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Frequently Asked Questions


Table of Contents


How many people attend the General Meeting?
Over the course of General Meeting week, it is estimated more than 750 boiler and pressure vessel professionals and their guests are in attendance. This includes those who register, as well as those who do not register but who participate in numerous committee meetings taking place during the week-long event.


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How long does the General Meeting last?
The National Board General Meeting program runs from Monday through Wednesday. The General Meeting is held in conjunction with ASME, whose meetings extend through Friday. It is recommended attendees be on hand to pick up their General Meeting materials on Sunday when the registration desk officially opens.


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What is included in the fee for the General Meeting?
Foremost, the fee provides the registrant and guest entry to outstanding opening sessions featuring some of the world’s foremost speakers and news makers (see Opening Session Speakers below). Also included is one ticket to the Wednesday Banquet (extra tickets available for purchase) offering extraordinary cuisine and top-quality entertainment (see Wednesday Banquet below). In addition, the modest fee covers exciting tours for guests – at no extra charge; an all-day Wednesday outing for both participants and guests featuring outstanding getaway activities and adventures; complimentary gifts and receptions – and more!

Of course, the most important benefit anyone can take away from the General Meeting is the expertise and technical insight shared by other attendees. Making contacts, attending industry meetings, and participating in the General Session enrich all those who seek to maximize the General Meeting experience.

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Are guests encouraged to attend the General Meeting?
Definitely. Unlike other professional conferences, guests are also invited to attend the exciting opening session (see Opening Session below).

They may also participate in a variety of free, specially selected tours. These delightful trips have included: airboat rides and “gator-gazin’” among the Central Florida Everglades; a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic Fallingwater; a day at Hawaii’s famous Polynesian Cultural Center; an excursion on Niagara Falls’ renowned Maid of the Mist; tea at the Georgia Governor’s mansion; a tour of Dallas’ Southfork Ranch; an authentic dim sum luncheon; a visit to the Truman Library and Museum; a tour of the science fiction hit Stargate Atlantis soundstage; and a tour of the legendary Ryman Auditorium and Country Music Hall of Fame – to name only a few fascinating destinations and activities.

Long days notwithstanding, early evenings at the General Meeting are often reserved for attending complimentary cocktail receptions – excellent occasions for those in the industry and their guests to socialize, meet new industry professionals, and renew old acquaintances. 

Each General Meeting registration permits the attendance of one guest. A nominal fee is charged for additional guests 16 years of age and older.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The General Meeting is not a function small children would find interesting.

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Who have been some of the Opening Session speakers?
There are few meetings anywhere that can equal the outstanding roster of world-renowned speakers and news makers featured at General Meeting Opening Sessions.

This distinguished list includes: President Gerald Ford; former astronauts Neil Armstrong, Eugene Cernan, James Lovell, Pete Conrad, and Alan Bean; entertainers Charlton Heston, Bob Newhart, James Caan, Jerry Lewis, and Leslie Nielsen; Beach Boys Mike Love and Al Jardine; former NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz; NBA Hall of Fame basketball greats Bill Russell and Bobby Knight; Olympic champion Peggy Fleming; NFL Hall of Fame legends Roger Staubach, Joe Montana, Ray Nitske, Franco Harris, Don Shula, and Chuck Noll; former presidential press secretary Pierre Salinger; and former world boxing champion Joe Frazier, and former Super Bowl MVP and Dancing with the Stars Champion Hines Ward.

There are always surprises at the Opening Session, such as: Charlton Heston's dramatic interpretation of passages from Thomas Wolfe’s Of Time and the River; Suzanne Somers' grand entrance in a white ‘56 Thunderbird (reminiscent of her famous role as the "mystery blonde" in the movie classic American Graffiti); a high-stepping performance featuring the renowned Kilgore Rangerettes; a special performance by the Band of the Royal Regiment of Canada; an energetic show by the spirited NBA Orlando Magic Dancers and mascot; Drum Café, and a memorable 2004 Opening Session on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry!

Audience members, in most instances, receive an opportunity to personally meet the speakers at autograph or photo sessions following Opening Session presentations.

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What is the Wednesday Outing?
The Wednesday Outing is unique to the General Meeting and features an all-day function involving all registrants and their guests.

Commencing early morning, General Meeting participants are transported to an extraordinary location for a day of special activities complemented by an outstanding luncheon. The day culminates with a return to the host hotel at approximately mid-afternoon (plenty of time to prepare for the Wednesday Banquet).

Past Wednesday Outings have included: a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii with lunch onboard the USS Missouri; a tour and luncheon at the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee; a trip to the picturesque Sonoran community of Sedona, Arizona; an all-day visit to the famous Texas Motor Speedway complete with race car rides; a day with lunch at the Kennedy Space Center; a railway excursion through the Pike National Forest en route to famous Pikes Peak; a bullfight exhibition and fiesta in Tijuana, Mexico; and a visit to the majestic Portage Glacier near Anchorage, Alaska.

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What takes place at the Wednesday Banquet?
The Wednesday Banquet is the culmination of National Board’s portion of the General Meeting. For all participants, it is an excellent opportunity to rest (following the Wednesday Outing) and reflect on events of the previous several days. Good food, good friends, and good fun are all hallmarks of this extraordinary Wednesday gala. Following a gourmet dinner and dancing, the evening concludes with a special Conference in Review presentation followed by a wonderful program featuring some of the finest past and present performers in the entertainment world.

In previous years, these performances have featured: Las Vegas favorites Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Bobby Rydell, Cirque Dreams, Wilson Phillips, Rich Little, Gallagher and Jeff Tracta; country legends Juice Newton, Lee Greenwood, Louise Mandrell, and Johnny Lee; comedian Harry Anderson; and the multi-talented Steve Allen.

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How and where can I pre-register?
Pre-registration forms can be completed and submitted electronically via
InfoLink! (posted from January to the spring pre-registration deadline) on the National Board Web site.

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Can I register at the General Meeting?
Yes.

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How does one become a speaker at a future General Session?
Anyone interested in speaking at a future General Session should develop a presentation focusing on the safe operation, maintenance, construction, repair, and/or inspection of boilers and pressure vessels. Additional subject areas may include safety valves, as well as other unit components, testing codes and standards, risks and reliability, and training. To be considered, the presentation should be synopsized in a typewritten abstract of no longer than 200 words in English (do not include supplementary materials) and sent to Paul Brennan, National Board Director of Public Affairs, 1055 Crupper Avenue, Columbus, OH 43229. All submissions must be postmarked by October 1 of the year prior to next General Meeting. Presentations of a commercial or promotional nature will not be considered.

Speakers chosen to deliver General Session presentations will be notified within two months of deadline submission date. Each will receive one full complimentary National Board registration for the speaker and one guest. Speakers assume their own travel and hotel expenses.

For more information, click here.

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How is a city considered for a future General Meeting?
Because of numerous food and beverage functions, substantial sleeping room requirements, and minimal meeting room needs, the General Meeting is considered to be a highly desired event for many resorts and hotels.

A prerequisite to conducting the General Meeting first involves representation by a National Board member (see list under jurisdictions on the National Board Web site). A location may be eligible to host the General Meeting provided it is situated in a city, state, or province represented by a member jurisdiction. Contacting the National Board member and expressing interest in conducting the General Meeting is a good way to begin the process.

For a hotel to be considered, it must have enough space to physically accommodate meeting functions (one ballroom accommodating up to 500 persons theater and banquet style, and one medium-sized conference room) and sleeping arrangements (up to 200 rooms per evening). All required space must be situated in a single hotel or resort facility.

General Meeting site selection is determined by a number of important factors, foremost of which is maximizing event attendance. To accomplish this, the National Board identifies locations attendees want to visit; evaluates sightseeing activities available in the immediate and surrounding areas; considers ease of transportation access from the airport to the host hotel and from the attendees' airports to the host city’s airport; availability of quality accommodations; and reasonable room rates (expressed in dollars of the year the General Meeting will be conducted).

Perhaps the most critical component of the site selection process involves the aspirations of each location requesting consideration. Given the General Meeting’s appeal, the National Board seeks to partner with cities and hotels having a thorough appreciation for its work – appreciation reflected in enthusiasm and a desire to host what is a first-class event.

The site selection process for a specific General Meeting location is typically completed five years in advance of the event. 

NOTE: because the General Meeting is traditionally conducted with ASME, consideration for this organization’s space needs may also enter into the decision-making process.

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Does the General Meeting take place at the same time each year?
It is generally scheduled for late spring, usually in mid-May. However, it has also taken place mid to late April in locales having moderate/warm weather.

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How and when can I learn about future General Meetings?
The simplest way is to regularly visit the National Board Web site. InfoLink!, the National Board's General Meeting homepage feature, is posted beginning in January and includes online preregistration, hotel reservation instructions, and the latest updates on event speakers and activities. General Meeting information is also published in the winter issue of the National Board Bulletin.

To receive a free subscription to the Bulletin, click here.

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