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Program Committee

Volunteer Expense Reimbursement
Funding Guidelines for Organizers of SEG Meetings, Workshops / Short Courses, and Field Trips Objective and Anticipated Benefits

Provide consistent policies for the partial reimbursement of travel expenses for those who volunteer their time to organize meetings, workshops, short courses, and field trips. Plan for these events to make money for SEG.


SEG periodically organizes events that require the participation of recognized speakers, presenters, and/or field trip leaders. While most volunteers appreciate the recognition conferred through invitation to participate in an SEG event, it is often necessary to provide some reimbursement for expenses incurred, e.g. travel and accommodation. To the extent possible, invitees are expected to request financial assistance from their employers or utilize their own funds set aside for such purposes. A realistic budget is required for the purpose of determining registration fees. Accordingly, the volunteer organizer must communicate the need for reimbursement of any expenses to the Executive Director as early as possible to ensure the necessary approval. Timely communication is essential to allow for adequate promotional activity via the SEG Newsletter and other media such as the SEG eNews Update.

Categories Eligible for Reimbursement of Expenses

  1. SEG standalone meetings—Invited Speakers: The meeting organizing committee must work closely with the fund raising committee and the Executive Director to determine the funds that will be available for keynote and some invited speakers. As a general guideline, speakers with demonstrated need may be entitled to complimentary registration and hotel accommodation (double occupancy) on the nights immediately before and after their presentation. Reimbursement of airfares is negotiable but broadly as follows:
    • Outside the conference region—at least 50% of a discounted, advanced-purchase, economy airfare at the rate for a Saturday layover (if the rate is lower).
    • Within the conference region—no more than 50% of a discounted, advanced-purchase, economy airfare.
    • Note: All the above costs must be incorporated into the budget for the standalone meeting.
  2. SEG technical sessions at other meetings—Invited Speakers: The funds available for these speakers are provided by the SEG Foundation and are revised annually. Typically a meeting coordinator will be provided with a lump sum (currently US$2,000) to be used at the coordinator’s discretion when inviting speakers to take part in a topical session. These funds are usually employed in defraying costs incurred by the most needy speakers. Examples of this would be the SEG’s participation at GSA and GAC/MAC. Additional funds for speaker support may be available from the budget of the Vice President for Regional Affairs—organizers should work through their Regional Vice Presidents to assess the available level of support.
  3. Workshop / Short Course—Presenters: The expenses of these presenters are frequently covered fully in terms of airfare and accommodation but only if such costs are incorporated into the overall workshop / short course budget. Worksheets must be obtained from the Executive Director. The level to which such costs can be covered is determined by the early registration rate for participants. If unrealistically high, then some compromise is necessary such as a fixed amount for presenters. This is typically the case when SEG organizes a workshop jointly as in the case of the PDAC annual meetings.
  4. Field Trip—Leaders: These leaders, and assistants where necessary, are eligible for reimbursement of airfare, accommodation, and meals but only where such costs have been incorporated into the field trip budget. Worksheets must be obtained from the Executive Director. The early registration deadline is very important in determining the viability of a field trip.

Important Considerations for All Events

  • In most cases the early registration deadline allows the volunteer organizer and Executive Director to determine the level of interest in an event before any expenditures are required, e.g. hotel / rental car deposits, airline ticket expenditures. Attendees must be made aware of the probability of cancellation if minimum numbers are not met by the early registration deadline.
  • Whenever possible, event organizers should attempt to schedule appearances by one of more of SEG’s Traveling Lecturers (includes the International Exchange Lecturer, Thayer Lindsley Lecturer, and Regional Vice President Lecturer) since these costs are usually separately covered under the Foundation budget.
  • Organizers of technical sessions at meetings with related short courses / workshops should attempt to utilize course presenters as speakers in their technical sessions.
  • In unusual circumstances, the Executive Director may request exceptions to any of the above guidelines.

Last revision: July 31, 2003