to provide, well in advance, updates on how the programme for the day is coming together. Our Meetings Committee meets three times a year, usually in February, May and November and therefore we need an abstract for the meeting and a draft programme or update in time for these meetings in order to consider the content, balance and publicity.

The outline timetable that the Meetings Committee works towards is:

18 months ahead
  • Identify organiser and working title.
12 months ahead
  • Indication of content and possible speakers, meeting abstract (2 to 3 sentences) which can be used to promote the meeting. This may also be used in preparing any press releases as appropriate.
3-4 months ahead
  • Firm programme for approval and publication.
  • We encourage Organisers of National Wednesday meetings to consider holding an associated poster session with the meeting. If a poster session is planned, organisers need to approach appropriate people to display a poster.
1 month ahead
  • Organiser emails speakers with guidelines again, collates abstracts and figures from speakers, appointment of a meeting rapporteur who will write a meeting report for the house journal ‘Weather’.
  • Remind the speakers that you will be asking to see a draft of their talk at least one week before the meeting.
1 week ahead
  • Speakers to send draft of their talk to the organiser for comment.
  • RMetS to email and confirm final meeting arrangements, programme and Chairman’s notes.

Presenters are requested to pay particular attention to the following points:

  1. Please can you suggest improvements to the "working title"? The title should correspond to the content, but also catch the attention in order to draw in a good audience.
  2. Have you thought about whether there any other organisations with which your meeting could be held jointly? Should the Public Engagement Programme Manager at the RMetS put out press releases? Is there any material that could be linked to the RMetS web site? Are there organisations that you can recommend that we contact to publicise this meeting? Please encourage your speakers to provide any reading-lists or web-links that we can reference from our site and to provide us with organisations/institutions/ social media details that maybe useful for tagging and promotional purposes.
  3. In putting together your programme, please aim for a breadth of representation from a range of organisations or institutions, as well as other ways, e.g. a mixture of both well-established and younger scientists, men and women. In all of the Society’s National meetings we target a broad meteorological audience. Please emphasise to your speakers the breadth of the audience, and ask them not to overdo the more technical material. This is in the Guidance we provide to Speakers, but it is worth reminding them of this.
  4. For a standard National meeting, please aim for 5 to 6 talks, with each talk scheduled for 25 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions. We recommend that you initially contact 6 potential speakers - if one is unavailable, then 5 talks is often sufficient. Give the timings explicitly as "25minutes plus 5 minutes" to the speakers and remind them that the Chairman will be strict on timings.
  5. The Introduction can be short (two – five minutes), i.e. just a few remarks on the structure of the programme, the timeliness of the meeting etc.), however audiences appreciate a full introductory talk which explains the main concepts and terminology.
  6. For National meetings held on a Wednesday, we encourage organisers to consider having a poster session with posters from PhD students, early-career scientists or others displayed prior to meeting, during tea and after the meeting. You may wish to solicit these posters (up to a maximum of 10) from your speakers. Please inform your Meeting Manager if you would like to run a poster session and include these in the timetable.
  7. For some meetings a closing or panel discussion works well. This is not compulsory, but is intended to allow discussion of the overall issues raised (or not raised), which relate to more than one speaker. For example, how much progress has been made in this subject in the last 5, 10, 20 years? What are the future goals and what are the obstacles to achieving them? How do the theories, data, models of Speaker A relate to those of Speaker B? General discussion (where timetabled) needs to be actively stimulated, e.g. by one or two provocative general comments or questions. Organisers may wish to co-opt another person (besides themselves and the Chairman) to help lead the Discussion.
  8. We ask organisers to arrange a rapporteur for the meeting to produce an article which is usually published in our House journal ‘Weather’. The job of the rapporteur is to write a short, punchy article for Weather; a summarising key points and issues (please refer to previous meeting reports in Weather). This is an excellent opportunity for a student or early-career scientist.
  9. To enable everyone to meet in advance and as a thank you for your support, the organiser, speakers and rapporteur will normally be invited to lunch hosted by the Society before the meeting.
  10. Please include a minimum of a 30 minute tea break for which hot and cold drinks and biscuits will be provided. If you are holding a National Saturday meeting, then the meetings often begin before lunch. In this case please allow at least one hour for lunch.
  11. Please close the Meeting by no later than 5.45pm.
  12. Please draw to your speaker’s attention the ‘Guidance for Speakers’ part of the website and/or the points covered above.


Thank you for agreeing to speaker at an RMetS National Meeting. The success of a National Meeting depends upon many factors, amongst the most important of which is the clarity and relevance of its content. These notes are intended to assist the speaker with their contributions to the National meeting programme.

National meetings vary in character, but the majority will feature several speakers (up to 5 or 6) in a one-day programme. The Society attaches particular importance to the stimulation of good discussion, and meetings should be planned to allow adequate time for audience participation.

Speakers are requested to pay particular attention to the following points:

  • A title and a short summary/abstract (about 100 words) of their proposed presentation will be requested by the meeting organiser in order to give an indication of the scope of each topic.
  • Speakers should send some biographical notes (a paragraph or two), two weeks 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. Speakers should NOT under any circumstances exceed the time allocated for their presentation; they should be concise and emphasise the main points in their synopsis. For a 20 minute talk, some 10 to 15 slides are recommended, depending on their content. Please also allow 5 minutes for discussion. We like to encourage all levels of questions at the end of each talk, from basic understanding of a topic to probing criticism.
  • A good model for a Society talk is to spend roughly comparable time on:
    • why you did the work (motivation and background)
    • how you did it (the method)
    • what you found (results)
    • what it means (conclusions)
  • The organiser will ask to see a draft of your talk one week before the meeting to check the length and level of the content. Please also try to find time to show your talk to colleagues before the meeting to get additional feedback on clarity and timing.
  • Speakers should take care to ensure that their supporting visual material will be legible at the rear of the lecture room. A suitable typeface (Ariel, Helvetica etc) in at least font size 18pt is recommended. Graphs and diagrammatic material should be as free as possible from fine detail.
  • If your presentation uses nonstandard fonts please provide a PDF (no larger than 8MB) for use on the Society’s website.
  • Contrasting colours can be helpful.
  • Please spell out each acronym at least once.
  • Please show a summary slide where appropriate.
  • Speakers should ensure that they use any microphones provided to ensure that they are audible at the back of the room. We will provide lapel microphones but you should still face the audience and speak clearly and not too fast. Please use the microphones as we make audio recordings of many of the talks (with your permission) and importantly we do have people who use the ‘hearing loop’ within the lecture theatre which is connected to the microphones.
  • Speakers should indicate (to the meeting organiser) if they permit this or an amended version to be available as PDF files, on the RMetS website. We also like to record audio for some of our meetings. The meeting organiser or an RMetS staff member will ask you to sign a permissions form either in advance or at the meeting itself. If you have any questions regarding this a Society representative at the meeting will be able to help.
  • At the close of each meeting we encourage attendees to fill-in and return a feedback form in order to help us improve our meetings. All feedback is reviewed by the meetings committee and a summary of the feedback will be given to speakers.
  • There is no dress code.



Please remember to take into account the remote participants. Your Power Point slide will be shared on a computer screen with our remote audience who will be viewing your slides on a variety of devices (tablets, phones, laptops etc). During the meeting, presenters should:

  • Welcome everyone and ask remote attendees whether they can hear and see appropriately. (Please check with the Society's meeting manager for the remote audience's responce)
  • Make sure to verbalise throughout the meeting what attendees should be seeing (slide number, visual cues, etc.) to help flag sharing problems quickly.
  • Ask whether the RMetS remote team has any questions from the remote audience. It can be hard for remote participants to interject or notify organisers of their desire to speak.
  • If a contributor is not near a microphone or speakerphone, repeat the statement or question yourself to ensure remote attendees can hear all conversations.
  • Vary your tone of voice, expression and content to improve audience attention and engagement.
  • Use the mouse to draw attention to a specific area of the screen, as opposed to laser pointer as remote participants cannot see this which limits them fully engaging with the talk.


Thank you for agreeing to report on an RMetS National Meeting. Reporting on our meetings is an important role. They provide a historical record of the meeting and we have many members of the Society who are not able to travel to the meeting but who enjoy reading the meeting reports.

Rapporteurs are requested to pay particular attention to the following points:

  • Review previous meeting reports in Weather to help gauge the level of content.
  • We require the document to be no more than 1,000 words for a National Meeting and fewer if images are used. Please feel free to use one or two images in the report if that helps with conveying the information about the presentations. Further information for authors of Weather articles is available at ‘’.
  • The aim of the meeting report is to highlight and consider the main themes, issues and discussion points of each meeting rather than to just summarise the proceedings.
  • The Rapporteur should aim to complete the report within 7 days of the meeting. Please note that if the report is submitted with too much delay or is too long, the Editor of Weather may find it difficult to publish the report. If you have any questions for the Editor you can contact them at ‘’.
  • Once completed the report should be submitted electronically through


In line with the Society’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, expenses for car travel are normally not reimbursed where an equivalent public transport journey is available. An equivalent public transport journey is deemed as one that takes a maximum of 20% longer than the car journey. Parking, tube fares and mileage to and from a railway station will continue to be reimbursed. However, people with disabilities and those carrying heavy meeting equipment are exempt from this policy.

As a general principle the Society does not reimburse airfares, hotel, accommodation, meals or refreshments, drinks etc. However in some circumstances such costs may be unavoidable and this should be pre-authorised by the Chief Executive in advance of the meeting.

Claimants MUST attach original receipts to support expenses claimed using the RMetS Claim form provided. If the space on this form is insufficient to set out the information required, a separate statement should be attached.

Payment will be made by bank transfer; therefore bank details MUST be supplied. Please ensure that your email address / contact number is shown where requested on the front of the form in case we need to contact you regarding your claim.