Tips for Organizing Conferences:

I recently thought of a few tips for organizing conferences, which might be especially useful for law review editors, since they come and go each year and often can't learn from the experiences of their predecessors:

1. Print people's names on their name tags in a large font. One function of a name tag is so that people who have forgotten other people can pretend to recognize them. Having to squint at the name tag and then say "Oh, Pete, great to see you again!" defeats this purpose.

2. Enforce time limits for panelists (which is to say by telling them the time is up, and expecting them to take no more than a minute or two to wrap up after that), though give several warnings at fixed times before the time limit.

3. Don't leave this time limit enforcements to the moderators: They're generally on the same podium as the speakers, and it's distracting to the speaker and the audience for the moderators to keep passing pieces of paper labeled "5 minutes," "2 minutes," "Time," and so on to the speaker. Instead, have someone in the audience in the speaker's field of vision putting up "X minutes left" signs. (Having a counting second timer at the lectern is an alternative, but they need to be reset after each speaker, and it's possible that speakers will tune them out in a way that they're not likely to tune out the signs.)

If you have more suggestions, please post them in the comments.