Congress Planning Guidelines

Co-Chairs/Secretariat Office

Role of Local Organizing Committee Co-Chairs and Secretariat

The LOC (Local Organizing Committee) Co-Chairs are responsible for the successful conduction of the congress. In order to do so they must:

  • Be respected leaders in the range management/science community
  • Be in a position to devote 4 years to the leadership of planning a congress
  • Be effective in obtaining host country political and financial support for the congress
  • Have attended one or more International Rangeland Congresses and be thoroughly familiar with a typical congress organization and operation.
  • Work on a daily basis with the Secretariat Office and all Sub-Committees to
  • insure that deadlines are met

The Secretariat is a person devoted full time for 4 years to insure that every detail of a congress is accomplished. This person must be familiar with a typical congress, having attended at least one congress. He/she will work with the Co-Chairs to carry out the tasks as assigned by the Co-Chairs and Sub-Committees. Principle tasks of the Secretariat Office include, but are not limited to:

Congress Management Plan/Timelines

The Local Organizing Committee must very carefully read the constitution of the IRC and abide by the rules set forth in the Constitution for the conduct of the congress. Attention is particularly drawn to clauses 3, 5 and 6 in the Constitution.

Immediately after the bid has been accepted the LOC will establish this list of timelines. Many of these occur in the bid acceptance letter or in various section of these congress planning guidelines It will be the duty of the Secretariat and the Co-Chairs to insure that they are met. See Appendix A1 and A2 as examples.

The Local Organizing Committee will prepare a report to the IRC Continuing Committee every six months following acceptance of the bid.

  • Overall Co-Chairs named in Bid
  • Permanent Secretariat, fluent in English, named one month after acceptance of bid is received.
  • Co-Chairs (2) for each Sub-Committee named one month after acceptance of bid is received.
  • Work plans for each Sub-Committee submitted to IRC CC three months after acceptance of bid is received.
  • A revised budget will be developed and submitted to the IRC CC four months after acceptance of the bid is received.
  • Hotel and Conference Center contracts signed no later than 3 years before the congress date.
  • Website Design and Update

Immediately after the bid is accepted and as the First Announcement is ready for distribution a web site will be established. The First Announcement, and all subsequent Announcements, will be posted on this web site. This will be the principal mechanism to advertise the congress and to relay information to potential delegates. Hard copy mailings are discouraged due to cost and lack of assurance that the mail systems around the world will deliver these materials in a timely manner.

Registration Process

The IRC has purchased a software package that will be used by the LOC to manage all aspects of congress record keeping to include paper submissions/review/acceptance, delegate support, all aspects of registration including tours, etc. The IRC Secretariat and President will work with the LOC to insure that they are trained in its use.

This software package and the registration process will require an effective local international banking system linked to the system which can process credit cards and accept and transfer funds internationally.

Host Assistance

The Secretariat will work with the Local Arrangements Committee to insure that delegate questions are answered, delegate requests are fulfilled, registration confirmations are sent out, local arrangements are made to handle the needs of delegates and that host desks are set up and maintained at the host country international airports into which delegates will be arriving, as well as at local airports in the city of the venue of the congress.

Publicity

Three Announcements will be issued, as spelled out in the letter of acceptance of the bid. These are:

  • The First Announcement for the congress will be developed and 1000 copies available for distribution at the congress held immediately before the congress of concern with these planning guidelines. This will include general material concerning the venue, theme, dates, program and tours. Co-Chairs, Secretariat and Sub-Committee Chairs, at a minimum, will attend this congress to present the upcoming congress at the Business Meetings of IRC and supervise a booth advertising the upcoming congress where the First Announcement will be available for distribution.
  • The Second Announcement, distributed no later than two and one half years before the congress, will call for abstracts, papers and workshops. This will include, as a minimum, instructions to author and submission deadlines, an indication of specific program sessions, more detailed descriptions of probable Congress tours, a general outline of the associates program and different levels, types and costs of accommodations.
  • The Third Announcement will be distributed no later than eighteen months before the congress and will include, as a minimum, the final program, session co-chairs, tours, workshops, associates program choices, accommodations booking arrangements and registrations forms.

Country Representatives

Past congresses have found it useful to develop a list of representatives from countries around the world who would assist with publicity about the congress in their home country. The Secretariat would pass any news flashes on to these representatives who would in turn pass the information on to potential delegates in that country or region.

FAO Grassland web site

Papers on the host country may exist on the web site: http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/pasture/slide.htm that may be useful to link to the congress web site.

Special Publications

Worth consideration is a special booklet produced on the Rangeland Resources of (host country) which could be included in delegate packets. Contact FAO for potential interest in production of this publication.

Local Arrangements

Hotel and Conference Center Contracts

  • Site inspection checklists are included in Appendices B and C.
  • Need contracts signed no later than six months after bid accepted.
  • See Appendix D for a sample contract.
  • Need hotels of different cost levels to accommodate students and other low income delegates.
  • Special rates in volume
  • Cutoff date for hotel rooms/rates clearly shown in Third Announcement and on web page
  • Space use plan developed two years before congress

Meeting Space Needs

  • Each meeting room must meet the following requirements:
  • Location for easy movement between sessions
  • Soundproof partitions to prevent distracting noise
  • Adequate ventilation for the room capacity
  • First-class PA system with a hotel crew to keep it in perfect operation
  • Light control panel and tie-in for A/V equipment
  • Raised speaker podium – at least for larger rooms – with lighted lectern
  • Entry door(s) near back of room as far as possible from the speaker
  • Adequate seating capacity
  • Floor microphones in the largest rooms and table microphones for panel groups
  • Room named for easy identification
  • Fire Management Plan in place

Meeting Room Signs and Direction

  • Signboards will be placed by the door of each meeting room to show the session underway and papers being presented, with time allocations.
  • Proper direction of congress attendees to the various meeting rooms also will be essential when all sessions are being conducted on a strict time schedule. Room layout diagrams posted on pedestals in the hallways can be a big help. The best directions can be given personally by members of the Host Country who should be identified with conspicuous ribbons or dress.

Poster Session Needs

  • An adequate room is needed so that the posters can be displayed without crowding. Ideally, 10 feet between rows is needed.

Audio/Visual

  • Contract signed two years before congress
  • Ensure that projection screens are elevated high enough for people at the back to see.
  • Include simultaneous translation equipment and head sets. Coordinate with Simultaneous Translation.

Speaker Preparation Room

  • Need to provide a room fitted with desk(s), projector(s), and screen(s) for speaker preparation.

Simultaneous Translation

  • What languages? Presentations will be in English or the Host Country language.
  • Coordinate with International Fundraising
  • Coordinate with Audio/Visual for contracting equipment.

Local Transportation

  • Local Transportation will:
    1. handle all shuttle and bus services set up as part of the congress,
    2. assemble all pertinent information concerning local commercial transportation, and
    3. compile information on commercial travel to and from the congress city.
  • The congress may arrange special shuttle services, such as from the airport to the hotels, between hotels, or from hotels to the congress site.
  • Hotel/Conference Center shuttle needs extra service on night of banquet.
  • Mid-Congress Tours
  • Accompanying Partner activities
  • Special evening entertainment/ Social Activities
  • Contract signed two years before congress

Trade and Information Show

  • The physical location of the Trade Show Area is important. It should be in proximity to the flow of traffic during the congress. It should be readily accessible to the congress participants for maximum exposure. Food courts, snack bars and coffee/tea breaks facilities in the Trade Show Area tend to attract more participants to this area.
  • See Appendices E, F and G.
  • Combine commercial and information exhibits in one location.
  • Sponsors will be offered free information booth space, depending upon level of sponsorship.
  • Prepare information/facilities/costs brochure two years before congress.

Place on web site:

  • description of area
  • size of booth
  • what is included in booth, both for commercial and information booths
  • provide boards for display to avoid need for exhibitors to ship display boards/panels
  • range in prices for on-shore and off-shore exhibitors.
  • If Bulletin is produced listing all exhibitors (and placed in delegate packets) sell advertizing. See 2008 IGC/IRC example in Appendix H.
  • Prepare list of exhibitors from SRM, ARS, previous congresses, etc to pass on to next congress.

Meals

  • Breakfasts at hotels
  • Lunches at Convention Center in Trade and Information Show area. The facilities for providing quick meal service are essential and are of prime importance in evaluating the congress site. Food courts, buffet or snack bars for breakfast and lunches adequately staffed, are the best means for handling congress attendees. A choice of items is better than a flat cost for the meal. Food court, buffet or snack bars and coffee/tea breaks should be made available within the Trade Show Hospitality area for better exposure to the Trade Show, as well as providing quick meal service.
  • Evening meals: At least two nights free for delegates to dine on their own.

Banquet

  • Hold on last evening of congress
  • Include special awards. Coordinate with IRC Continuing Committee

Hospitality Area

  • One large area, within the Trade Show, should be available for continuous use each day of the congress, morning and evening.
  • Functions that occur with the Hospitality Area are the Trade Show, refreshment breaks and a food court, if necessary.
  • An Information Desk should be located where it is readily accessible to all congress attendees. A Bulletin Board will be a main part of the Information Center. It will serve for exchange of information among delegates. All adjustments in the printed program will be posted, such as changes in meeting rooms, replaced speakers, etc. The Information Desk should be operated from early morning until evening every day of the congress. All travel information should be on hand, including maps, commercial tour brochures, and bus schedules. Large-scale maps can be posted to show the location of the hotel in relation to major points of interest.
  • A very effective aid to visitors has been the preparation of written instructions on how to go, by auto or by public transportation, from the headquarters facility to the major points of interest, including shopping areas. A separate sheet is prepared for each major point of interest, showing how to combine hotel courtesy transportation with public busses where appropriate. Such written instructions probably will be clearer and more accurate than verbal instructions given at the desk, and they show a real effort made to help the congress guests.

Coffee/Tea Breaks

  • Locate in Trade and Information Show area.
  • Do not schedule Poster Session viewing during Coffee/Tea breaks

Accompanying Partner Program

  • These are local tours/activities of less than one days duration.
  • Cost of tours must pay for all expenses and allow 10 percent profit to IRC
  • Do not duplicate mid-congress tours.

Social Activities

  • Allow delegates two evenings free from planned activities, the same two evenings as no meal functions planned.

Special Meetings/Group Needs

  • Call for space needs should be in Second Announcement. See Appendix I.

Visa Needs/Processing

  • Include information in Second Announcement and place on web page.
  • If Invitation Letter is needed to secure visa, automatically send to delegates when they register.
  • Provide visa service company information for at least U.S., Australia and Canada. Arrange sponsorship from these companies for this free advertizing.

Accident Insurance

  • Does the Local Organizing Committee Organization carry adequate insurance?

Congress Planner/Organizer

  • What services are needed that the IRC Events Management software or the Local Organizing Committee cannot provide?

PROGRAM

Theme

  • What is the role of the Congress Theme? It needs to be referred to, especially in the closing papers. It needs to shape the program in a significant way.

Opening/Closing Ceremonies

  • Closing session could conclude with international event from all continents.
  • In the final plenary discussion random questions from the floor leads to ineffective, incoherent discussion. Try this idea. After the summary speakers, break for coffee and ask members of the audience to write questions on large sheet of paper and affix them to a wall. (Provide the felt pens and paper for this). As this is happening, the session conveners identify what the key issues are, and quickly develop an agenda for the plenary discussion. This need only take 30 minutes.

International Scientific Committee

  • Establish an International Scientific Committee of approximately 25 individuals to assist with such activities as identifying keynote/invited speakers, sub-theme co-chairs, co-conveners, paper review committee, etc.

Keynote/Invited Speakers

  • All papers, including keynote/invited as well as volunteer papers, will be published in English but could be presented in either English or the local language of the host country, assuming simultaneous translation of these two languages occurs for all sessions.

Timelines

Need to establish deadline dates for the following points:

Establish committees (4-5 people with international knowledge) for each sub-theme. Each sub-theme committee to have 2 co-chairs (1 local: 1 overseas). Sub-theme committees to be briefed on program intent and obligations to sponsors.

Co-conveners advised by the Budget Subcommittee on funds available for invited speakers.

Identification by sub-theme committees of lead speaker(s) and co-conveners for each sub-theme plenary presentation and each session and invitations extended.

Call for Papers will be in the Second Announcement. See Appendices J, K, L and M.

Begin feeding volunteer papers submitted to appropriate co-conveners and sub-theme co-chairs.

Co-conveners decide on format for their individual session, including how posters will be utilized.

Final confirmation of plenary speakers and invited session speakers following recommendations provided by sub-theme co-chairs and co-conveners.

Final provision of voluntary papers to sub-theme co-chairs and co-conveners to determine acceptance and session allocation.

Co-chairs submit complete program from sub-theme co-chairs for publishing in Third Announcement.

Support for Keynote Speakers and Procedure for Payment

Total payment to all keynote speakers must not exceed the amount in the budget.

Program Committee must negotiate with each keynote speakers the amount that they will require for support. Some speakers will be able to provide all of their own support, some speakers will need considerable support. This should have been discussed with each speaker at the time of inviting them as speakers. No promises should be made to any speaker until the entire list of speakers is considered and the total amount requested known. Once the entire list of speakers is considered and the total expenditure does not exceed the budget each speaker will be contacted by the Program Committee to agree with each speaker the amount of support he/she will receive.

Payment to invited speakers will be as follows:

  1. If Complimentary Registration is promised, the Program Committee informs the Local Committee of the list of those who have been promised Complimentary Registrations . The Program Committee instructs the invited speaker to select “Complimentary Registration” on the registration line of the Registration form when the speaker registers for the Congress. As registrations are received by the Local Committee the Local Committee checks those showing “Complimentary” against the list supplied by the Program Committee. Thus no cash is delivered to the invited speaker for registration.
  2. Those to receive support for housing at the Congress will have their hotel bills paid directly by the Local Committee and thus no cash is delivered to the invited speaker. Note: No housing support should be provided for invited speakers on pre- or post-congress tours.
  3. Those to receive support for travel will be reimbursed, just as will be done for possible Delegate Support applicants, when the invited speaker arrives at the Congress. Invited speakers will be asked to purchase their own tickets up front to be reimbursed at the Congress. In the rare instance where they are unable to purchase their own tickets the Finance Committee will be informed and will make an arrangement with that invited speaker.

Comments from past congresses on keynote/invited speakers:

In terms of format we need to think about how we can get more participation from the delegates. In most sessions we have the traditional plenary papers with perhaps one or two offered papers with questions and sometimes a general discussion. In Durban, one session had a few short papers to introduce the topic and then we broke up into small groups (there were six or seven) to discuss particular aspects and then had a short reporting back session. This worked very well, the people enjoyed it and found it informative, it led to more interaction between the delegates and allowed everyone to participate. This, of course, needs more work by the session conveners but we should encourage more imagination in the format of sessions.

Have short, focused presentations and allow time for discussion groups. A 15 minute presentation is usually plenty long enough for the speaker to make the key points they want to; and it minimizes the negative effect of poor speakers. Discussion groups let the audience be involved.

The number of oral presentations can be increased.

Special consideration be given to international delegates from developing countries advantaged by the location and to have more papers presented by developing country scientists. We need speeches from a greater range of countries. We are often dominated by South Africans, Americans and Australians.

Concurrent Sessions

Volunteer papers must be reviewed and acceptance or rejection made to authors at least 18 months before congress date.

Include sessions on:

  • resources/land tenure and transhumance
  • political decision making on rangelands
  • fire science
  • conservation at the expense of local land “owners
  • rangelands education is in transition / decline? in the USA, being organized nationally in Australia, and facing new pressures in the developing world.
  • the program investment cycle: program design, implementation, management/coordination, and evaluation. Many of the symptoms talked about at the IRC are due to failures in one or other aspect of this.
  • the link between rangeland science and policy, focusing on how rangeland science can help in the development of policy with perhaps some examples of how this has been done successfully, or even examples of where it has not worked and why.
  • include native grass seed issues needed to be considered in the plant breeding session.
  • celebration of rangeland peoples including social issues, indigenous peoples, minorities.
  • success Stories (Mongolia, Iran, etc.)
  • Conservation Areas. How managed, difference in management strategies from communal area management. Include “strict” biology known on wildlife species. Integrate wildlife, livestock, crops and people.
  • ecological sustainability with the example of moving people to rehabilitate land.
  • integrated forage and grazing systems.
  • “Ideas”.
  • addressing the increasing divergence of commercial livestock production and biodiversity issues.
  • rangeland end-users can be included for sharing their experience on Rangelands.

Need careful identification and use of key words to determine congress sessions for papers, and the use of key words to define the joint sessions.

Sessions need to be focused on putting together and synthesizing common principles.

During the session the Session Co-Conveners will enforce strict adherence to the timing of the papers as listed in the printed Program. This is to give delegates the opportunity to attend specific presentations during the time intervals specified in the Program. Each Co-Convener should be given the following mandatory rules:

  • Each presentation of a paper, along with discussion, must be terminated
  • ahead of the time period scheduled for the next paper,
  • Presentation of a paper must never be moved ahead of its scheduled time
  • period,
  • The Session Co-Conveners should have on hand an alternate paper, or a
  • planned discussion period, to fill any vacated time period resulting from
  • absence of a scheduled speaker.

Poster Sessions

  • Value posters more. Have a prize for the best poster(s) and make a big thing of it.
  • Allow adequate time for poster viewing.
  • Encourage session conveners to highlight the key points from the relevant posters.
  • Report the findings in the closing plenary papers.
  • Try to co-ordinate presentation times between parallel sessions to permit cross-over.
  • Provide specific times for posters in specific sessions with involvement of authors. This can be incorporated into time allocated for the entire session with keynote speakers, oral presentations, posters and discussion all included in the allotted time slot.
  • Require poster authors to be at their posters at specific time periods for discussion.
  • Do not include poster viewing only during coffee/tea breaks and evening cocktails.
  • Provide pamphlet boxes on display boards for poster authors to offer full publication of their poster.

IRC Business Meetings

  • Resolutions need to be reworked by the Resolutions Committee, with the approval of the mover, so that they are in a suitable format to discuss. Another approach would be to defuse the impact of sloppy wording by including a standard preamble along the lines of “That the Continuing Committee act on the sentiment of the following resolution&”

Workshops

These are reserved for special groups or organizations to hold workshops on a particular technical topic pertinent to their goals or even organizational meetings of that particular group. They are a mechanism to attract additional delegates to the congress, often because it is technical training that the organization can justify subsidizing employees to attend.

Workshops should only be allocated to those groups who sponsor at least $10,000 towards a budged line item. If the sponsorship is only to support their own delegates to attend this workshop or the congress this does not warrant free workshop space, complimentary registrations or free Trade and Information Show space. See what constitutes a sponsorship under Finance.

Publications

Paper Review Process

All papers will be printed in English.

Involve at least 70 individuals from throughout the world. These can be identified with the help from the International Scientific Committee. Develop a list of authors from the host country who have published in REM or ARJ for assistance.

  • Paper review process to be completed 18 months before congress.
  • See Invitation to Review Papers below:

Dear prospective reviewers,

We are honored to invite you to participate in the peer review process of the papers submitted for the IRC conference. You have been recommended by the International Scientific Committee as a voluntary reviewer of the papers submitted for the theme of _____________________.

Reviewers will undertake the reviewing task as a voluntary service to their profession. The Organizing Committee will acknowledge this valuable service to the professional community by publishing the names of all reviewers on the proceedings of the IRC. Following criteria should be considered in reviewing the papers:

  • Suitability for the theme ____________________.
  • Academic merit (Appropriately chosen and documented methods; logical presentation and analysis of results, findings, inferences and conclusions;
  • novelty and significance of the work, and implications for practices, policies or further research.)
  • Standard of writing (Clear and logical presentation, appropriate style, freedom from errors, ease of reading, correct English grammar and spelling, use of conformance with specifications for referencing, length and format details.)

Reviewers are asked for summative judgments on acceptance of a paper:

  • Accept as is (minor corrections can be made by the reviewer)
  • Accept with minor revisions to be made by the author(s) (please specify using Track Changes mode in MS Word)
  • Accept after major revisions(specify using Track Changes mode in MS Word)
  • Reject(specify the major reason)

Reviewers are also asked to be very careful when giving reject judgment to a paper. The number of rejected papers should be minimized.

Each reviewer will be asked to review some 10 to 15 papers of one-page-length (A4 size), and to accomplish the review task and return all the reviewed papers 20 months before the congress dates.

We sincerely hope you will accept our invitation to join the review process. Please let us know by sending a confirming email whether you are willing to do the review.

See Guidelines for Authors in Appendix N.

Copyrights

  • The Congress Proceedings and other printed matter are to be clearly identified as the ___ International Rangeland Congress.
  • Copyright will be with IRC and the Local Organizing Committee Organization.
  • The joint publication of abstracts for the 2003 IRC in African Journal of Range Science plus the CD was a very popular idea.

Distribution

  • Proceedings will preferably be published in CD form and will be available for distribution to delegates when they arrive at the congress.
  • The Local Organizing Committee will need to decide how many copies will be needed for libraries, sponsors, etc..
  • Contact FAO, Rome for a sponsorship to produce the CD and to distribute the CD Proceedings following the congress.

Tours

Pre-Congress

  • Pre-congress tours are preferred over post-congress tours to allow camaraderie to develop which carries over into the congress.
  • The majority of delegates have preferred 4 to 5 day tours. However, depending upon the location, some prefer a longer 10 to 15 day tour. Offer several 4 – 5 day tours and one or two longer 10 -15 day tours.
  • Need to decide if delegates arrange all travel to starting point of tours or if local Organizing Committee arranges in-country travel as part of tour fee.
  • All pre- or post-congress tour fees must be set to pay all expenses plus a 10 percent profit to the IRC.

Mid-congress Tours

  • These needed to be developed to match tours to the varying interests of the attendees AND that there should be sufficient tours to manage the numbers in reasonably sized groups.

General comments to consider:

  • Need to have someone from the area on board familiar with the route/location.
  • The guide on board needs to be completely familiar with the geology, vegetation, livestock systems, etc of the area.
  • Logistics of handling a larger group will present specific challenges not encountered by small groups.
  • With 200 plus per mid-congress tour considerable time is needed just to load and unload buses and to make restroom stops . – Need adequate time at each stop for thorough presentation and time for questions/discussion.
  • Provide well designed signage for directing people to where they need to go as well as providing group leaders equipped with easy to see identification.
  • Provide good quality maps and handouts describing stops to be made so that people know where they are going and what they will see.
  • Need adequate and reasonable restroom facilities available at least mid- morning, at lunch stop, early afternoon, and late afternoon where facilities can quickly handle the number of people on the tour. This is a major consumer of time and must be minimized but not by reducing the number of opportunities.
  • Safety issues – every effort must be made to ensure the personal safety of delegates. Tour leaders must know where and what medical facilities are available for emergencies and have a plan for getting someone there in an emergency.
  • Ensure high quality, functioning audio equipment at all points including stops and on board busses. Must have audio equipment and translation that ensures that everyone can hear easily and understand. Have good easy to follow written handout materials in everyones hands as well. People who are not hearing and understanding will break off into side groups and start their own conversations that are counterproductive to the objectives and disruptive to everyone.
  • As we travel, the following are examples of the information that should be provided:
    • Where we are
    • What is the geologic history of the region, how did it evolve into present day
    • What is the social history of this area
    • What is the ecology of the area
    • Who lives here and how do they live (ie herders, cooperatives, seasonal, sedentary, etc)
    • What are the past and current social issues for the people who live and work here (example: the moving of the herders into dairy cooperatives – why, when, impact on ecosystem, economy, people, etc)
    • What are the natural resource issues (example: water availability, impact of current use on water, future of the resource, water quality issues, who owns the water, past, current, and future use and availability, relationships of energy and water, wind power generation, etc.) Soil is another good example.
    • How do grazing lands play a role in this region
    • What kinds of forages and livestock are in this area
    • What are the management practices
    • What is the anticipated future of this region
    • What research is being done to improve grazing lands and livestock production
    • How is information being conveyed to the users of that information
  • Safety is the major and primary factor when handling any group. Stops along roadsides must be at locations where buses can get completely off the road so that passengers are not at risk from road traffic.
  • If there are multiple vehicles/buses, make sure that they stay together. Do not allow one group to deviate from the schedule and then attempt to catch up with the others. This adds to the risk and causes others to feel that they have missed an opportunity. If possible, consider having an escort vehicle that can help clear traffic in front of the procession and to be available in case of an emergency.
  • Inform delegates in the pre-congress information of what to expect from weather, altitude, sun exposure, insects, and personal needs. They need to be reminded to bring a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and any personal requirements such as medications that they might require. Water must be constantly available.

Pre-congress Tour Confirmations

  • Prior to registering, delegates will need sufficient detail to enable them to choose between tour selection options. When delegates register for the Congress they are going to want some specific information. The following is designed to assist you in developing a confirmation format. Remember that they are going to expect AN IMMEDIATE RETURN EMAIL to their requests for information and upon registering for the Congress.
  • When a delegate registers for the Congress the people in charge of registration should immediately confirm the registration with the delegate, including the choice of tours. The tour leaders also need to be notified immediately that this person is signed up for a specific tour. The tour leader then needs to immediately respond to the delegate with at least the following information.
  • Complete detailed itinerary of the tour including:
    • travel arrangements in-country to starting point of the tour, from ending point of the tour to congress location, and from congress location to point of disembarkation from the country.
    • date, time and place of departure of the tour
    • a map
    • stops each day and what is to be seen there
    • place of location of hotels each night
    • distance traveled each day
    • special recommendation on clothing/items to bring along
    • date, time and location where tour will end

Finance

Budget

Budget Philosophy:

  • Host country sponsorships and registration fees (including tours, spouse events, etc.) must pay for all expenses of the congress and thus result in a break-even budget (including subsidy to IRC and profit to Local Organizing Committee).
  • International Sponsorships will be allocated towards specific line items in the budget, which might include Keynote/Invited Speaker and Delegate Support. The total of the International Sponsorships will equal the total available for Keynote/Invited Speakers and Delegate Support and thus the purpose behind International Sponsorships is to support Speakers and Delegates attend the congress.
  • Attendance projections of from 600 to 1400 need to be made with a separate budget for each level.
  • Registration fees for all delegates will be equal. If any country or organization desires a lower registration fee for their delegates they must make a sponsorship to offset this lower fee. This sponsorship will not result in complimentary registrations, complimentary booth space or free workshop time/space.
  • See Budget format in Appendix O1 – O10.
  • Authorization for expenditures must be approved by the Finance Co-Chairs. See Appendix P.

Fundraising

Sponsorship Levels

Sponsorship can include support for the IRC by identifying a budget line item, including, but not limited to:· Direct support to presenters, keynote speakers or participants, who are not employees of the donor, in the form of airfare, accommodation, per diem, and/or meals· Simultaneous translation · Publishing proceedings or CDs· Hosting a banquet, social event or spouse event· Website preparation and updates· CashLevels of support and associated benefits to the sponsor are:

  • Diamond – $US50,000 which provides free Trade Show space, five complimentary registrations, the naming/conducting of a session, tour or workshop, and name associated with all Congress promotional materials both prior to and during the Congress.
  • Platinum – $US 40,000 value which provides free Trade Show space, four complementary registrations, the naming/conducting of a session, tour or workshop and name associated with all Congress promotional materials both prior to and during the Congress.
  • Gold – $US 30,000 which provides free Trade Show space, three complimentary registrations, the co-naming/conducting of a session, tour or workshop and name associated with all Congress promotional materials both prior to and during the Congress.
  • Silver – $US 20,000 which provides free Trade Show space, two complimentary registrations, conducting a workshop and name associated with all promotional materials both prior to and during the Congress.
  • Bronze – $US 10,000 which provides free Trade Show space, one complementary registration, conducting a workshop and name associated with promotional materials both prior to and during the Congress· Supporters
  • Less than $US 10,000 or In-Kind Services which provides name highlighted on banners and handouts during the Congress.

Sponsors identify delegates to receive complimentary registrations, complimentary booth space, and/or desire to conduct sessions, tours or workshops. International Fundraising Chairperson keeps this master list and continually updates Registration, Trade and Information Show, Program Co-Chairs, Tour Co-Chairs and Workshop Co-Chairs of this list.

What Constitutes a Sponsorship versus Support and thus Benefits

  • Cash contributions are self evident.
  • Support may be in cash less than $10,000 to a budget line item or be in- kind services such as assistance to congress by personnel, free booth space at their meetings to advertise congress, posting congress website on their website or in their publications, etc. Judgment needs to be used in the Support category.
  • Sponsorship must go towards a line item in the budget to receive complimentary registrations, complimentary booth space or session, tour or workshop time/space. See 2008 IGC/IRC Spreadsheet example in Appendix Q. Support for an organizations own delegates does not constitute a Sponsorship but could be considered for the Support category. The danger here is that the Local Organizing Committee may not be aware of all organizations supporting their own delegates only and thus miss listing them as a Supporter on congress banners and in congress publications.

IRC Bank Account

Many U.S. organizations cannot grant funds to an international organization. In these cases an agreement is written with SRM (Society for Range Management) and funds channeled through the IRC bank account with SRM. See IRC bank account information in Appendix R.

All sponsorships, regardless of the forms or procedures required by the sponsor, will require a cash flow budget and receipts for documentation of expenses/payments by IRC, if not the sponsor.

See Washington D.C. organizational list, mailing labels, meeting schedule, example letter and Washington, D.C. hotel list in Appendix S1 – S8.

Delegate Sponsorship

See Delegate Sponsorship Application below. Application must be on website just prior to completion of review/acceptance process of volunteer papers to allow successful author to apply for support. This is at least 18 months before the congress.

DELEGATE SPONSORSHIP APPLICATION

First Name Last Name/Surname Organization Postal Address Town/City State Postal code/zip code Telephone (include country code) Facsimile (include country code) Email

Please indicate the level of support of your application in one of the following:

  1. Congress Registration
  2. Congress registration and contribution to accommodation of up to $US200
  3. Congress registration, contribution to accommodation of up to $US 200 and contribution to travel of up to $US 800

Full sponsorship is not available unless a specific sponsor has indicated their total support, where the delegate will be selected by the sponsoring organization itself. Our aim is to provide sponsorship opportunities for as many individuals as possible. Priority will be given to category a) above, then b) and finally c). Cash assistance for these items will be paid to the delegate on the Thursday of the Congress. You will need to approach your own organization, NGO or other aid agency to support your pre-purchase for travel.

Please supply the following information in your application:

  1. Provide a brief description of your area of work and/or study, and provide an explanation as to why you should be considered for sponsorship.
  2. Provide evidence of the approaches you have made to obtain funding from your own organization, international aid organization or NGO.
  3. Provide two (2) written letters of reference. Please supply the name, organization, position and address of your referees.
  4. Sign and date the application

Send application to:

See Delegate Sponsorship Process below:

Delegate Sponsorship Process

Speakers

The Budget Committee will inform the Program Subcommittee of the total figure of funds available for Keynote/ Invited Speakers.

Based upon number of Keynote/Invited Speakers and the categories of support as determined by the Program Subcommittee, the Program Subcommittee will prepare a list of recipients of these funds and the amount offered to each.

At the time of inviting speakers the Program Subcommittee will make every effort to encourage speakers to obtain their own support for travel and associated congress expenses. If speakers are not able to provide their own support they will then be considered for sponsorship.

The Program Subcommittee will inform each of these speakers of the decision for sponsorship and, after agreement from the speakers, will turn the list over to the Chair of the Delegate Sponsorship Process at least 18 months before the congress. The Program Subcommittee will instruct each speaker to deal directly with this Chair to obtain these funds. He will also remind them of the visa acquisition process.

Delegates

Three levels of sponsorship have been established:

Priority Level One – Congress Registration only. As an example, $US 150,000 might be allocated to this level.

Priority Level Two – Congress registration and partial accommodation of up to $US200. As an example, $US 40,000 might be allocated to this level.

Priority Level Three – Congress registration, partial accommodation of up to $US200 and contribution towards travel of up to $US800. as an example $US 25,000 might be allocated to this level.

Congress Secretariat will be receiving applications from delegates. Closing date for applications is 12 months before the congress as specified in the Second Announcement. Congress Secretariat will send all applications immediately upon receipt to the Chair of the Delegate Sponsorship Process who will have an international committee assist him with allocation of funds .

Selection Process:

  1. Address Priority Level One for all applicants. Strive for balance in:
    1. potential to contribute to congress through presentation of paper/poster, serving on Continuing Committee, etc.
    2. geographic areas
    3. type of discipline
    4. gender
  2. If additional funds exist after allocating Priority Level One funding to all applicants, use the same criteria as listed in step 1 above to allocate Priority Level Two funding (partial accommodation on top of what they have already received from step 1 above, which was congress registration).
  3. If additional funds still exist use same process to allocate for Priority Level Three (contribution towards travel of up to $US800 on top of what they have received from Priority Levels One and Two).

Selection process must be completed 6 months before the congress.

Once selection has been made applications are turned over to the Chair of the Delegate Sponsorship Allocation. He will notify successful and unsuccessful delegates, obtain a written agreement from the delegate and will explain the process for obtaining funds at the congress. He will also remind successful delegates of visa acquisition process.

  • Delegate Support is used to encourage as many delegates to attend as possible thus a smaller subsidy to a great many delegates is preferable to a large subsidy to only a few delegates.
  • It is suggested that the International Rangeland Congress organizers provide enough facilities and funds to support and encourage more scientists from developing countries to be able to participate in forthcoming congresses and meetings.

Airline and Bus Contracts

  • The main value in airline contracts are the free airline tickets available.
  • “Site Inspection” tickets or a dollar value to be used on tickets is available for signing a contract designating one airline (or group of airlines) as the official carrier for the congress.
  • Commonly one complimentary ticket is available for every 40 seats sold. These tickets can then be used by IRC for planning the next congress.
  • Consider an international carrier contract as well as an airline and/or bus contract with a host country carrier.

Levy of IRC

The Host Country Organizing Committee will pay a per capita fee to $10 per delegate to IRC. This must be built into the budget.

Loan from IRC

The purpose of the levy paid to IRC is to build a bank reserve available as a loan to the Host County Organizing Committee for start-up expenses prior to receipt of sponsorships or registration fees.

International Assistance to Local Organizing Committee

With adequate planning on the part of the Host Country Organizing Committee all assistance can be received while in attendance at previous congresses or by electronic means thereafter. Special travel to the Host Country by IRC Continuing Committee members or officers is not recommended or necessary. The bid has been accepted on the basis of the Host Country having the experience and capacity to conduct the congress on their own , with advise by mail or electronically with colleagues from around the world. Any travel needed by advisors from around the world to the Host Country is expensive and must be built into the budget. The result is unnecessarily high registration fees to offset this expense and thus reduction in the number of delegates who can afford to attend the congress.

Appendices – Congress Planning Guidelines