Hosting an IEC

Guide to Hosting an I.E.C.



The International Council of Ethologists is charged by its Constitution with organizing Ethology Conferences. The ICE, and in particular its Executive Committee, due to a degree of permanence and regular attendance at Ethology Conferences, is in the best position to assist groups that wish to apply to host such a conference. The Officers are best able to present and judge the advantages and disadvantages of various arrangements and plans for an Ethology Conference. Thus, Local Host Committees should feel free to consult with members of the ICE and particularly the Officers of the Executive Committee.

1.   Any university or group of universities planning to host an ICE must have enough active ethologists present in their region  to form a Local Host Committee of sufficient number to handle the many and varied aspects of organizing and running a conference.

2.   In general the following basic facilities are necessary:
A large hall for plenary sessions (seating 800-1000);
A series of lecture halls each holding 200-400 persons  for the parallel sessions of contributed oral papers;
A space sufficient in size to handle the poster paper displays(this will vary depending upon the arrangements for and time of poster displays);
A common area/reception hall with places to sit and to have conversations in small groups;
A large area which can serve for coffee breaks, snacks and possibly an evening cafe;
Dormitory accommodations (these should be relatively cheap and meals should be available on the premises).

3.   The following contractual arrangements will be made with the ICE:
(a)  The Chairperson of the Local Host Committee shall report to the International Council regarding plans for the upcoming meeting at the Ethology Conference prior to that meeting. The Local Host Committee Chairperson shall also report frequently to the Secretary-General of the ICE throughout the period of preparations for an Ethology Conference. These reports shall include the program arrangements for Plenary Sessions, the budget, housing arrangements, excursions and any other matters deemed important by the Secretary-General. The ICE shall appoint one or more representatives to visit the Local Host Committee to inspect the arrangements for the conference at least one year prior to the conference. The Secretary-General or his/her representative from the ICE should be present at the meeting(s) of the Local Host Committee at which final decisions are made regarding the scientific program.

(b)   The ICE shall provide ‘seed money’ to assist the Local Host Committee to establish its program. The amount of such monies shall be negotiated between the Local Host Committee and the Secretary-General and Treasurer of the ICE. The amount of funds to be repaid to the ICE, including a percentage as interest, shall be negotiated between the Local Host Committee, the ICE Treasurer and the Secretary-General.  The Local Host Committee shall be responsible for collecting of the ICE assessment from all persons attending the conference. This amount is determined separately for each Ethology Conference. The assessment funds should be collected as part of the conference registration fees and are to be paid to the ICE Treasurer.

(c)   At the completion of the Ethology Conference, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the Treasurer of the Local Host Committee shall provide the Secretary-General of the ICE with a complete and audited financial accounting of the conference. Any surplus funds from the conference shall be divided with one-half of the monies being sent to the ICE Treasurer and one-half retained by the Local Host Committee.  This latter portion may be used by the Local Host Committee to help defray the costs for the Treasurer of the Local Host Committee to attend the next Ethology Conference (note: said person is the Vice-Treasurer of the ICE by our Constitution and will become the ICE Treasurer). That portion of any surplus funds retained by the Local Host Committee may also be used to assist the travel of other members of the Local Host Committee or their students to attend the next Ethology

(d)   In planning the budget for a conference the Local Host Committee should remember that, (1) some funds need to be set aside for assistance to colleagues with limited resources or those from countries with restricted currency exchange conditions (the number of such delegates to receive such subsidies and the amounts of the payments shall be decided by the Local Host Committee and communicated to the ICE Secretary-General); (2) funds should be included to defray one-half of the economy class airfare for plenary session moderators and speakers.

(e)   The registration fees for an Ethology Conference shall be set at different levels for delegates, students, retired persons and those who are unemployed.
(f)   The ICE Treasurer will be responsible for providing the Local Host Committee with full budget details and procedures.

(g)   The Local Host Committee must send copies of the minutes of all of their meetings to the Secretary-General in a prompt and timely manner.  This will assist the ICE, its officers and the Local Host Committee in identifying areas of accord and disagreement so that issues that may arise can be resolved promptly and satisfactory.

Questions to be Answered in a Conference Proposal

In addition to answering the queries posed above, the following series of questions should be answered by the Local Host Committee at the time they prepare their bid to host an International Ethological Conference.  (not necessarily in this order)

1. For which year is the conference sought?

2. Is there a national ethology society in your country or region?

3. If there is such a society, how many members are in the organization?  Are they supporting the conference?

4. Do members of your national society or nation regularly attend the Ethology Conferences?

5. What is the total number of persons that you propose to have in attendance at the conference?

6. What length is the proposed conference (how many days)? Traditionally the Ethology Conferences have been 9-10 days in duration.

7. What language(s) are proposed for the conference?  All recent conferences have been in English.

8.  Describe the travel arrangements necessary for getting to the conference site and what are the fares for getting to the conference site from key locations (e.g. London, Frankfurt, New York, etc.).

9. What types of rooming accommodations are available for those attending the conference? The Council requires details of the number of single and double rooms available in hotels of each class, with the prices and facilities available for each class specified.  In most cases we have been able to meet at a university campus.  Are there any cheap, dormitory accommodations available at your site; how many rooms and at what daily rates?

10. Will meals be provided on the site in a cafeteria or other similar arrangement?  What are the likely meal costs?

11. What halls or spaces are available for:
Plenary sessions?
Simultaneous contributed paper sessions?
Poster papers
Conference office?
Lounge areas with snacks for relaxation and small group discussions?
Coffee/tea break arrangements?
Meetings of the ICE

12.  What are the distances between these halls? A map appended to the proposal is an excellent manner in which to illustrate the arrangements of the various facilities.

13.  What are the distances between the conference halls and the dormitory or hotel accommodations?  How will conference participants get between their accommodations and the meeting?  Will travel be safe for all participants at the times they will be traveling?

14.  What are the details of the Local Organizing Committee?  How many people are to be included in the committee and what are their projected roles in staging the conference?

15. What financial arrangements are proposed for the conference?
(a) Are any seed funds needed — funds to help the Local Organizing Committee get started with its plans for the conference?
(b) Is a loan from the ICE needed?  If so, can this be repaid in the same currency in which it was provided and with an additional amount as interest, agreed upon in advance?
(c) Can provisions be made for the collection and transmission to the ICE treasurer for the levy imposed by the Council for each Ethology Conference?
(d) has provision been made for a complete and audited financial accounting of the conference?
(e)Is any provision to be made to give financial assistance to delegates with limited financial resources and from countries with restricted currency exchange conditions?  What are those plans?
(f) Has provision been made in planning the conference finances to include a specified portion of the airfare of plenary session moderators and speakers (usually one-half of the economy class fare)?

16.  What are the detailed arrangements and time schedules proposed for:
the scientific program?
refereeing of papers submitted for inclusion in the program
selection of speakers and moderators for and organization of Plenary Sessions? and
selection and organization of poster paper presentations?

17.  What projection facilities will be available for this conference?  Will computer projection facilities, video, etc. be available for lecture presentations?

18. Will your Local Host Committee be using the services of a university conference office or a commercial conference organizing firm?  Have you correctly accounted for the costs of these services in your planning?

19. Can you make provisions to have a printed listing of delegates with names and addresses available at registration?

20.  What are your plans for mid-conference tours and field trips?  Are you planning pre- or post- conference tours?

21.  What are your plans for advertising the conference and for contacting those who might be interested in attending?  Have you considered the price for such advertising in your budget?

22.  Are you planning a web site for the Conference?  Has this cost been budgeted?  Are you planning on-line registration and has the price been included in the budget?

Concluding Remarks
There are many things that make each particular conference a successful one.  Perhaps the most important of these is the attention given to small details.  There are numerous small details that need attention in the period before a conference.  The Local Host Committee should attempt to provide as much attention to these details as possible throughout its deliberations and during the time that they are staging the conference.  Among these smaller but no less important items are currency exchange, child care referral, laundry service, newspapers, travel agency availability for confirming and changing plans, easy transportation to shopping/cultural areas of the host city, a list of good restaurants, lists of gift shops, etc.

In conclusion it is most important to emphasize that the most successful conferences will be those where there is close cooperation between the Local Host Committee and the officers and members of the ICE.  The Local Host Committee has primary responsibility for staging the conference. The roles of the ICE officers are to determine that general ICE policies and practices are kept alive and to provide assistance and advice on all matters where help is needed by the Local Host Committee.


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