Conference planning

These guidelines were first published December 2000
Revised April 2002 - Author: John Spence
Revised March 2007 - Author: Richard Green
Revised October 2020 – Author: Zane Grosa

Table of contents

1. About these Guidelines

1.1 The annual conference is the focal point of IASA’s year. IASA is a volunteer organization and these guidelines provide a sense of continuity that is essential in an organization where the Board can change every three years.

1.2 These guidelines are not rules; they are guidelines that can be adapted to local circumstances to develop a conference that will have wide appeal to IASA’s members and to answer questions about and provide assistance with putting on a IASA conference. The IASA Board is always open to suggestions from the local organizers and from the membership at large.

1.3 This document reflects the corporate knowledge about conferences that has developed in IASA in its more than 50 years of existence.

1.4 The guidelines proposed here are designed to assist with planning of IASA conferences. They are aimed at assisting three specific groups:

  • IASA conference hosts, both the committed and the prospective;
  • IASA Executive Board (EB);
  • The general IASA membership and conference participants, be they speakers or delegates.

1.5 The guidelines are broken into eleven sections and two appendices:

  • Sections 1 - 4: a broad overview on IASA conferences and the guidelines;
  • Sections 5 and 11: the responsibilities of the local organizers and IASA;
  • Section 6: the overall conference planning and organization;
  • Section 7: the conference programme structure;

Those thinking of hosting a IASA conference need to carefully review all sections above, as well as the Appendices.

  • Sections 8 – 11 give more detail on specific aspects of conference planning particularly for the IASA EB.

1.6 Allowance is made for IASA solo conferences and conferences shared with another international or regional association whose aims are similar to those of IASA. Possible Co-Host Associations lists a number of these associations.

2. Introduction to IASA conferences

2.1 The selection of the conference host is the responsibility of the EB. Conferences normally rotate among locations between Europe and outside Europe.

2.2 The official language of IASA conferences is English. Conference organizers may arrange for simultaneous translation in any language for some or all of the sessions. IASA welcomes and encourages this arrangement. Language options are to be clearly stated in the programme.

2.3 IASA conferences have, in recent years, been developed around a main theme with suggested secondary topics. The theme and sub topics are developed in cooperation between the conference hosts and the IASA Executive Board. This permits local issues to be addressed in the context of larger themes that would be appealing to the general IASA membership.

2.4 The section and committee meetings are usually integrated in the main conference programme, and are an integral part of the conference.

2.5 In addition, a General Assembly is held annually for carrying out the business of the Association, including the election of officers to the Board. The IASA Executive Board changes every three years.

3. Conference dates and duration

3.1 Conferences are normally held at approximately 12 monthly intervals, usually somewhere between mid-September and the first half of October, from Monday through Thursday.

3.2 Local conditions such as climate, holiday periods, or location of conference may dictate other arrangements.

3.3 Joint conferences with other associations may also necessitate a change in the conference schedule. Overlapping with other conferences considered attractive for IASA members, such as AES conventions, AMIA, or the IBC, should be avoided.

3.4 It is recognized that some dates will almost certainly be difficult for some members (e.g., European and North American holiday seasons), but consultation between local organisers and the IASA EB will help to minimise such difficulties.

3.5 Conferences should not be held too closely together. They need adequate preparation time and the membership needs to recover physically and financially between conferences.

3.6 The planning of the conference should start at least 18 months in advance. It is essential to have some information available at the previous conference and for the representatives selected by the EB to meet representatives of the local organising committee on this occasion. It has become customary for a representative of the organising committee of the following conference to make a brief presentation at the General assembly.

4. Joint conferences and solo conferences

4.1 Joint conferences

4.1.1 The EB believes that a joint conference with like-minded international or regional associations has much to recommend it. It broadens the knowledge of IASA members, particularly in a media convergent increases the potential audience for the conference and broadens its appeal in the professional and general community. Additionally, the programme will retain the members’ interest and reduce the risk of repeat content delivered by the same people.

4.1.2 The EB will set its conference agenda for the years ahead and approach IASA members in certain areas to see if a conference can be mounted and, if it is to be a joint conference, who could be our partners.

4.1.3 IASA performs an important international role in the AV archiving community. The EB sees that IASA has a responsibility to institutions and individuals in developing countries to assist and inform them about modern archival practices and holding conferences in these countries is one way to achieve this aim. However, in order for such conferences to be successful it will be necessary for IASA to have a presence in the host country and/or a strong joint host presence.

4.1.4 It should be especially noted that joint conferences should enable joint participation of respective memberships and not evolve into two simultaneous conferences. Sessions should serve the needs of both memberships and should explore the common interests. If parallel sessions are scheduled, splits along association lines should be avoided, except for the General Assemblies. This arrangement presents a challenge when working with organizers who have different conference structures and organizational methods. The EB and the conference organizers should work from a clear understanding of how a particular joint conference and its related programme will be organized.

4.2 Possible Co-host associations

4.3 Solo conferences

4.3.1 Solo conferences allows for IASA to periodically assess its situation and policies. The EB will balance solo and joint conferences so that all the needs of the association are met.

5. Conference organizers’ responsibilities


IASA is committed to making conference hosting practical and feasible for most IASA members. To achieve this goal, IASA has made conference planning and management a shared responsibility between the host and IASA. With this arrangement conference hosts can concentrate on aspects of conference organization that can best be done by those with local knowledge, i.e., local arrangements.

Some responsibilities, depending upon the capacity and capabilities of the local host, are arranged jointly and as agreed between the host and the IASA Executive Board (EB).

Some tasks are handled solely by the EB with responsibility mainly delegated to the conference Vice-President.

IASA assumes the intellectual ownership of the conference including the main responsibility for the programme and sponsorship opportunities. IASA takes on most of the financial administration. The conference host concentrates on logistical matters.

5.1 IASA EB procedure

5.1.1 The EB is responsible for the selection of conference hosts. The EB should plan at least two conferences in advance. This does not preclude the EB from planning further ahead; particularly if there have been expressions of interest in hosting a future conference in a particular year. The EB encourages an application where a special event has prompted the application, e.g., the Austrian Phonogrammarchiv’s 100th anniversary of sound archiving in 1999. When planning conferences, the EB will inform themselves of any local political situations that may affect the conference and keep the membership informed. The EB will work closely with the local hosts to ensure that they are fully informed of any specific requirements to make the conference attractive to local interests.

5.1.2 With the election of a new board the EB should delegate a VP to be in charge of the conference. The conference VP will normally be the person to coordinate conference arrangements with the local hosts. The EB may delegate the coordination to other members after considering such factors as language, geographic location, and personal contacts. At the EB meeting taking place at an annual conference, the EB should review the responsibilities of various Board members for coming conferences and take decisions as required. When a new Board assumes office it has the responsibility of reviewing conference arrangements and assigning responsibilities accordingly. Because conference commitments are often made several years in advance, a smooth transition and exchange of information is essential.

5.1.3 The conference format and theme are discussed with EB.

5.1.4 The Secretary-General will communicate with the Sections and Committees before the mid-year meeting to ensure that all their requirements are included in the preliminary programme. This should also take into account training sessions and other needs.

5.2 Summary of conference responsibilities

5.2.1. Local host responsibilities

  • Submit conference proposal to the IASA EB.
  • Draw up a budget outlining costs, revenues, and financial constraints. IASA conferences are expected to break even.
  • Liaise with IASA EB on a regular basis. IASA EB will name specific EB members to communicate with conference hosts.
  • Arrange for conference venues, halls, and meeting rooms that include space for commercial and local displays.
  • Arrange for sound, AV, computer and other services for the conference facilities.
  • Suggest hotels and other accommodation and reserve blocks of rooms, usually until a set date. (This does not necessarily mean having a centralized booking service. Delegates can book their own hotels.)
  • Arrange opening reception, closing banquet (separate fee), coffee and refreshment breaks, and any local evening entertainment or events deemed to be appropriate.
  • Organize a registration desk and preparation of delegate bags and a conference office or central point.
  • Wi-Fi access in the conference site that is sufficient for all guests and presenters.
  • Provide translation services as required. The language of IASA conferences is English but local requirements may demand translation services.
  • Arrange tours to local AV institutions.
  • Provide local promotion.
  • Invite local dignitaries and officials.
  • Find local sponsorship for particular events in coordination with the IASA EB.
  • Supply and coordinate content for conference web site with IASA webmaster.
  • Submit a report following the conference on the experience providing conference details and suggestions.

5.2.2 Joint or shared responsibilities

  • Determine conference main theme and sub topics.
  • Organize conference programme.
  • Integrate local contributions to the programme including session papers, poster sessions, and other types.
  • Distribute conference preliminary programme, usually electronically.
  • Print final programme and arrange for it to be included in conference bags.
  • Solicit funds from commercial vendors with the host providing information about regional possibilities.
  • Promote the conference inside and outside of IASA.
  • Arrange financial and travel assistance to speakers and conference delegates.
  • Finances:
    • Finalize budget.
    • Deal with currency issues.
    • Determine registration and other fees.
    • Estimate income and expenses.
    • Analyze the legal and financial risk of each conference.
    • Transfer of funds and payment arrangements.

5.2.3 IASA Executive Board responsibilities

  • Delegate conference responsibilities to specific EB members such as VP Conferences, Webmanager, or Treasurer.
  • Establish a reporting structure for each conference.
  • Select and approve conference hosts and ⁄ or partners for joint conferences.
  • Create, populate, and update the conference web site.
  • Communicate consistently with conference hosts.
  • Issue “Call for Papers” to IASA and other appropriate organizations. Evaluate response and follow up as required.
  • Confirm participation of speakers including coordination of registration, abstracts, biographical material, and submission of completed papers for inclusion in the Journal.
  • Promote conference through other associations and related web sites.
  • Publishing and 'marketing’ of the conference in the Journal, listserv, and web site.
  • Apply for funds from UNESCO (Paris).
  • Establish sponsorship levels.
  • Manage funds received from registration through conference website.
  • Run the conference web site and integrate content supplied by local organizer.

5.3 Guidance for the local host

  1. IASA delegates a large part of the responsibility for a IASA conference to the local organizers. IASA is a relatively modest-sized organization and does not have the resources to take on the organization of conferences that may be far removed from the places where the EB live and work. It is essential to have a strong local group in place.
  2. Some hosts have delegated much of the responsibility for conference planning and organization to professional conference organizers. IASA has no objection to this but that cost must be borne by the local organizers and reflected in the conference fee.
  3. This section, along with additional information in the Conference Planning Timeline, Conference Programme, and Conference budget example outlines the hosts’ responsibilities. The IASA EB is willing to work with those who are new to this process but IASA relies on strong local representation to make the annual conference a success.
  4. Local conditions, professional and social, should be reflected in the conference, particularly in the programme content.
  5. Audiovisual institutions should showcase their expertise and open their doors for professional visits.
  6. It is essential that the conference hosts give some guidance to the EB in how to assist in promoting the conference on a regional basis and how to best meet any particular local needs including possible language issues.
  7. It is essential that conference hosts ensure the availability of good sound and projection facilities in all auditoriums and meeting rooms, including experienced technical help for the duration of the conference.
  8. Along with the responsibility and hard work, comes an opportunity for the conference host to show off their institution, to introduce colleagues to another part of the world, and a chance to focus on issues in the sound and audiovisual field that relate to the conference organizer’s particular needs. It is also an occasion to possibly mark a significant event or anniversary and to raise awareness of your institution and its priorities within your own locale.

5.3.1 Meeting rooms
An adequate number of rooms must be available for the conference in order to accommodate large open sessions and smaller limited interest or working sessions which, in IASA’s case, are sometimes held concurrently. Although this is by no means fixed, a rough estimate of IASA requirements is:

  • A lecture room for main conference sessions and open sessions large enough to accommodate up to 150 delegates in the case of a IASA solo conference outside of Europe; 200 for a IASA solo conference within Europe and up to 300 in the case of a joint conference. In the latter case the organising committee should make reference to the two association EBs as to their expectations.
  • Organizers should refer to conference attendance in the previous years for conferences within and outside Europe.
  • A meeting room for concurrent or working sessions may be required and should be able to accommodate about 40-50 delegates.
  • A space for poster sessions, preferably in close vicinity to the main lecture/meeting rooms.
  • Up to 2 or 3 meeting rooms may be required during the day(s) prior to the commencement of the conference for final conference preprations by the EB and any closed meetings of the IASA committees/sections/task forces. A meeting room may be required for the day after the conference for a second EB meeting.
  • All meeting rooms to be equipped with sound and projection facilities, as well as with wireless internet capable of supporting all conference guests and presenters. The local organizers need to provide experienced technical help for the duration of the conference.

5.3.2. Communal space
In addition to the meeting rooms there should be a communal area in the same building as the conference sessions for people to mingle and hold impromptu conversations. Refreshment facilities must be provided and budgeted for in the conference fee structure. The communal space might also be the location of any trade shows and/or commercial exhibits that might be arranged.

5.3.3. Accommodation
This can be varied according to local conditions. There are a number of options: There is a lot to be said for a single venue that is the conference and hotel in one building complex, yet it does not allow for the wide budget range of the IASA membership. Special conference complexes can offer a community atmosphere and can self-contain all activities. Delegates may be housed in affordable and attractive University (education or type) accommodation. If none of the above offers affordable and attractive options the IASA EB prefers that a range of accommodation be offered. Where hotels are offered, it is necessary to have a price range to allow for richer/poorer members or institutions. However, these should preferably be in the vicinity of the conference.

5.3.4 Conference site location
This very much depends on local conditions but it should be in a safe and attractive area: close to places of interest for participants, e.g. sound archives, broadcasting stations etc, and tourist attractions both for participants and non-participating accompanying persons. Sometimes tourist attractions can be a distraction, but it is often the case that the tourist attraction means people extend their stay to take advantage of these before or after the conference.

5.3.5. Finances

The host should draw up a business plan, including a financial model based on realistic predictions and estimates, in order to formulate a balanced budget as a basis for managing expenditure and receipts against planned targets (see Conference Business Plan). The recommended financial model is a zero-loss outcome.

Sources of income may include:

  • Delegates’ registration fees
  • Rental of space by commercial exhibitors
  • Sponsorship from commercial companies
  • Grants from government agencies
  • The monetary value of support-in-kind

Budgeted expenditure may include:

  • venue rental or hire charges
  • creation and maintenance of conference web site
  • conference badges, bags, and stationery
  • food and drink for the opening reception
  • other reasonable hospitality costs including music
  • printing and design costs for the conference programme
  • transportation in connection with professional visits
  • refreshments for morning and afternoon breaks
  • hire of AV equipment for speakers’ use
  • hire of photocopiers, PCs for conference office
  • hire of sufficient wifi to ensure internet access for all guests and speakers
  • conference display panels and signage
  • bank charges
  • presentation gifts for principal organisers
  • professional conference organizers
  • simultaneous translation services

5.3.6    Welcoming reception. Normally a reception is put on at the beginning of the conference to welcome delegates. This may be supplemented by a function thrown by a sponsor or host institution. Often the welcome reception is put on by the host institution. In addition, tours to museums and other relevant or appropriate institutions may be arranged, separate to the professional visits. Where food is offered at these events it should be noted in the programme in some way, e.g., a reception with refreshments or dinner/reception depending on the circumstances. Likewise, where transport is provided or the entrance fee is included this, too, should be noted.

5.3.7   Farewell dinner or party. The closing conference dinner may be budgeted for separately, or included in the main budget. It is the current EB's opinion that the cost of the farewell function should be kept separate from the conference fee. This gives delegates the opportunity to attend an affordable conference without having to pay for the dinner if they cannot afford to attend it. Because of the cost, delegates sometimes pay out of their own pocket or are unable to attend. Delegates from developing countries, for instance, rarely have means to attend, unless they are invited by the organising committee or subsidised by the Association.

The IASA Board urges that the cost of the farewell dinner not be expensive and suggests that this could be achieved in several ways:

  • The function be less lavish;
  • Seek to use the host institution as the venue;
  • Seek sponsorship.

5.3.8 Pre- and post-conference tours and any spouse’s programme should be outside and separate from the main conference budget.

5.3.9 Level of registration fee
One of the major tasks of the organising committee will be to decide the registration fee. Although this will depend to a high degree on the overall financial model, and the forecast number of registrations, the decision should also take into account the high proportion of delegates in the personal membership category who pay their own costs. Additionally, the fee levels over the previous five conferences should be taken into account.

Attendance at the conference dinner is normally optional and this should be reflected as a separate cost option in the registration form in order to reduce the price of basic registration. A surcharge for late registration may be made, additional to any differential level of fee for non-members of IASA. Organizers may also decide to make special financial arrangements for local delegates and others who may have financial difficulty in attending a IASA conference.

5.3.10 Reporting and approval
The organizers should present the EB with a draft budget including realistic planning scenarios at the mid-year EB meeting prior to the conference. A final statement of out-turn against the budget should be made available to the Executive Board to assist in future planning.

6. Conference planning committees and organization

6.1 Introduction
Conference committees and organizational structure may vary according to conference circumstances. IASA conference hosts may choose to operate with whatever structure best suits their needs. This may be one committee, several committees, or no committees using the existing organizational structure of the conference host. Some structure may depend on whether a professional conference organizer is employed. The key is that whatever committee or organizational arrangement is chosen, the basic activities in organizing the conference are assigned and responsibility for those tasks is understood. These responsibilities are outlined in a Summary of Conference Responsibilities. A suggested timeline has also been provided in the Conference Planning Timeline.

6.2 Conference planning/local arrangements

6.2.1 The conference hosts should decide how they wish to organize their own conference organization. The EB will delegate a representative, usually the VP for conferences, to liaise with the conference hosts to provide advice and assistance and keep the EB current on conference plans. The conference hosts are responsible for local arrangements, the conference site, and conference rooms, among other things. It is ultimately their choice and responsibility for these arrangements. The EB will advise and assist.     

6.2.2 The arrangements are more complex for a joint conference. There should be balanced representation on the planning group but this will not always be possible if the one association membership is low in the host city/region. Both EBs should delegate representatives to work with the local organizers.  

6.3 Programme planning
The end result of programme planning is to have a conference programme built around the theme agreed upon by the conference hosts and the EB. The lead for organizing the programme will be taken by the Vice-President in charge of the conference programme. He or she should have a contact person or persons from the local organizers with whom to discuss local programme needs, training sessions, and programme organization. The VP in charge of the conference programme will be responsible for the Call for Papers, the development of the preliminary programme, a second Call for Papers (if required), the final programme, coordinating session chairs, and arrangement of any audiovisual needs for the speakers. See IASA Guidelines for Chairpersons and Speakers.

6.4 Publicity
The EB, together with the local host, undertakes to promote the conference through the IASA Journal, IASA mailing list, web sites, social media, and any other appropriate channels, local and international. Announcement of the conference, and other promotional activities should be coordinated with the publication schedule.

7. Programme structure and content

7.1 IASA’s approach

7.1.1 IASA solo conferences are generally organized around a theme and selected sub topics. The main theme is determined with the local organizers and the EB. The Vice-President in charge of conference programmes should work with local organizers in arranging the conference programme. He or she may be assisted by other members of the EB. Normally after the responses to the initial Call for Papers have been received the VP will arrange the papers into logical groupings and discuss this with conference organizers.

IASA Conferences normally can be broken down into 4 days, made up of paper sessions, poster sessions, plenary sessions, committee and section meetings, and a GA meeting. 

Please refer to the programmes of recent conferences for guidance on the hour-by-hour elements of IASA conferences.

7.1.2 Joint conferences
A joint conference cannot be planned as simply as a IASA solo conference. No two associations’ internal structure will be the same. The sessions at joint conferences ideally should also be arranged along thematic lines. It may be that there will be a mixture of joint sessions and IASA oriented sessions to which all conference delegates would be invited. Emphasizing joint thematic sessions enables IASA members to see their concerns addressed in a larger context. Joint conferences require extensive planning and understanding of the other organizations conference arrangements.

7.2 Topics

7.2.1 The EB believe the following matters of broad interest to the membership should be addressed by a IASA conference:

  • Acquisition and exchange;
  • Documentation and metadata;
  • Resource discovery and access;
  • Copyright and ethics;
  • Preservation and conservation;
  • Research, dissemination, and publication;
  • Digitization of analogue and carrier-dependent media content;
  • The work of sections and committees;
  • The direction of the Association and the profession;
  • Local scene, showcasing a range of AV archiving institutions, giving archiving a cultural context;
  • Training.

7.2.2 The IASA EB should solicit from the membership through the sections and committees and the open forums the various issues the membership feels should be addressed in future conferences. These can then be forwarded to future conference hosts and be developed as themes. Possible keynote or other speakers may be suggested and approached. The Programme VP, along with the local advisor and others delegated to work on the programme, will be the ultimate arbiter of the final speakers/topic list.

7.2.3 The EB encourages diversity in the manner the content is delivered. A panel discussion is an excellent way to involve the audience and to get a range of experts debating, often, controversial issues. If a panel discussion is mounted it is recommended that there be no more than four panellists, plus a moderator, and that at least half an hour is set aside for audience questions and comments if the panel occupies a full session. A panel can take the place of a 30 minute paper but it must be strictly moderated.

7.2.4 Whilst the delivery of a paper by a third party is not encouraged there are times when this cannot be avoided. In such circumstances, the paper should be represented by someone with a stake in, or opinion on, the matter. In a sense it should be turned into a joint paper and the presenter should be able to enter into a discussion or answer questions from the floor rather than being a passive translator. The EB will also encourage innovative delivery methods. Developing technologies make it possible for a paper to deliver from another country for much less than it would cost to fly them there.

7.3. Structure of a session
A session of one and a half hours would usually comprise 3 speakers delivering a paper of 20 minutes length. In a one & a half hour session this would allow for 10 minutes of questions following each paper.

7.4 Parallel sessions
Parallel sessions are often necessary in order to fit all the content. The programme committee should consider very carefully the impact of creating parallel sessions and the placing of parallel sessions in the programme. They need to analyze whose interests are being served by each session and how any clashes of interest can be minimized.

7.5 Poster sessions
Poster sessions can run in parallel with the plenary sessions and possibly during break times. They will take place in a different venue to the plenary sessions and a number of posters may be delivered in the same room or space.

8. Guidelines for chairpersons and speakers

The conference planners will set a number of deadlines that speakers will need to adhere to:

  • Paper abstracts prior to conference – actual date to be determined by the Conference Programme VP.
  • Technical requirements for the presentation– actual date to be determined by the Conference Programme VP.
  • Authorizations if the presentation is to be recorded or broadcast – actual date to be determined by the Conference Programme VP.
  • Pictures and short biographies if required by the conference organizers – actual date to be determined by the Conference Programme VP.
  • Sign and return any release forms required.

8.1. Appointment of Chairpersons

The Chairpersons of conference sessions will be appointed by the Conference Programme Committee.

8.2. Topics and speakers

In line with the general theme of the conference in question, the Conference  Programme Committee will organize the submissions received as a result of the Call for Papers into suitable themes and sub-themes. The Conference Programme Committee will then identify any gaps in the programme and put out a second Call for Papers, or ask appropriate members or experts to contribute to the programme, or work with the Sections and Committees to complete the conference preliminary programme.

8.3. The Chairperson’s role at the Conference

The Chairperson will conduct the session at the conference, and is asked to take an active part in the session, starting perhaps with a short overall view of the topic, introducing the speakers, calling for questions and even starting the discussion by raising some points of interest or contention. The chair should meet with the speakers before the session starts and review the order of presentations, the audiovisual requirements, time limitations and politely remind speakers that English is not the first language for many IASA delegates or speakers. To facilitate understanding, it is important that speakers try and speak slowly and clearly. This is particularly important if there is simultaneous translation.

8.4. Structure of a session

Conference sessions are normally one and a half hours long. Although the organisation of a session is generally flexible, this would allow for three speakers each with papers of about 20 minutes in length plus 10 minutes time for discussion, preferably following each presentation, plus time for the Chairperson’s introductory input and their introduction of each speaker with a brief biography. The Chairperson has to keep the speakers to time using an agreed prompt method and is responsible for the session not going over time.

 The chair should encourage discussion during the question session. The chair should also ensure that the speakers sign any release forms required.

A session can comprise two speakers only but it is recommended not to try and cram in four speakers. Special requests for extended or double sessions must be made to the Conference Programme Committee.

8.5. Delivery of a paper by a third party

Whilst the delivery of a paper by a third party is not encouraged, there are times when this cannot be avoided. In such circumstances and where possible, the paper should be presented by someone with a stake in, or opinion on, the matter. In a sense it should be turned into a joint paper and the presenter should be able to enter into a discussion or answer questions from the floor rather than be a passive translator.

8.6. Other content delivery, e.g. panel discussions or poster sessions

Diversity of delivery is encouraged. A panel discussion is a way to involve the audience and get a range of experts debating often controversial issues. If a panel discussion is mounted it is recommended that there be no more than four panellists plus a moderator who can be the Chairperson, and that at least half an hour is set aside for audience questions and comments if the panel occupies a full session. A panel can take the place of a 30-minute paper but it must be strictly moderated.

Poster sessions can run in parallel with the plenary sessions and/or during break times. They will take place in a different venue to the plenary sessions and a number of posters may be delivered in the same room or space.

8.7. Equipment

The Chairperson and/or VP shall ascertain whether speakers need equipment and inform the conference hosts prior to the set deadline. Guidelines for the basic equipment available will have been determined by the conference hosts, but anything special required by the speakers should be relayed to the Conference VP to ensure it will be made available.

8.8. Language of papers

The Chairperson shall ascertain the language of the presentation. In general the language of IASA conferences is English. Papers not to be presented in English may require simultaneous translation. At the very least, announcements of the language in which the paper will be presented should be made in the programme. If the paper is presented in German or French, the German or French title of the paper should be used in the programme. Material for translation should be presented early enough for such translation to be made if approved by the Conference VP and the EB. This date will be indicated by the Conference VP. The complete translation or a detailed summary may be produced for handout at the conference with the complete translation also used for publication purposes.

8.9. Papers for the IASA Journal

Each speaker at the conference is welcome to give/send a copy of his/her paper to the IASA Editor for possible publication in the IASA Journal.

9. Financial assistance for speakers

9.1 The programme organizers must approve all speakers but cannot approve IASA funding for a speaker without reference to the EB who will be offering financial support. The IASA EB or, both EBs, in the case of a co-hosted conference, must approve and agree to any funding decisions. If one association is unwilling or unable to offer funding, the other association may choose to pay the full cost.

9.2 Guidelines for invited speakers

9.2.1. For every annual conference held, up to three specialist speakers from outside of IASA may be selected by the IASA Executive Board to present papers on the main theme of a conference. It is the role of the Programme Committee or local organizers to request that the Executive Board funds these speakers.

9.2.2. Every speaker (who has been invited according to paragraph 1) may be granted on receipt of a copy of the travel documents the following sums to be paid on the day of the paper or, in case the necessary documents cannot be produced then, as soon as they have been presented to the IASA Treasurer after the paper:

  •  100% of the ticket price of the cheapest airfare available (economy class); or
  •  100% of the ticket price of the train fare 2nd class; and
  •  Any necessary additional costs for the transportation to and from the airports or the railway station by using bus, coach, or railway. The use of a taxi will be paid for max. 30 US$ (or the equivalent) for each necessary trip.

9.2.3. Accommodation for the speaker only (plus breakfast, if not included in the room rate) will be paid for one night in one of the official conference hotels. The hotel will be selected by the local organizing committee.

9.2.4. Invited speakers do not have to pay the conference fee for the day of their presentation. If they choose to participate at the conference also during other days, the appropriate conference fee for non-IASA delegates will be applicable (daily rate or full rate respectively). If they join IASA after being invited, the fee for IASA delegates will be applicable.

10. Payment of conference fees

10.1 The following should pay conference fees:

  • All delegates;
  • All EB and conference committee members;
  • All speakers whether members of IASA or a co-host association;
  • Invited speakers who choose to stay for the full conference;

10.2 Who need not pay fees:

  • Invited speakers who are not members of either association and who stay only for the day on which they deliver their paper;
  • Certain sponsors including exhibitors, according to their level of sponsorship, as determined in the sponsorship packages published at each conference;
  • The chief executive officer of the host institution;
  • The official who opens the conference;
  • The keynote speaker if not a member of  IASA or a co-host association.

10.3 The conference organisers shall identify and agree in advance to waive these fees. They are not paid by IASA and its co-host conference partner. Further, it is up to the EB and conference organizers whether to waive the conference fees for delegates from developing countries or not. In some cases non-paying delegates, such as the official representatives from CCAAA, may be asked to pay the fee and then be reimbursed by IASA.

11. Wrap-up

After the conference, the chair of the Organising Committee shall present the EB with a summary statement about the conference, which covers highlights and problems.

The final budget of the conference is presented in cooperation with the IASA Treasurer.

Appendix 1: Planning timeline

40 steps to a successful IASA Conference!

1 Conference Theme IASA/LOCAL Sept previous year    
2 Travel Assistance IASA/LOCAL See UNESCO Calendar;
Next deadline is February 2008; then February 2010
  UNESCO (Paris) works on a biennial calendar; local UNESCO Commissions need to be consulted individually;
Other sources (EU, National) should also be contacted.
3 Presentation at preceding conference   Sept previous year    
4 Local Arrangements
Contacts named
LOCAL / IASA Sept previous year   IASA VP: conferences; LOCAL to name contact people
5 Call for Papers IASA 15 December   Coordinate with Journal/Bulletin
6 Travel Grants IASA 1 January   IASA Secretary-General
To go out with the Call for Papers;
1st decisions made at mid-year EB meeting
7 Booking of Conference locations LOCAL Confirm by 1 January    
8 Web site and web site updates LOCAL January   Web site needs to be done ASAP even if it says in some areas that more information is coming
9 Programme organization arrangements made LOCAL / IASA January   IASA VP: conferences;
LOCAL to name contact people
10 Other responsibilities like publicity and publication, addressed LOCAL January
if needed
If other committees or groups please make sure their names are included in the programme. Formed as necessary by LOCAL, IASA is ready to help. IASA Editor
11 Deadline for Papers IASA 30 January   IASA VP: conferences
12 Call for Papers – No 2 if necessary IASA / LOCAL 1 February If necessary IASA VP: conferences
13 Conference Budget estimate of registration fees LOCAL 1 February   IASA VP: conferences
14 Draft Programme circulated for comments to Board and LOCAL IASA 1 March   IASA VP: conferences
15 Booking of simultaneous translation LOCAL 1 March If necessary  
16 Topics for Workshop Tutorials IASA/LOCAL 1 April Topics to be selected by LOCAL / IASA TC will confirm IASA Training VP
17 Draft Programme IASA / LOCAL 1 April   IASA VP: conferences
18 Hotel list and contact information for inclusion in conference information package and web site LOCAL 1 April    
19 Posting conference announcement on IASA list and other lists IASA/LOCAL 1 April Web site must be ready  
20 Post conference tours
(for inclusion in conference information package, registration form and web site)
LOCAL 15 April    
21 Opening Reception
(for inclusion in conference information package, registration form and web site)
LOCAL 15 April    
22 Closing Dinner
(for inclusion in conference information package, registration form and web site)
LOCAL 15 April    
23 Keynote Address LOCAL / IASA 15 April    
24 Professional Visits
(for inclusion in conference information package, registration form and web site
LOCAL 15 April    
25 Registration fees including spousal visits and day rates
(for inclusion in conference information package, registration form and web site)
LOCAL/ IASA 15 April Related to the budget item above  
26 Training Sessions
(for inclusion in conference information package, registration form and web site)
LOCAL / IASA / IASA TC 15 April   IASA Training VP to coordinate
27 Map of area for Registration package (final programme, badges, give-away's, tourist information. LOCAL 15 April    
28 Eating and restaurant options (for inclusion in conference information package, registration form and web site LOCAL 15 April    
29 Sponsorships and commercial exhibits LOCAL 15 April If their names are to be included in the pre registration kit  
30 Abstracts Deadline IASA / LOCAL 15 May   IASA VP: conferences
31 Invitations to the Minister and other dignitaries for the opening and closing LOCAL 15 May    
32 Final confirmation of Speakers IASA/LOCAL 1 June There are always last minute changes to the programme. IASA VP: conferences
33 Programme final deadline including session chairs and AV requirements IASA / LOCAL 1 July   IASA VP: conferences
34 Compilation of any biographical, picture or other information for the conference programme. IASA 31 July Local organizers should be consulted about what they would like in the programme IASA VP: conferences
35 Local details including possible security considerations for conference delegates for inclusion in conference information package and web site LOCAL 15 August    
36 Publication of final programme and preparation of conference registration packages LOCAL 1 September    
37 Arranging for conference office and communal area LOCAL 1 September    
38 Last minute panic LOCAL/IASA      
39 Conference Begins 15 September      
40 Conference Ends 19 September      


Appendix 2: Example of conference budget

Note: the figures below are historical and are merely indicative, for illustration only.

  Cost 100 180 250 Comments
Conference publication €10 €1,000 €1,800 €2,500 Optional - notional unit cost price to organisers
Conference delegates' bags @ €5 €500 €900 €1,250  
Conference dinner          
Food and drink @ €50 €3,750 €6,750 €9,375 Usually catering is part of the deal with the venue
Venue hire   €2,000 €2,000 €2,000 Price depends on how prestigious
Transport (coach loads of 60) @ €275 €550 €825 €1,100 Assume 75% take up for conference dinner
Opening reception          
Accommodation   €0 €0 €0 Assume no charge by host organisation
Food and drink (per person) @ €12 €1,200 €2,160 €3,000 Assume 100% take up
Security   €0 €0 €0 Assume no charge by host organisation
Visits & excursions (coach transport)          
Visit 1   €350 € 350 €350 Assume 1 coach per destination and variety of distances
Visit 2   €150 €150 €150  
Visit 3   €200 €200 €200  
Visit 4   €200 €200 €200  
Printed programme          
Printing   €4,500 €4,500 €4,500  
Design   €250 €250 €250  
Ticket and misc printing   €50 €50 €50  
4 days hire of Conference Rooms          
Hire 22-25/9 @ €1,740 €6,960 €6,960 €6,960 Institutional host may be able to provide this free of charge
Coffee and tea (per person per day) @ €2.60 €1,040 €1,872 €2,600  
AV equipment hire, etc. @ €100 €400 €400 €400 notional daily rate including wi-fi in all lecture theatres
Sundry costs   €500 €500 €500 Hire of printers etc. for delegates' facilities room. Exhibition equipt. etc
Stationery; names badges & other sundries for delegates €5 €500 €900 €1,250  
Registration forms etc €0.30 €30 €54 €75  
Stage banners etc   €150 €150 €150  
Contingency 10%   €2,428 €3,097 €3,686  
Total expenditure   €26,708 €34,068 €40,546  
Registration fees @ €100 €10,000 €18,000 €25,000  
Hire of commercial exhibition space   €2,000 €2,000 €2,000 Notional
Closing dinner tickets @ 75% take up €25 €3,333 €6,000 €8,333 Subsidised by registration fees and other income
Total income   €15,333 €26,000 €35,333  
Sponsorship target   €11,374 €8,068 €5,212