A successful WGLD meeting depends in part on savvy local arrangements. We need:
Sometimes we stay in a single hotel, using a meeting room there. Other times we stay in disparate hotels, meeting at a convenient common location (e.g., a college, a co-working space). We’ve had good meetings spread across a city and we’ve had good meetings holed away somewhere more remote.
Especially if we’re more spread out, it’s wise to have a designated informal spot, like a hotel bar—somewhere we can bump into each other.
Formal catering of coffee breaks works best; in a pinch, it’s possible to custom order exactly what folks want. (The latter is cheaper but less ‘on demand’.) Some members prefer tea—good to have it on hand. Note that universities will often have very early catering deadlines.
Check how many people are planning to come about a month out and again the week before. Restaurants will be happy to be flexible about counts, but hotels less so.
We have generally been unwilling to book hotel blocks with mandatory booking minimums.
Our typical arrangement is for the local organizer to cover all meeting costs (rooms, food, outing), settling up with members after. Sending a single invoice at the end helps keep things simple.
Since our membership is international, it’s not possible to rely on bank transfers due to the US’s charmingly antiquated banking system. It is easy enough to set up an account with Square and take credit cards. (You can add the credit card fees to the bill.)
Alcohol at meals has worked one of two ways: either everyone splits the whole bill evenly, or folks identify themselves as wet or dry for the week—and the alcohol tab is shared by those who’ve been drinking. Most restaurants will happily accommodate separate tabs for booze and food. Alcohol outside of meals is typically covered by attendees.