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Hosting a TEI Conference and Members Meeting

Information for Hosts

The TEI annual members' meeting and conference is held every autumn, and brings together TEI members, subscribers, and others interested in the TEI for three to four days of presentations (conference papers, posters, round tables, workshops) includingthe TEI business meeting of the membership (chair and treasurer reports, elections results etc.).


Meetings are typically hosted by organizations with some interest in the TEI: often, but not always, TEI member institutions or projects.


The TEI attempts to ensure that the annual meeting is held in a variety of locations reflecting the distribution of TEI members, and historically the meeting location has tended to alternate between Europe and North America (see a list of previous meetings).


This document describes the hosting process and what is involved. For more information, please contact the TEI at 

info@tei-c.org


Organisation

The kinds of support the local organizer can draw upon to ensure the logistical success of the meeting are:

  • Some level of financial and logistical support (for instance, administrative support, or staff members or other personnel who will be working on organizational tasks)

  • Suitable venue for a meeting of this size and type (internet access, preferably wireless, in meeting rooms is essential)

Usually the TEI Conference and Members Meeting is organised in a collaborative fashion by:

  • a Programme Committee (appointed by the TEI Board) overseeing the scientific organisation of the conference

  • a Conference Organising Committee taking care of the organisational and logistical support and administration (including conference website and book of abstracts in web and preferably also print form) as well as seeking of sponsorship

The local host – in the form of some members of the conference organising committee - is typically also involved in the programme committee works (e.g. ideas for a particular theme or focus to reflect local interests and strengths; choice of at least one keynote speaker; participation in the peer review process).


The TEI provides a conference reviewing system (in the past ConfTool) to ensure a properly curated intellectual, social and financial record of the conference.


Usually the Programme Committee chair together with the Conference Organising Committee are the guest editors of the Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative that publishes the conference proceedings.


Budget

The budget model that the TEI uses for its annual meeting assumes that the conference host is responsible for profit or loss, and the TEI is responsible for a guaranteed contribution. The TEI Consortium will deliver to the host all funds received from registration, and up to USD $7,000 beyond that, for documented conference expenses in agreed-upon categories (these can include travel and lodging for keynotes, food and drink for the attendees, space, IT support, communications, conference registration system, entertainment, staff, others as agreed on). Any costs or profits beyond that amount or outside of those categories are the responsibility or property of the host. Alternate arrangements need to be negotiated, at least 90 days in advance, with the THEI Board.


A conference registration fee is charged to attendees, to offset the host's expenses; see examples of fees from recent meetings such as:

Hosts agree to a 50% discount on the advertised registration fee, for validated TEI members. Local hosts may elect to waive or discount registrations for other categories of registrants, as well. The TEI will provide (and hosts will agree to use) a web service for conference and event registration that will accept payment by PayPal, credit card (in some cases), check, or wire transfer, and the TEI will accept those payments on behalf of the host, on a schedule to be agreed upon. The TEI can also accept donations from sponsors, on behalf of the host.


It makes sense for host institutions to directly underwrite expenses that are easier to arrange locally, such as:

  • pre-meeting workshops

  • payment of travel, lodging, or honorarium expenses for plenary speakers

  • childcare

  • receptions, dinners, entertainment

The conference organising committee should seek support from local institutions, commercial sponsors, or individuals, as appropriate. The Treasurer of the TEI will provide the host with a financial report on those receipts, 45 days after the close of registration. The host will provide the TEI with a financial report of costs, at the same time. Within 30 days from that point, payment of guaranteed funds, up to but not exceeding USD$7,000, will be initiated from the TEI to the conference host, or a question about the amount to be paid will be referred to the TEI Board.


Meeting Format

  • The conference can be preceded by two to three days of workshops.
  • Special Interest Groups meetings (for a maximum of three parallel meetings) last usually between half and one full day and have been recently incorporated in the conference schedule (i.e. one or two mornings dedicated to SIGs meetings).
  • The main conference (papers, posters, round tables) is organised into one strand or into parallel sessions depending on the amount of accepted submissions. The business meeting of the membership is included within the conference schedule and takes a couple of hours maximum.
  • The conference is followed by a day of closed session for members of the Board.

Space and Equipment

In recent years, the TEI meeting has attracted approximately 120 participants, and includes a variety of activities requiring different kinds of space:

  • Plenary sessions held in an auditorium or large meeting room

  • Smaller sessions (20-50 people) held in smaller meeting rooms or seminar rooms

  • Up to three concurrent meetings of Special Interest Groups (10-20 people) held in smaller meeting rooms or seminar rooms

  • Poster session held in a space that accommodates at least 15 posters with room to circulate; ideally, the poster session is held during a break or a reception, and hence should be in a space where food can be served

All sessions typically require internet connectivity of some kind, ideally wireless, and also data projection equipment.


Catering

The typical catering arrangements are as follows:

  • One or two evening receptions (these are typically sponsored by vendors or publishers)

  • Coffee break in mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and coffee provided at the start of each day if not easily available nearby

  • If no food is 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, the TEI and the local host representative work together closely on planning and organisation. The following timeline gives a rough schedule for the essential events in the planning of the annual meeting.


Year of the annual meeting
  1. Spring (usually March): Call for papers, arrangement of keynote speakers
  2. Summer: (usually June) Announcement of registration; information available concerning hotel and travel arrangements; (usually July, August) Registration reminders
  3. 60 days prior to the meeting: Announcement of election slate

Bidding Process

Planning for the TEI annual members' meeting begins nearly 18 months in advance, with a call for bids issued in spring of the year before the meeting as following:


Year preceding that of the annual meeting (i.e. 2013 for a 2014 meeting)

  1. Spring: Call for bids posted to TEI-L, TEI-Members, and Humanist etc.
  2. September: Deadline for submission of bids
  3. October: Organizers are notified of the decision
  4. Members meeting (late October/early November): Formal announcement of the following year's meeting venue; program committee appointed

Bids are assessed by the TEI Board, 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. The venue for the annual meeting is announced a year in advance, at the annual meeting.


The call for bids requests information from the prospective meeting host to enable the TEI board to assess the bids on their merits. The most important information to include is:

  • The level of support (financial and logistical) the institution can offer to ensure the success of the meeting. The bid should include as much information as possible about this.

  • The venue itself and its suitability for a meeting of this size and type. The bid should describe the rooms and technology available and indicate how many attendees can be accommodated. Specific room requirements are indicated below. For a meeting of this type, internet access (preferably wireless) in meeting rooms is essential.

  • The kinds of support the local organizer can draw upon to ensure the logistical success of the meeting: for instance, administrative support, or a staff member or other personnel who will be working on organizational tasks.

A sample call for bids is included below.


Sample Call for bids

Call for Bids: TEI Members Meeting, 2010

The annual TEI Members' Meeting takes place every year in late October or early November. We are now seeking bids to host this event in 2010.

The meeting this year (2009) will take place on November 11-15 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, USA. The previous meetings have been:

  • London, England, November 6-8, 2008. hosted by King's College London.

  • College Park (MD), USA, October 31-November 3, 2007. Hosted by the University of Maryland.

  • Victoria, Canada, October 27-28, 2006. Hosted by the University of Victoria.

  • Sophia, Bulgaria, October 28-29, 2005. Hosted by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

  • Baltimore, USA, October 22-23, 2004. Hosted by Johns Hopkins University.

  • Nancy, France, November 7-8 2003. Hosted by ATILF.

  • Chicago, USA, October 11-12 2002. Hosted by the Newberry Library and Northwestern University.

  • Pisa, Italy, November 16-17 2001. Hosted by the University of Pisa.

The site of the meeting has typically alternated between Europe and North America, but that is not a fixed rule. We welcome proposals from other parts of the world, and in particular from areas where new TEI communities are arising.


This year's meeting will be a four-day event (plus pre-conference workshops), with approximately 120 attendees. The three days of the main conference will include a mix of plenary lectures by invited speakers, round-table discussions, and conference-style sessions; there will also be a business meeting of the membership. The fourth day (Sunday) will be a closed session for members of the Board. Meetings of TEI Special Interest Groups (SIGs) may also scheduled for this day. Future meetings should assume roughly this shape, although there is considerable room for local initiative in consultation with the Board.


The TEI Consortium guarantees direct costs of the conference and meeting up to a maximum of US$5200 with special provisions for funding attendance in excess of approximately 120 attendees. The conference organising committee is also expected to seek additional funds from local institutions, commercial sponsors, and other organisations. A conference registration fee is charged to assist the TEI in recovering its expenditure and ensure that it is able to underwrite the cost of future conferences.


Bids should be sent to info@tei-c.org by no later than September 1, 2009, though institutions considering making a proposal are encouraged to contact chair of the TEI much earlier in the process in order to discuss their ideas. Bids should include the following information:

  • The name of the institution(s) making the bid

  • The name, address, email, and telephone number of the contact person

  • A brief description of the facilities available for the event (rooms, equipment, technical support, food)

  • An indication of what financial support, if any, the hosting institution is prepared to give (for instance, sponsoring one or more receptions or pre-meeting workshops; payment of travel expenses for one or more plenary speakers; etc.)

  • Any other details that may be useful in assessing the bid (e.g. the presence of a conference on a related topic at the institution around the time of the meeting; the launch of a new TEI-related initiative at the institution, etc., ideas for a particular theme or focus).

In submitting bids, local organisers are encouraged to be creative: the TEI is willing to work with hosts to reflect local interests and strengths.


Further information about the requirements for the conference and members meeting may be found in our document on Hosting a Members Meeting and the Board's own Practices and Procedures document.


All bids will be reviewed by the TEI board, which makes the final decision.

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