1 December 2015 at 8:08 pm #573508
I only just discovered today that if I want to attend the meeting I will have to pay. No member should have to pay to attend a monthlly meeting.
Not everyone can plan that much ahead. I am now in a position where I am coming over to the meeting but may not be able to afford to attend it because as a pensioner I have to budget for every pound.
Tony.2 December 2015 at 2:12 pm #577164Jeremy ShearsParticipant
The Christmas meeting is one of the most popular events in the BAA Calendar and our meeting on Dec 12 maintains the tradition of welcoming world-class speakers including Professors Gerry Gilmore and Lucie Green. As in recent years, we have moved the venue from Burlington House to University College London so we can accommodate more people. However, even this large lecture theatre still has a limit on capacity. As in previous years, to ensure a comfortable, enjoyable and safe experience for those attending we have to keep track on the number attending, hence the request to book at place in advance. The meeting is free for members to attend provided they reserved a place by November 20, as announced in the October JBAA and via BAA ebulletin. We had anticipated this would give ample time for those intending to come to register for the event to register for free (non-members who wish to attend would pay the fee anyway) and the £5 fee would encourage people to register early.
I do hope that you will still be able to come to the Christmas meeting, which I am sure will maintain the high standards of previous years and be a very enjoyable event.
Jeremy Shears2 December 2015 at 4:39 pm #577165
I have attended most of the Christmas Meetings for over twenty years and enjoyed most of them. I tend to just scan email headers and did not read the specific one. Even if I had read it in time it would have made no difference as it has only been in the past few days that it was confirmed that I could visit the UK and I would never book until I knew a 100%.that I could attend.
I can understand the need for advanced booking, but I can see no reason for charging members. This means that members are paying twice.
What is the point of being a member when there is a potential charge equal to the General Public. Even though I will be in the area I cannot see how I can attend because even if I have the fiver as money is not being taken on the day.
I hope that in future years members will not be charged.
Tony.3 December 2015 at 7:57 am #577166Nick JamesParticipant
As far as I understand it you can still turn up at the door with your fiver on the day but, given the numbers, there is no guarantee that you will get in. That is why the strong recommendation is to register in advance.
I think you are being a bit unfair about this. There was ample opportunity to register for free as a member and, even if you weren’t 100% sure of being able to make it you could have released the place later if you couldn’t come.
Charging members to come to our main meetings is always a contentious subject but, because of its popularity, the Christmas Meeting is special and we have to put special arrangements in place to manage numbers and the charge did only arise after a long free period. I’m sure we will consider this aspect and look at how it worked this year.
Nick.3 December 2015 at 2:17 pm #577167
I agree that for a popular meeting it does make sense for members to indicate whether they are coming, though I would not book a place unless I was 100% certain that I could attend. That is why I waited until I did to attend.
I had not read the email, but I fully expected that the rules would have been the same as 2014 where the email said:
It will be free to all BAA members and affiliated society members if booked
in advance and for non-members the cost will be £5.00. If you turn up on
the day having not pre-booked the charge will be £5.00 to all.
It is reasonable to expect that it would be the same this year.
Tony.3 December 2015 at 7:16 pm #577168
I accept that I should have read my emails, journal and the website at the proper time. I will come to the meeting and pay at the door.
One of the things that I used to enjoy with the BAA is that the meeting were cost free with no hidden extras. For most of my membership time costs never affected me personally, but I recognised at the time how good this was for the less well off members – especially the younger ones. It meant that provided they could get to a meeting there were no further costs involved. At least it was not like some organisations where there are compulsary costs like ebtry fees and expensive snacks that you had to pay for, you could just turn up with a pack of bread and jam.
I will be looking into how to raise this issue of keeping the meetings free to members. Obviously anything held in the RAS rooms are free as no costs are involved apart from perhaps for a cup of tea or coffee to go along with my jam butties.
Tony.13 December 2015 at 10:07 am #577178
First let me say how good the meeting was. No, that is wrong it was a brilliant meeting with perhaps the best combination of speakers and content I have seen at a Christmas Meeting. I also enjoyed meeting up again with so many and only sorry that there was not time to chat to more.
Second I would like to thank the many people who told me that they agreed with me on the matter raised above. No one came upto me an told me that I wrong, though perhaps some where just being polite 🙂
Tony.13 December 2015 at 12:45 pm #577179Gary PoynerParticipant
Have to agree with Tony on the quality of the meeting (although not the other issue) – it was great! Been a BAA member for nearly 40 years, and this was my first Christmas meeting. Hope it won’t be my last! Good fun in the pub afterwards too.
Gary13 December 2015 at 9:38 pm #577180Andrew RobertsonParticipant
Well I would have really liked to have gone, went last year and it was excellent. But it was on a new moon weekend which with the travelling distance would take potentially two full observing nights away (Friday & Saturday) so didn’t book in case it was clear. As it was I got 6 hours observing in Friday night. It would be great if these lectures could be organised closer to full moons.
Andrew18 December 2015 at 3:54 pm #577183Paul Downing, FRASParticipant
This was my first Christmas meeting and i was delighted to see so many members and such a high quality programme. The presentation on the Voyagers and the heliosphere was fascinating and I had so many questions which I was not able to ask. Very well done to BAA for a quality meeting.
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