International Congresses of Dipterology

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Suggested Timetable for Congress Organization

Certain formal requirements for sponsoring bodies are contained in the Constitution of this Council. The present document supplements these formal requirements with a suggested timetable for Congress organization under normal circumstances. This document is advisory in nature and is intended to assist Congress organizers; it is not to be understood as a rigid set of instructions. The timetable assumes the normal interval of four years between each Congress and the next, that Congresses are held during the summer, and that the Council will meet during the International Congress of Entomology midway between International Congresses of Dipterology.

Criteria to Consider when Planning a Bid to Host a Congress

Proposed Congress dates.
Proposed Congress theme (e.g., Neotropical Dipterology).
Proposed Organising Committee.
Proposed Congress venue/or hosting institution (e.g., university, congress hotel), capacity.
Number of anticipated participants.
Use of services of professional congress organising company.
Registration cost (generally including lunch).
Potential funding agencies, sponsors and collaborators.
Basic country visa requirements/costs.
Flight costs and routes from various major destinations (examples).
Local transport and accessibility of venue (taxi/train/coach facilities).
Accommodation availability and cost (high, middle and low end).
Proposed Congress banquet venue.
Other catering and receptions (Meet and greet, etc.).
Production of Scientific programme and Abstracts volumes.
Poster demonstration facilities.
IT and electronic facilities available; website and on-line registration and bookings.
Availability of local/regional collection resources.
Post-congress tours and day tours for accompanying spouses.
Delegate fieldwork opportunities and collecting permits.
Safety and security.

During the Previous Congress

The decision regarding the place and year of the next Congress is made by Council (if not already made previously) and formally announced at the Final Plenary Session.

Representatives of the body sponsoring the next Congress may discuss their plans with the incoming Council Chair (who takes office at the end of the current Congress) as soon as Council has decided where the next Congress will be held and elected its new Chair. Final decisions on these matters are normally made during the second Council meeting during a Congress.

Under the Constitution; Art. lX.4 (Amendment August 18, 1994) "Each Congress of Dipterology will contribute financially to help defray necessary expenses of the Council. The amount and manner of support will be negotiated at the time of acceptance of the invitation to hold their Congress".

Appointment of the Liaison Officer

This will be a member of the Organizing Committee who will preferably also be a Council member. The appointment is made by Council after consultation with members of the sponsoring body.

Copies of the Constitution may be obtained from the Secretary of the Council during the Congress, or shortly thereafter if the document needed to be revised.

Year 1 (12 months following previous Congress)

Establishment of Organizing Committee: the Chair of the Organizing Committee should be appointed by the Sponsoring Body as soon as possible and given authority to appoint additional committee members. The business of the Organizing Committee will include: local arrangements, securing grants and other financial support, scientific programme, budgeting, booking of lectures halls and accommodation, editing and production of Congress circular/announcements, abstract and proceedings volumes, publicising the Congress, etc. Responsibility for these various areas should be assigned at an early stage.

Year 2 (12-24 months after previous Congress)

It is recommended that, at least, the first formal meeting of the full Organizing Committee be held during the first half of this year. The business should include:

  1. Precise dates and locations for Congress sessions and major events; accommodation reservation, travel agencies to be contacted regarding transport of Delegates, tours, etc.
  2. Organisation of Scientific Programme: Local organisers of particular Congress` sections should be selected and asked to propose internationally known chairpersons and keynote speakers for their part of the programme.
  3. Selection of Congress Logo and design of Congress stationary.
  4. Preparation of the First Circular/Announcement and the decision regarding when to distribute it should be made. If the decision is taken to distribute the circular prior to the mid-term Council meeting, the liaison officer should send a draft to all Council members so that their comments can be received and considered before the circular is finalised. Alternatively, the draft may be considered by Council members at their mid-term meeting and the circular finalised shortly after that meeting. Financial arrangements, for instance, institutional credit; possible application for grants and loans; policy regarding expenses of members of the Organizing Committee, etc., also need to be investigated.

Mid-term Council Meeting

This is held during an International Congress of Entomology midway between International Congresses of Dipterology. Key members of the Organizing Committee may be invited to attend this meeting in addition to the liaison officer. A brief written progress report should be presented at this meeting, and preferably should have been circulated to Council members by the Liaison Officer in advance. The progress report should satisfy Council that (1) an active Organizing Committee is in place, (2) that basic financial arrangements have been made, and (3) that the scientific programme will be international in nature. It would be helpful if a preliminary estimate of registration and accommodation costs could also be included in the progress report. The Council will determine whether the Congress is being effectively organized on the basis of this report.

If the overall assessment of the Council is favourable, then final decisions on all details of Congress organisation will rest with the Organizing Committee. The Council (and its individual members) will play an advisory rôle, especially with regard to international aspects of Congress organisation (e.g., selection of plenary and keynote speakers, possible additions to programmes, publicising the Congress in other countries).

Distribution of the First Circular

This should follow as soon as possible after the Council's approval, and the Organizing Committee's final adjustments. This document should be brief and need only contain a broad outline of the Congress programme. It MUST contain a form to be returned to the Congress Secretary by persons wishing to receive further information. The names of the sponsoring organisations and a list of members of the Organizing Committee should be included. Approximate estimates of registration and accommodation costs should be given. It is also recommended that another form be included (or combined with the above form) for those wishing to propose additional section/workshops.

Year 3 (24-36 months after the previous Congress)

Speaker Invitation letters should be sent to proposed plenary and keynote speakers and section/ workshop chairmen after consideration of advice from local organisers and Council members. It is recommended that such letters be sent early in Year 3, so that there is time to seek replacements for any who decline the invitation.

Preliminary arrangements for printing the Abstracts and Proceedings volumes should be made.

Grant and Loan applications. The application dates for most of these can be expected to occur in Year 3.

Confirmation of bookings for accommodation, travel agencies and other services.

A detailed budget review will be needed about halfway through Year 3, since details of registration and other fees will be sent in the Second Circular.

Preparation of the Second Circular/Announcement. It is recommended that this document be prepared during the second half of Year 3 with a view to distribution about the end of the year (about 12 months before the Congress). The document should include extensive details of the Congress, such as: address, phone and FAX numbers for Congress Organisation; list of Honorary Members of Congresses, members of the Council for the International Congresses of Dipterology and the members of the Organizing Committee; outline of the Scientific Programme (with the names of plenary and keynote speakers, if possible); instructions for speakers and poster exhibitors (with deadline dates for abstracts); provisional Congress timetable; travel information (including any visa requirements and where to change currency); accommodation and registration information (including fees and deadlines). Various forms may be enclosed with this circular, such as pre-registration, accommodation reservation, tours reservation and camera-ready abstracts. It is recommended that the travel information be as complete as possible.

Remember that many delegates will have to submit details from this circular to obtain funds to attend the congress.

It is therefore imperative that the fullest, and most accurate details are available in this circular.

It is recommended that letters offering exemption from registration fees or other privileges to selected persons be sent together with the Second Circular. Such exemption is obligatory for Honorary Members of the Congresses (contained in the Constitution). The extent to which additional persons may be offered fee exemption, and, or other expenses is at the discretion of the Organizing Committee. Consideration may be given to the following:

  • members of Council, especially officers and those from developing countries
  • members of the Organizing Committee
  • plenary and keynote speakers
  • section/workshop chairmen
  • dipterists from developing countries

Consideration may also be given to offering reduced fees to students and retired scientists. Of course the extent to which such privileges can be offered will vary according to the financial circumstances of each Congress, and organisers should not feel obliged to offer privileges beyond their means.

Year 4 (the last 12 months before the Congress)

Processing the response to the Second Circular may require secretarial assistance.

Finalisation of the Congress Organisation. It should be decided (if not already done so) whether the Chair of the Organizing Committee will also act as Congress President or whether a senior academic should be offered this ceremonial rôle.

Organisation of exhibits, whether commercial or institutional, for display during the Congress, e.g. booksellers, equipment manufacturers/suppliers or university biological departments.

Preparation of the Third Circular. This will contain full details of the scientific programme, precise location of lecture rooms, exhibits, Congress facilities, shuttle services, local public transport, restaurants and or canteens, social events, the programme for accompanying persons, field trips and tours etc.; if possible, local maps and information on weather, dress and tourist pamphlets should also be included. It is important to ensure that similar topics are grouped together and sessions of interest to the same audience are not held simultaneously. Instructions for speakers and poster exhibitors should be included. Ideally this circular should be mailed about two months before the Congress, or it may be included with the Congress Registration Pack. This will ensure that all delegates have a copy, and reduce the number of duplicate requests at the time of registration. However, it should be borne in mind, that time to read is often limited during the Congress, and if the Third Circular has been posted, it will give the delegates time to have planned their conference time and acquaint themselves with the social arrangements e.g. mealtimes, official functions and layout of the Congress buildings.

Preparation of the Abstract Volume (for inclusion in the registration package). The secretary may need to arrange for retyping of abstracts where the typing quality is poor, or which require linguistic correction.

Role of Council during the Congress

In addition to its other functions, the Council acts as a resolutions committee during the Congress. It is not necessary for the Council Chair to speak at the opening Plenary Session, but an announcement should be made to ensure all delegates understand the procedure for processing resolutions:

Resolutions may be initiated by the Council, the Organizing Committee, any Section/Workshop, or any group of twenty or more persons attending the Congress. All proposed resolutions must be transmitted, in writing, to the Council for consideration at the Second Council meeting on the day before the Final Plenary Session. Resolutions cannot be accepted during the Final Plenary Session.

When appropriate the Chair and Secretary of the Organizing Committee may be invited to attend Council meetings during a Congress.

After the Congress

Preparation of Congress Proceedings. The Organizing Committee of each Congress has discretion whether or not to publish a proceedings volume. If the decision is taken to publish a Proceedings, it should be sold separately and not funded out of registration fees. It is recommended that plenary and keynote lectures be included unless the speakers request otherwise, or the reviewers advise against it. Manuscripts by authors whose command of English is inadequate should be linguistically edited. Authors should be sent proofs for checking, but it is advisable to ensure a reasonable final date for return of proofs.

Council Responsibility

Under the Constitution, Art. Vlll. 5, the Council cannot be held responsible for any debts incurred by a Congress, nor does it direct how any surplus is to be utilised. Winding up the financial affairs of each Congress is the responsibility of the Organizing Committee.

First published on the Internet in June 2003
Last update: 11 July 2016
J.E. O'Hara