Guidelines for proposals for hosting ECIS conferences

1 Background

1.1 The European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) created its own identity over the first three conference (Henley-UK, Nijenrode-Holland, Athens-Greece) and the standing committee, at its meeting in Athens, felt it was necessary to build further on this identity. The Standing Committee felt that all future proposals for ECIS conferences, starting with the 1998 proposal, should correspond with this expected identity. For that reason, the Standing Committee attempted to characterise this identity in a somewhat formal way with which site-offers submitted should comply as much as possible.

2 General remarks on the character of the Conference

2.1 ECIS should be a meeting place of European researchers in the information systems field, which welcomes other researchers as well. ECIS should try to invite as many European cultures and countries as possible to contribute. The language of the conference is English, and no paper, presentation or researcher will be excluded on the basis of proficiency in English alone.

2.2 In the same spirit, the conference places no restriction on research approach and actively welcomes suitable innovation as this is an area where European research flourishes.

2.3 The size and organisation of the conference should be in such a way that the Conference remains a meeting place for people rather than an event targeting a large audience.

2.4 At present, the organisers of the conference are solely responsible for the financial management of the conference and hence have the possible benefits or losses from it as well. The conference should aim to break-even with the aim of fostering co-operation with the European information systems community. The Standing Committee felt that this was appropriate given the European context. However, each conference should comply with a number of minimum conditions and maximum prices, which should be presented in an offer for a site and on which the Standing Committee has to agree. For that reason, a budget should be included in each proposal (see below).

3 The format of the conference

3.1 The conference should normally be organised between the beginning of May and the end of June. It should run for a minimum of two days and a maximum of three days. It would be pleasant if the conference could start with a 'Welcome reception' on the evening before the official opening session.

3.2 There should be streams on research papers, cases, panels and research in progress. Other streams can be proposed by each organising site. There should be at least one guest speaker for each organised conference day.

3.3 A conference dinner should be part of the proposal. Other optional social events can be organised and billed for separately.

3.4 The necessary conference rooms should be foreseen in the proposal. It seems fair to expect up to a maximum of 350 participants for plenary sessions with smaller groups for the various breakout sessions.

Ideally all the rooms should be located close to one another.

3.5 A book / software exhibition should be organised in an appropriate separate room at the venue.

4 The budget

4.1 The conference organisers should actively seek sponsorship to ensure that fees are kept to a minimum.

4.2 The budget proposed should indicate the expected revenues, including sponsorship and expected costs. The conference fee should be kept as close as possible to the fees of the previous years. The cost of accommodation offered will play an important role as a selection criteria. The fees aimed at should be targeted at an academic audience.

4.3 The budget should cover:

Welcome reception

Conference dinner


Coffee breaks

(By preference) dinners

Cost of the proceedings

Rent for the rooms

Any other equipment needed (e.g. audio visual)

If applicable, the administrative support of the conference

4.4 The participant's fee should be set to allow the budget to break even. While the financial operations of the conference are the organiser's responsibility, the budget is of extreme importance in the selection process.

5 Programme committee--Conference officers

5.1 A preliminary programme committee should be proposed, covering the breadth of research in Europe. A good balance should be aimed for between European members with high international visibility and members with high local visibility in the different countries.

6 Conference officers

6.1 The conference officers are responsible mainly for the academic side of ECIS, which is responsible for promoting the conference, obtaining papers, reviewing them, scheduling the programme and publishing the proceedings. They are aided in the reviewing process by the programme committee and others.

6.2 The conference officers normally include:

Conference chair

Programme chair

Research papers organiser

Panels organiser

Research in progress organiser

Case study organiser

PhD consortium organiser (if appropriate)

Publication officer / editor

6.3 In order to provide a proper European focus, the academic team should ideally come from at least four different European countries. Not more than two conference officers should come from the same country.

6.4 For co-ordination purposes, the programme chair should come from the country that is organising the conference.

6.5 The conference officers will benefit from having served on the programme committee previously

6.6 The conference officers should meet at least once to finalise the programme of the conference.

6.7 Conference proceedings will be published in a book form prior to the conference. Copyright will be held with the conference proceedings publishers with the understanding that papers can be reprinted in the appropriate information systems journals after the conference.

7 Programme committee

7.1 The programme committee is responsible for attracting quality submissions and for reviewing the submissions.

7.2 The committee should have 40-60 members, from at least 20 European countries, with no more than five from the same country.

7.3 An individual can't serve on the programme committee more than three times in a row.

7.4 The programme committee should have representatives from each of the leading information systems journals that support the conference and which will publish a selection of the 'best' papers at a later date. The journals should co-ordinate this activity with the publication officer.

8 Organising committee

8.1 The organising committee deals with the administrative part of the conference and is responsible for all other practical arrangements including arranging the conference location, conference activities and receiving bookings etc.

8.2 It is recommended that the organising committee chair be supported by a publicity organiser, a finance officer, a parallel events organiser and a local arrangements organiser.

8.3 It is advisable that the organising committee chair delegates many of the administrative tasks to professional conference organisers. They will be responsible for room bookings, invoicing etc.

8.4 The members of the organising committee should be locals and represent most parts of the local information systems community (thus, for example, they should not all come from the same university).

These people will be nominated by the local organisers.

8.5 The organising committee is entirely responsible for the financial viability of the conference.

8.6 The organising committee is responsible for ensuring that the conference is adequately advertised. There will normally be a call for papers five months before the submission deadline. This will be followed by a second call for papers three months before the submission deadline. A poster should be sent nine months before the conference date and an invitation programme sent three months before the conference. In addition, the conference should be promoted widely through electronic means, other related conferences and in the journals that support the conference.

8.7 There should be at least three local organisers that cover the local information systems community and are actively involved with information systems (i.e. universities, local information systems associations, local informatics/computer associations etc.). One of the local organisers should be a practitioner member (vendor, consultant or association).

9 Details on the venue

9.1 Details should be given on the venue. The conference venue, as well as the hotel(s) foreseen should be documented. It is desirable to add some information which would allow people to have an idea of the region as well. Some information on how the site can be reached (airports, trains etc.) would be useful.

Walter Baets, Frank Land, Georgios Doukidis, Edgar Whitley

October 1995, First draft

November 1995, Second draft

March 1998, Third version