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Online Speaker Bookings For Local Sections

May 25, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 21

With the inception of a new online pilot project, ACS local sections may book speakers for one-night engagements rather than being required to coordinate speaking engagements within multisection speaker tours. According to Will Lynch, past chair of the Local Section Activities Committee, the new service will "enhance the quality and pool of local section speakers while helping sections book speakers in a more timely, convenient, and flexible way."

The pilot effort is in response to concerns expressed by local sections in recent years about the difficulty of drawing first-rate speakers into the current service because of the time commitment inherent in the tour-based approach, which dates back to 1936. On the website, users will be able to view speaker photos, video, written abstracts of talks, available dates, geographic preferences, and recent ratings by other sections.

Phase one of this program will be available in June and will feature about 40 to 50 speakers. Ultimately, the site aims to offer searchable topics and locations. For more information, contact the ACS Speaker Service, (202) 872-4613,; or go to and follow the links for "Local Sections" (under the "Membership" heading), "Local Section Operations," and "Programming."


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