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Hosting a TEI Conference and Members' Meeting

The annual TEI Consortium (TEI-C) Members' Meeting and Conference is held every September/October/November, and brings together members of and contributors to the TEI community to share research and use cases and showcase tools and techniques as well as provide a report of the state of the TEI-C as part of the Members’ Business Meeting. The conference may consist of papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, demonstrations, or other formats that are conducive to scholarly communication and information sharing. The Business Meeting is a required part of the event during which members of the TEI-C Board of Directors, Technical Council and TEI-C partners report officially on activities and the organization’s fiscal status. Post- or pre-conference accommodations should also be made for official meetings of the TEI-C Board of Directors and the TEI-C Technical Council.


The TEI-C attempts to ensure that the annual meeting is held in a variety of locations reflecting the distribution of TEI members and TEI-related activities with particular interest in institutions that have not previously hosted a TEI Conference and Members’ Meeting. As the TEI community continues to grow globally, the TEI-C is committed to inclusivity. We are also committed to supporting conference settings that are safe and welcoming to all. This document describes the hosting process and what is involved. For more information, please contact the TEI-C Board of Directors at board@tei-c.org.


Applications should be submitted to board@tei-c.org.


Conference Organisation

The TEI Conference and Members’ Meeting is organised collaboratively by the:
  • Programme Committee, whose Chair is appointed by the TEI-C Board, and which contains representation from the Local Conference Organising Committee, to oversee the development of the academic conference programme
  • Local Conference Organising Committee, whose Chair is selected locally, and oversees the logistical and administrative details involved with hosting a conference including seeking sponsorship
The Local Conference Organising Committee coordinates with the Programme Committee in terms of establishing a conference theme, how to showcase local innovations, strengths and interests, choosing at least one keynote speaker, and participating in the process of reviewing proposals. 

The chairs of the Programme Committee and the Local Conference Organising Committee serve as the guest editors of a special issue of the Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative, which publishes selected papers from the conference.

The TEI-C Board appoints a Board member to serve as Conference Correspondent to be the main point of contact between the Board and the Programme and Local Conference Organising Committees.  When possible, the Conference Correspondent will be someone who has had past experience serving on either the Programme or Local Conference Organising Committees. 

The TEI-C provides a conference registration and reviewing system to ensure a properly curated intellectual and financial record of the conference.

Host’s Responsibilities

Local organizers at the host institution(s) are responsible for providing facilities for all conference-related activities, including pre- and post- events, developing the conference web site, producing a collection of abstracts, organizing a conference dinner, and coordinating appropriate social events. On average, the TEI-C Members’ Meeting and Conference attracts approximately 150 participants and spans 2-4 days, depending on the proposals submitted and the workshops offered.  The TEI Conference and Members’ Meeting is usually held sometime in September through November.  Interested applicants should consult conference schedules in related areas (i.e., digital humanities and digital libraries) to find an appropriate meeting time that minimizes overlap:

http://digital-conferences-calendar.info and http://digitalhumanitiesnow.org/category/news/cfp/.   


The conference is entirely financed through conference registration fees, a $7,000 USD subvention from the TEI-C, and contributions that the Local Conference Organising Committee is able to obtain from sponsors. 


Conference Format

The conference format usually includes the following types of sessions though the Chairs of the Programme and Local Conference Organising Committees should not feel restricted to these sessions alone: 
  • Workshops are usually scheduled as pre- or post-conference events and should not extend the total program by more than 2 days. 
  • Special Interest Groups (SIG) meetings more recently have been incorporated as part of the main conference schedule with meetings varying in length, depending on the activities of any given SIG.  For SIGs with longer meeting requirements (half-day or full-day), consider organizing those as a pre- or post-conference event that should not extend the total program by more than 3 days.
  • The main conference (papers, posters, panels) is usually organised into one strand or into parallel sessions depending on the number of accepted submissions.
  • The Business Meeting of the membership is a required component of the conference and should be included as part of the main conference schedule with an average of two hours dedicated to the meeting. 
  • The Local Organising Conference Committee should also make arrangements for meetings of the TEI-C Technical Council and TEI-C Board.  TEI-C Technical Council meetings are usually scheduled for two to three days.  The TEI-C board meeting is a closed session that does not require more than a day to meet.

Budget

The host of the annual meeting takes responsibility for profit or loss. As an incentive, the TEI Consortium provides conference hosts with a subvention of $7,000 USD.  A conference registration fee is charged to attendees, to offset conference expenses; see examples of fees from recent meetings: 

Local hosts agree to a 50% discount on the advertised registration fee for TEI-C members. Local hosts may elect to waive or discount registrations for other categories of registrants as well (e.g., students), and local hosts may decide when and whether to have a discount for early registration.
 
If the local host uses its own banker, then the subvention may be requested up to 3 months before the conference, or as late as 30 days after the end of the conference. In this case, no financial reporting is owed by the host to the TEI, or by the TEI to the host.
 
At the host’s discretion, the TEI-C can bank payments for conference registration and can pay conference vendors.  If the TEI-C is the conference banker, allowable conference expenses include travel and lodging for keynote speakers, food and drink for the attendees, space rental, IT support, marketing and communications, entertainment, and staff.  Any other categories of expenses should be discussed in advance with the TEI-C Treasurer.  If the TEI-C has banked conference receipts, the Treasurer of the TEI-C will provide the host with a financial report on those receipts within 15 days after the close of registration, and the host will provide the TEI-C with a full report of all conference income and costs, within 30 days after the end of the conference, at which point the subvention (or whatever part of it has not been expended on a negative conference balance) will be paid to the local host, even if the conference has made a profit.  Questions about conference finances that are not answered to the host’s satisfaction by the TEI-C Treasurer should be directed to the TEI-C Board. 
 
In all cases, the TEI-C will pay the licensing cost for the web-based conference registration and reviewing system it uses each year, and will give the conference host administrative rights in that system.  This system can direct registrants to external payment services, such as a local conference services unit, if the TEI is not acting as banker for the conference. If the TEI-C is banking registration fees, it will accept payment by PayPal (preferred), credit card, or wire transfer, and it will not normally refund registration fees. If the TEI-C is the banker for the conference, it will also contract with major vendors on behalf of the local host, for things like meeting space or catering services.  Even when the TEI-C is the banker, it often makes sense for host institutions to directly underwrite expenses that are easier to arrange locally, such as:
  • pre-meeting workshops
  • receptions, dinners, entertainment
  • payment of travel, lodging, or honorarium expenses for plenary speakers
  • childcare
The Local Conference Organising Committee may use the TEI-C name and logo to seek support from local institutions, commercial sponsors, or individuals, as appropriate, and if the TEI-C in the banker for the conference, the TEI-C can accept such donations on behalf of the host.

Space and Equipment

On average, the TEI-C Members’ Meeting and Conference attracts approximately 150 participants, and includes a variety of activities requiring different kinds of space:

  • Plenary sessions held in an auditorium or large meeting room (100–200 people)
  • Smaller sessions (25–50 people) held in smaller meeting rooms or seminar rooms
  • Special Interest Group meetings (10–20 people) held in smaller meeting rooms or seminar rooms
  • Poster session held in a space that accommodates at least 15 posters with tables for demonstrations with room to circulate

All sessions require wireless internet connectivity, robust presentation projection equipment and technologies, technical AV support, and capacity to charge laptop computers and other mobile devices.


Catering

The typical catering arrangements are as follows:

  • One or two evening receptions (these are typically hosted by conference sponsors)
  • Coffee break in mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and coffee provided at the start of each day if not easily available nearby
  • If food is not available within a reasonable walking distance, it may also be desirable to provide for lunch to be catered (the cost might be included in the registration fee)

    Timeline

    After a host has been selected, members of the TEI-C Board of Directors, through the Programme Chair and Conference Correspondent, work together with the local hosts to ensure the conference timeline and milestones are met. The following timeline gives a rough schedule for the essential events in the planning of the TEI Conference and Members’ Meeting:
    1. February: Launch conference web site, including key dates and specific venue locations, especially if the conference setting is not centralized; implement conference registration/review platform (Local Conference Organising Committee)
    2. March: Call for papers, arrangement of keynote speakers (Programme Committee)
    3. May/June: Announcement of conference registration; information available concerning hotel and travel arrangements  (Local Conference Organising Committee)
    4. May/June: Proposal acceptance/rejection notifications; update schedule with accepted papers/presentations (Local Conference Organising Committee)
    5. June–August: Registration reminders (Local Conference Organising Committee)
    6. June/July: An optional call for late-breaking research proposals (Programme Committee) 
    7. August/September: Final conference schedule posted to the web site (Local Conference Organising Committee)

    Application Process

    The host application requires thorough logistical, fiscal and other information from the prospective meeting host(s) to enable the TEI-C Board of Directors to review the applications with special emphasis on:
    • the level of support and underwriting (financial and logistical) the institution can offer to ensure the success of the meeting.
    • the venue itself and its suitability for a meeting of this size and type. The application should describe the rooms and technology available and indicate how many attendees can be accommodated. 
    • internet access (wireless), robust presentation projection and technologies, and AV support in meeting rooms are essential
    • the kinds of support the local organizer can draw upon to ensure the logistical success of the meeting: for instance, administrative support, or staff members or other personnel who will be working on organizational tasks.
    The application should include the following:
    • Contact information for institution(s) including name, address, etc.
    • Contact information for the individuals submitting the application
    • Proposed dates for the conference
    • Proposed conference theme
    • Information about the host institution(s) and location, including its fit with the TEI-C
      • This section contains information about the host institution(s) and why the institution(s) is/are particularly suited for hosting the annual TEI Conference and Members' Meeting.  Please note important information about the conference location, both the geographic location especially in terms of access, and local considerations especially in terms of TEI research, scholarship, and outreach.  Make sure to mention local partners who would also contribute to the conference in some fashion.
    • Conference logistics
      • Details about the conference venue, rooms and facilities, AV, and wireless support
      • Food and catering options
      • Lodging/Accommodation options
      • Proposed social events
    • Budget and Sponsorship
      • Include a line-item draft budget that reflects anticipated expenses as well as anticipated contributions through sponsorship, local partners, etc.  The budget should include up to $7,000 USD provided by the TEI-C.  Registration estimates would also be encouraged, both registration costs and anticipated income.  For conservative estimates, half of the total registrations should be considered discounted (TEI members, student, etc.). 
    Applications should be submitted to board@tei-c.org.


    Review Process

    Applications will be reviewed by the TEI-C Board of Directors, which makes the final decision based on the suitability of the location and venue, the level of support being committed, and other factors which may affect the overall success of the meeting. 


    In the event of multiple proposals, the Board decides among them, attempting to achieve a balance among several factors: 

    • A balance of locations where the TEI has members or has increasing TEI-related activities with special interest in locations that have not yet hosted a conference and members’ meeting
    • A balance of locations with regard to recent TEI Members’ Meeting and Conferences
    • Ease of travel for conference participants (i.e., major city with international airport)
    • Demonstrable local support from the organizer
    • Opportunities to expand the TEI community

    The venue for the upcoming annual TEI Members’ Meeting and Conference is announced a year in advance as part of the Business Meeting during the current Members’ Meeting and Conference. 

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