CONGRESS PLANNING GUIDELINES
INTERNATIONAL RANGELAND CONGRESS
Revised March 2017
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
- Prepare a report to the IRC Continuing Committee every six months following acceptance of the bid
- Insure that the overall Co-Chairs are named in the bid
- Name Permanent Secretariat, fluent in English, one month after acceptance of bid is received
- Name Co-Chairs (2) for each Sub-Committee within two months after acceptance of bid is received
- Submit Work Plans for each Sub-Committee to IRC CC three months after acceptance of bid is received.
- Submit a revised budget, including a cash flow budget, to the IRC CC four months after acceptance of the bid is received.
- Sign Hotel and Conference Center contracts no later than 3 years before the congress date.
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.
- In the bid or immediately after the bid has been accepted the LOC will establish a list of timelines. Many of these occur in the bid acceptance letter or later in this document. 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 in the master IRC congress guidelines.
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 emailed using the IRC mailing list and posted on this web site. These 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.
- A web site manager will be required to design and maintain the congress web site. This is one of the most important positions in organizing a congress. The web site needs to be established as soon as the location and dates for the congress are identified.
- Over the four-year period coming up to the congress the detailed information about all activities related to the congress will be posted on the site.
- IRC has developed a very large list of email addresses of potential delegates from around the world that can be contacted from time to time to direct them to new information posted on the website. This mass email list should also include government rangeland and grassland extension agencies, grassland and rangeland producer organizations, ranchers, stockmen and grass farmers.
- The IRC will up-date the IRC master email mailing list after each mass mailing.
- It is extremely important to have a tracking system to monitor visits to the congress web site.
- An email list of interested delegates replying to the show of interest in initial web site advertisement and email announcements is essential for a number count of potential delegates for budgeting purpose. However, all subsequent mailings should go to the large IRC mailing list, not just to the "show of interest" list.
- New messages will be developed by members of the LOC but the web manager must send out all such notices advertising the congress. This person is also responsible for, in cooperation with the review committee, the setting up of an on line system for receiving the abstracts and invited papers, distributing them to the reviewers, cataloguing all transactions, sending acknowledgements to the authors, developing an on line process to review the papers with the reviewers and authors, and storing the approved abstracts and invited papers for placement on a USB stick for distribution to all delegates when they arrive at the registration desk.
- Special attention needs to address the issue of delegates in countries such as China, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Argentina who may not have access to the Congress web site due to country restrictions. A direct email system will most likely be needed to contact potential delegates in these countries. It will be necessary to work with contacts in these countries to develop a large communication network of potential delegates within the country. In addition, a system must be developed to receive abstracts and invited papers from these countries. This might be done directly by email. Determining which countries these are and a process needs to be developed at least two years in advance of the congress.
- Translations of initial advertisements for distribution to non-English speaking countries should be considered.
- It is highly recommended that the local LOC obtain the services of a professional computer management company that can do "on line" computer registration services locally. If the LOC chooses to obtain and manage such a software program it is recommended that the LOC select a person that is comfortable with that program. The software package used will manage all aspects of congress record keeping to include paper submissions/review/acceptance, delegate support, all aspects of registration including tours, etc.
- 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. The registration system will also need to be able to handle invoices for paying registration fees.
- Be aware that the user fee for credit cards will be costly to the local organizing committee and this user cost will need to be incorporated into the registration cost.
- On line credit card fraud can be an issue. It has been noted that unscrupulous people can factitiously register for a conference and immediately cancel their registration and request a refund. The refund is then automatically sent before the original invoice has been paid. This is caused by a time laps in processing the original payment. There are online computer payment companies that can be used to prevent this happening.
- In addition to the normal registration form requirements for the congress it is recommended that each delegate book their own accommodation at the congress recommended hotels or university dorms. In some cases, where the delegate from a developing country is unable to directly book their hotel the congress secretariat could provide assistance.
- It is recommended that the delegate indicates the next of kin on their registration form in case of an emergency.
- The delegates should indicate the airline, flight number and arrival time on their registration form.
- Special food needs will have to be indicated on the registration form by checking the appropriate box indicating the special food needs.
- Opportunity to indicate choice of mid congress tours and booking the congress banquet tickets must be included on the form.
- Early registration and payment should have a deadline of about 6 weeks before the congress. All delegates have to have paid their registration fee in order to have their paper or abstract included in the proceedings. This needs to be completed by the early registration deadline in order to allow time to do the final edit of the proceedings. This will be extremely difficult to manage as a large proportion of delegates will not pay until the very last minute.
- It is not recommended to publicize a one-day registration fee. This one day fee could be done on request. In past congresses international delegates thought that they could cut their cost by registering for one day. All delegates should be required to pay the full registration.
- 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.
- A representative of the upcoming congress will attend the congress to present the bid for the upcoming congress at the Business Meetings of IRC and supervise a booth advertising the upcoming congress where the First Announcement of the location and date of the congress will be available for distribution and should be emailed to all potential delegates at the conclusion of this congress.
Four Years Before the Congress (First Announcement):
- Immediately following the previous congress, where the bid to host has been accepted, the first announcement will be emailed to the mass email list of potential delegates. This initial email will simply provide the location and dates for the Congress. A request should be made for delegates interested in future email information on the up-coming congress to reply. This will assist in predicting attendance but is not to be used as a separate mailing list.
- Preliminary reservations of conference venues and hotels should be made.
- Congress co-chairs should be chosen who will facilitate establishment of a website for the Congress and a person should be chosen to manage the website.
- All website visits should to be tracked as to number of hits by country and pages on web site visited. Use Google Analytics (analytics.google.com) or similar to accomplish website visit tracking. Having these metrics will help determine the amount of interest in attending the congress.
- Extensive advertising in addition to the master email list will be required. News items outlining the congress will need to be sent to all major international scientific organizations that are involved with grazing, grassland, rangeland, wild land management, restoration, remote sensing, ecology etc. These news items should be distributed to their membership and posted in their newsletters and web sites. It is useful to develop MOUs with these organizations, which could include free booth space for them at the congress and/or reciprocal meeting advertising.
Forty two Months Before the Congress
- Identify chairs and co-chairs for each committee
- Committee co-chairs add members to their committees
- Preparation of work plans for each committee
- Draft Program developed
- Establish a Congress logo
- Finalize venue and hotel bookings
- Engage a company to handle registration, and identify and establish a secretariat
- Revise budget
Thirty Months Before the Congress (Second Announcement)
- The second announcement is sent to the IRC master email mailing list plus other interested parties. It will contain information on the congress program, including subject areas, and a few details on anticipated tours.
- Again, a request for expression of interest in attending the congress by sending a return email is important. This expression of interest will be useful in establishing a budget for the Congress.
- Some general information on congress city and conference facilities with links to websites for more detailed information
- Schedule of when call for papers and registration etc. will be available
- Post detailed information on sponsorship on the website, inviting sponsors for the Congress. Sponsorship committee should be contacting potential sponsors
Eighteen Months Before the Congress (Third Announcement)
- Call for papers. This will include instructions to author and submission deadlines, and a list of specific program sessions. The deadline for papers submission should be 6 months before the congress. If necessary, this could be extended to four or five months before congress, keeping in mind that there has to be sufficient time for the review process.
- Detailed descriptions of pre- and mid-congress tours.
- Information on the accompanying persons program, if having one.
- Detailed information on the accommodations available for the congress.
- Application and selection details for delegate sponsorship. Deadlines for delegate sponsorship applications should be 6 months before the congress. This should allow sufficient time for sponsored delegates to obtain visas.
- Information on pre-congress workshops.
- Detailed information on registration procedures and costs.
Twelve Months Before the Congress (Fourth Announcement)
- A reminder for papers submissions and delegate support applications stating final deadlines.
- Biography of plenary speakers and titles of presentations.
Six Months before the Congress
- Delegates selected for sponsorship are informed and requested to submit an acceptance of the sponsorship funds.
- A decision to be made on whether to extend the paper submission deadline by an additional month or two months, and if so, inform potential delegates.
- Remind delegates that they have to pay their full registration in order to have their paper accepted, presented at the congress and published in the proceedings six weeks before the congress.
- Decide on whether pre-congress tours have been well enough subscribed to take place and inform those who registered for them.
Two Months before the Congress (Fifth Announcement)
- The finalized program is available with all poster and oral presenters indicating times and locations of presentations.
- Include instructions on transport from the airport to hotels and convention centre.
- Indicate location and hours for registration desk.
- Highlight workshops
One Month before the Congress
- Repeat the two-month information
One week before the Congress
- Send out email including additional reminders about the venue, registration, opening ceremonies, etc.
Daily throughout Congress
- Provide a daily email update to attending delegates so that they are aware of any changes to the program as well as making them aware of what is happening for the day ahead. Make this also available in hardcopy on the Information Bulletin Board.
One Month Post-Congress
- Send out email to delegates thanking them for attending the Congress and provide a link to the posted Proceedings and possibly the presenter slides. Remind them of the next location for the Congress.
Assistance with Publicity
- It is advisable that the IRC Continuing Committee be involved in the dissemination of information and publicity for the congress. In addition, 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.
- 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.
- Worth consideration is a special booklet produced on the Rangeland Resources of the host country which could be included in delegate packets. Contact FAO for potential interest in production of this publication.
LOCAL ARRANGEMENTS COMMITTEE
Hotel and Conference Center Contracts
- Site inspection checklists and hotel contracts are included in Appendices B, C and D.
- Need contracts for the Convention Center signed no later than six months after bid accepted.
- Need hotels of different cost levels to accommodate students and other low income delegates. This could include University residence. It is extremely important not to guarantee filling all the blocked hotel rooms. If there are no-shows, then the congress might have to pay the hotel for unused rooms. Most delegates will check the internet for best prices on hotel rooms. Need to make sure that hotel web site prices match the convention contract rates.
- Clearly show cutoff date for hotel rooms/rates in Third Announcement and on web page.
- Develop space use plan for Convention Centre two years before congress.
Meeting Space Needs
For a successful congress there needs to be one large room to accommodate all delegates for the opening, plenary and closing sessions. In addition, there needs to be at least (5) break out rooms for the simultaneous sessions.
A committee person is needed to be responsible for the room, the management of lighting system during presentations and audio visual and sound system.
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 crew to keep it in perfect operation
- Light control panel and tie-in for A/V equipment
- Floor to Ceiling projection screen
- 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 i.e. 150 to 200 seats in each breakout room
- Floor microphones in the largest rooms and table microphones for panel groups
- Room named for easy identification and name of session
- 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 and in the conference handbook will be required.
- The best directions can be given personally by members of the Host Committee who should be identified with conspicuous ribbons or conference organizing committee clothing.
Poster Session Needs
- An adequate room is needed so that the posters can be displayed without crowding. Ideally, 10 feet between rows is needed. Committee needs to decide how many posters per board and if they are horizontal of vertical posters before the official call for posters. Delegates need to be advised prior to the conference on the physical method of attaching their posters to the poster boards.
- All poster boards need to be numbered in the top right hand corner. These numbers will refer to the poster numbers in the program hand book. The main author’s picture should be on the top left corner of the poster.
- A committee person needs to be in charge when delegates are putting up the posters to provide assistance with extra poster attaching supplies.
- Session numbers or topic descriptions of different poster areas need to be identified for easy viewing.
- If poster sessions are at the end of the oral afternoon sessions, providing a refreshment bar (user pay), will increase participation at the poster sessions
- The poster area and the Information Market Place and Trade Show should be adjacent to each other. This will increase exposure to the exhibitors.
- Contract signed two years before congress.
- Ensure that projection screens are elevated high enough for people at the back to see. Thus the need for large floor to ceiling projection screens
- If necessary depending upon the country, include simultaneous translation equipment and head sets. This comes at a high cost.
- Each session room will require a person to operate the audio visual equipment and room lighting.
Submitting Speaker Presentation Power Point
- All AV/Power point presentations should be submitted on a USB memory stick and submitted at the registration desk upon arrival.
- There should only be the congress presentation on this memory stick. No additional files.
- The memory stick should be submitted in a pre-printed envelope with the authors name and email address, paper number, session and date of presentation and title of presentation on the envelope.
- The person’s name should also be on the USB memory stick.
- There needs to be a person at the registration desk that can receive the speakers USB stick for later down loading on the individual session conference computer. The session chairpersons or assistance can down load the presentations before the actual session begins.
- The speaker can pick up their USB memory stick following the presentation in the session.
- Provide a room with a computer for speakers to fine tune their presentations.
- There needs to be a room where all the speakers can meet their chairpersons of their respective sessions. The location and time should be given to the speakers and the session chairpersons when they register. The details of how the sessions will operate will be given at that time.
- All speakers need to meet the session chair 30 minutes before the start of the session.
- It is recommended that there be an information booth at the airport to greet the congress delegates before the conference begins.
- There should be congress signage directing the delegates to the booth. It is recommended that transportation be provided to take the delegates to their hotels. The cost of this transportation could be a joint effort between the hotels and the city tourism department. Different sizes of busses or large passenger vans could be used.
- If independent taxis are used, designated signage to the various hotels would assist people joining up to share the taxi fare.
- Delegates staying at University dorms will need to use the local bus system to get to the conference centre. The LOC should arrange for bus passes, bus schedules and route maps to the delegates staying in University residences. This could be done through the city’s tourism department.
Information Market Place and Trade Show
- There could be commercial exhibitors as well as non – profit organizations that basically are there to present information. The non- profit organizations could be charged a lower rate to participate or given complimentary booth space. There may be limited interest from commercial companies/industry to attend the trade show.
- Combine commercial and information exhibits in one location. One option is to have an organization representing local artists be invited to sell local art and craft to the delegates as souvenirs.
- If the conference has the middle day as a tour day (Wed) there could be the opportunity to have two separate exhibitor groups. One group could be on location for the first two days of the congress and the other group could be there for the last two days of the congress. One of the major expenses in having exhibitors at an Information Market Place/Trade show is personnel expenses and accommodation. With two 2 day shows this would cut down their expenses and allow for more exhibitors to participate. It also gives a fresh look to the congress.
- The physical location of the Information Market Place/Trade Show Area is important. It should be in short proximity to the flow of traffic during the congress and adjacent to the poster presentation and refreshment area. It should be readily accessible to the congress participants for maximum exposure. Food courts, snack bars and coffee/tea breaks facilities in the Information Market Place /Trade Show Area tend to attract more participants to this area.
- There is a need for casual seating in the area for people to network.
- 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.
- indicate how exhibiting materials can be shipped to the congress convention center.
- The conference program booklet should list all exhibitors (and placed in delegate packets). Sell additional advertising if possible.
- Obtain a list of potential exhibitors from related regional conferences and from the previous IRC and from Society for Range Management annual meetings or similar conferences.
- Breakfasts at hotels. The Local Organizing Committee should negotiate with the hotels to provide a buffet style continental breakfast (cereal, hard boiled eggs, toast, juice, coffee, tea, milk) that the delegates can quickly serve themselves. At past congresses slow service at breakfast has caused major problems.
- Lunches at Convention Center in Trade and Information Show area. The facilities for providing quick meal service are essential and are of prime importance. We need to have all delegates through the food lines in 20 minutes!! 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.
- Delegates could have the choice when submitting their registration form to purchase noon lunch tickets separate from the registration cost. Otherwise lunches could be included in the registration cost. It will be necessary to print "Lunches included" on the registration receipt to prevent delegates from double charging their employer. Including lunch as a cost to the overall registration might be the simplest way of having all delegates fed in time for the opening afternoon sessions. The lunch tickets are required and should be collected upon entering the room designated for lunches. A committee person will be required to collect the tickets for each luncheon.
- There could be a need to accommodate special dietary needs based on health and ethnic needs. Their names must be placed on these lunches or on a list to prevent other non-diet people from taking them.
- Evening meals: At least two nights free for delegates to dine on their own.
- Evening socials: There should be some evening socials so delegates can meet each other and network. These events could be a pay as you go event.
- Hold on last evening of congress. Delegates would purchase tickets on registration form.
- Include special awards. Coordinate with IRC Continuing Committee
- Feature the culture of the region in the after dinner program.
- One large area, with a sitting area within the Information Market Place/Trade Show, should be available for continuous use each day of the congress, morning and evening.
- 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 tourism 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. Local volunteers will be required to staff the information booth.
- 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, restaurants, hospital, and tourism sites.
- A separate sheet is prepared for each major tourism 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.
- A separate sheet should be prepared to list different types of restaurants, and bars, their menu type and their price range and location. This should be included in the registration packet.
- A separate sheet should list local pharmacies, medical walk in clinics, hospital and walk in dentist etc. This should also be included in the registration packet.
- A detailed map of the city relevant to the congress convention center should be included in the registration packet.
- The city’s tourism department can help supply this information.
Coffee/Tea Breaks or Nutrition Breaks
- Locate in Information Market Place Show area.
- Do not schedule Poster Session viewing during Coffee/Tea breaks
- It is advisable to have an assortment of drinks for non coffee/tea drinkers
Accompanying Partner Program
- There should be some activities to attract accompanying persons to attend the congress. Some accompanying partners will be part of the pre and post congress tours.
- Accompanying partners should be invited to the opening ceremonies and opening reception.
- A get acquainted session should be organized on the first day perhaps after the opening ceremonies. A local committee person needs to host this event. Refreshments could be served as means of introducing each other.
- Representatives from the local tourism department should make a verbal presentation on possible things to do in the city with costs and transportation possibilities. These are local tours/activities of less than one day’s duration. The local host and the tourism representatives will help the groups get organized for the activities that they are interested in for the duration of the week. The host would assist in arranging for transportation; i.e. taxis, etc. The potential booking of passenger taxi vans would need to be done in advance.
- Cost of tours or activities and transportation must pay for all expenses.
- Do not duplicate mid-congress tours as the accompanying delegates would be part of these tours.
- There would be an accompanying persons registration fee that would cover the costs of the reception, opening ceremonies, the social get together and the mid congress tours. The purchase of conference lunch tickets could be an option.
- It is recommended that the congress hold a stand up catered reception with finger food and pay bar on the evening before the congress begins; i.e. Sunday night. This is a means of getting people to meet and greet each other. Some simple short musical entertainment would be of benefit.
- Allow delegates two evenings free from planned activities, the same two evenings as no meal functions planned.
- The social nights with an appropriate name could be held preferably on the first and second full day of the congress. This is another way of people getting to meet each other. This could be an evening event at a local bar or pub or other facility that is within walking distance from the hotels or is relatively easy to transport the delegates to the venue.
- It is suggested that the local organizing committee negotiate with the bar management or other suitable venue to basically take over the bar with the delegates for the evening. It would be a pay as you go event.
- There could be a special drink price for the evening.
- The bar management could provide some music for a portion of the evening and to allow conversation the remainder of the time.
- There could be some contests with prizes/ draws. There could also be an auction of articles with proceeds going to the congress or a designated charity.
- Food could be available and this could be as a cover charge or pay as you go or the bar could supply the food.
Special Meetings/Group Needs
- To accommodate special groups, organizations or special meeting needs a call for space request should be in Second and subsequent Announcements.
- Workshops are traditionally held on the Sunday before the congress opening on Monday.
- As part of the sponsorship activity some organizations might host a workshop. The congress would provide the room and audio visual equipment and an operator. The sponsoring organization would be responsible for everything involved in the workshop. Coffee/tea/nutrition is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization.
- Include information in Second and Third Announcement on how to obtain a visa and which countries are affected. Also place this information on the web page. If there are VISA services companies that assist in obtaining visas this information should also be posted on the web site.
- If an Invitation Letter is needed to secure visas, automatically send to delegates when they register and/or when their paper is accepted.
Accident and Liability Insurance
- There is a need for the Congress Committee Organization to carry adequate accident and liability insurance.
Registration Desk and Congress Bags
- The local arrangements committee will arrange for voluntary staff to operate the registration desk during the congress.
- It is recommended that the registration desk open at Saturday noon and remain open during the conference hours of the entire congress. Special assistance will need to be provided to workshop participants who will be in attendance on Saturday workshops if they occur that day.
- Prior to the start of the congress a registration package for each delegate must be prepared. It would include the conference registration form and receipt of payment, all tour and meal tickets and name badge and the conference proceeding USB memory stick. The last name followed by first name should be printed at the top on the outside of the registration package envelope for easy distribution.
- The registration packages must be organized in alphabetical order and grouped together in groups of relatively equal numbers i.e. last names A, B, C one group D and E another group, etc.
- There needs to be several lines depending upon numbers for delegates to line up to receive their registration package; i.e. last names starting with A,B,C,D,E one line etc. etc. Need to have relatively equal numbers for each line. The alphabetical letters of names for the various lines needs to be high above the registration desks for easy visibility.
- Need to have a special desk location for onsite registrations. Need to have printing facilities to print name badges.
- Need a special desk for speakers to turn in their presentations on a memory stick. Do this in coordination with the Program Committee.
- Speakers need to be informed on when and where they will meet their session chair person. This could be done at a specified time in the speaker preparation room.
- It is advisable to have counter height registration desks. A simple way to make these is to extend the legs of an ordinary long fold up table with a 2 ft (approximate) piece of ABS pipe over the existing metal table leg. Cloth drapery can be used to cover up the space below the raised table.
- Congress bag and congress program booklet should be arranged as a joint effort of the fund raising committee. This could be a sponsored item. The bag with program booklet could contain pens, writing pads, a list of recommended restaurants with menu style, and location, the list of pharmacies, hospitals and walk in medical clinics and dentists, local and regional maps. All the above items could be placed on a table in the registration area and the delegates could then select the items that they need. This is much simpler that having pre-stuffed congress bags.
- It is suggested that the congress bags also contain some information on the rangelands of the host country.
- The role of the Congress Theme is to direct the general theme of the plenary papers and be referred to in the various sessions, especially in the closing papers. It needs to shape the program in a significant way.
Schedule for the Week
- The program committee should develop sessions that include Ecology, Production/Management and Social/Policy topics that related to all types of rangelands.
- The congress generally opens on Sunday with workshops during the day and the opening reception on Sunday evenings.
- Plenary sessions are usually held at least each morning followed by concurrent sessions.
- Poster presentations as they relate to the session topics are usually held late each afternoon with the authors present.
- The IRC Business Meeting is held on the Monday (one hour) and Friday (two hours) mornings. No other planned activities at this time.
- The mid congress tours are held on the entire day Wednesday with no other sessions or events planned that day.
- The concluding or summary sessions and congress closing is late Friday afternoon.
- The congress banquet is held on the Friday evening.
- The opening ceremonies should highlight the host country through plenary speakers that describe (visually) the history, geography, the agriculture and grazing/ livestock/ wildlife/recreational lands, the people, and the economic and demographics of the area.
- Opening plenary session could feature rangeland managers from different eco regions of the host country to present the year- round story of their operation.
- A high profile dignitary representing the country and the region could be invited to participate. Additional speeches should be kept to a minimum.
- For the opening ceremonies a party relating to the people and culture of the host country might lead the dignitaries to the opening ceremony. Representatives of Government officials and Indigenous people might be invited for the party.
- There should be a summary paper from each of the major themes (ecology, production and social/policy) presented at the closing ceremony based on the information presented at the congress.
- Potential summary presentation speakers need to be identified early in the planning process. The summary of the information presented at the congress is the most important aspect of the congress proceedings. This information should be sent to delegates via email following the congress.
- These summary presenters should have access to the invited review papers from each day’s plenary presentations, concurrent sessions plus other relevant material from poster sessions prior to the congress in order to prepare the presentation.
- These summary presentations should include conclusions coming from the congress and some recommendations on the management of the worlds rangelands. This is the most important function of the congress.
- Closing session could conclude with announcements of international events from all continents, as well as highlighting the next congress.
International Scientific Committee
- Establish an International Scientific Speakers Committee to assist with such activities as identifying keynote/invited speakers, sub-theme co-chairs, co-conveners, paper review committee, etc. The IRC Continuing Committee could be part of this group and/or suggest names of individuals to serve on this committee.
- 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. Simultaneous translation will be very expensive.
- The word processing and audio visual computer system must be indicated for receiving all oral and written papers, abstracts and presentations. i.e. Power point version and Word perfect version, etc.
- It is suggested that for each sub theme, that one or two internationally known speakers be asked to present a SCIENTIFIC REVIEW paper on the topic as a Plenary presentation. The speakers should not highlight their own research. The review paper should be broad in scope and cover information from various regions of the world. One speaker could present the information from the northern hemisphere and the other speaker could present the topic from the southern hemisphere.
- Northern and Southern hemisphere and developing nations invited speakers for the various topic areas needs to be addressed.
Need to establish deadline dates for the following points:
- A draft program will be included in the bid. This needs to be revised per suggestions by the IRC Continuing Committee soon after the bid is accepted.
- The program committee will develop the overall congress program with the various sub themes for the concurrent sessions. This needs to be done as soon as possible so that the information can be included in the call for papers. It is suggested that this be completed two years in advance of the congress so that the first call for papers go out 18 months before the congress.
- Establish theme sub committees with international knowledge for each sub-theme to find suitable speakers. Each sub-theme committee should have one local and one international person involved. Sub-theme committees need to be briefed on program intent and obligations to sponsors. This committee seeks recommendations for possible invited theme speakers and eventually decides on the actual invited speakers.
- The invited speakers committee is advised by the Finance committee on funds available for invited speakers travel expenses.
- Sub-theme committees will identify lead speaker(s) and session chair’s for each sub-theme plenary presentation and each session and invitations extended.
- Call for Papers will be in the Third and subsequent Announcements. See previous timelines under Committee Co-Chairs and Secretariat. Also see Appendices.
- There will be far more oral requested volunteer papers submitted than program space available. These papers will need to be scrutinized for the most appropriate presentations, as oral or as posters.
- Begin feeding volunteer papers (abstracts) submitted to the publications committee for review and to appropriate sub-theme co-chairs as soon as they are received.
- Program committee decides on format for their individual session including how posters will be utilized.
- Final confirmation of plenary speakers and invited session speakers follows recommendations provided by sub-theme committee.
- Final provision of voluntary papers to sub-theme committee and publications review committee to determine acceptance and session allocation.
- Program committee will decide which abstracts/papers will be oral presentations and which papers at poster presentations.
- Program committee submits complete program from sub-theme co-chairs for distribution by email and the web site two months before the congress. This final program for the congress will include the authors/presenters names and title of oral presentation or poster and the presentation location or room number.
- Delegates need to have paid their registration at least 6 weeks before the congress in order to have their abstract or paper printed in the congress proceedings.
Support for Keynote Speakers and Procedure for Payment
- Total payment to all keynote invited speakers must not exceed the amount in the budget.
- Program Committee must negotiate with each keynote speakers (those invited to give the review papers ) 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. The attempt should be to ask the speaker to fund as much of his/her costs as possible to allow the sponsorship funds to support other needy delegates.
- 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:
- If Complimentary Registration is promised, the Program Committee informs the Local Registration Committee of the list of those who have been promised Complimentary Registration. 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 Registration 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.
- 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.
- Those to receive support for travel will be reimbursed, similar to possible Delegate Support applicants, when the invited speaker arrives at the Congress. Invited speakers and Delegate support individuals will be asked to purchase their own economy class 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. The invited review paper speakers will be reimbursed for their travel expenses in US dollars after they have presented their paper at the congress and the written review paper has been received and accepted by the publications committee prior to the congress.
- 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 a general discussion. Another option is to have one session with a few short papers to introduce the topic and then break up into small groups to discuss particular aspects and then have a short reporting back session. This could lead 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 long enough for the speaker to make the key points. Discussion groups let the audience be involved. This would allow the number of oral presentations to be increased.
- Special consideration should be given to more papers presented by developing country scientists. We need thoughts from a greater range of countries and women. We are often dominated by South Africans, Americans and Australians.
- Need a session chairperson for each session to introduce the speakers and monitor speaker’s time limits.
- Sessions would occur Monday after the opening IRC Business Meeting and the plenary session, all day Tues, Thurs, and Friday morning.
- The program committee needs to decide if there are volunteer paper submissions of relevance to the sub theme concurrent sessions and are of value to be included in the sub session presentations. There would be no financial travel remuneration for these speakers unless they are considered for delegate support.
- There could also be a speaker selected from the volunteer papers selected to present a more in depth review of the session topic at the start of the session.
- Volunteer papers must be reviewed and acceptance or rejection made to authors at least six months before congress date, or earlier if possible. Some delegates will require 12 months’ notice of acceptance in order to get permission to attend the congress. Having an early date for a call for papers allows these individuals time to complete the process they must. Those who do not need or heed the early call for papers still have adequate time to submit their paper later. The deadline for submission is the critical date, not the call for papers. If the deadline set is too early it can always be extended.
- 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.
- It is recommended that the concurrent sessions start at 8.00 am and 1.30 pm, leaving 1-1/2 hours for lunch.
- During the session the Session Chair persons 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 session chair persons 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. The five minute and one-minute warning must be used.
- Presentation of a paper must never be moved ahead of its scheduled time period.
- The Session Chairperson 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.
- Topics must attract people interested in all areas of rangeland management (native range, temperate, tropical, polar grass and grazing lands, seeded pastures, intensive grazing, extensive grazing, wildlife, recreational and social uses of these lands, grazing land reclamation from oil well, mining, power line, pipe lines, road building past and present activities, government policy, park/ game park/ wild life, etc. from around the world).
- Topics must attract land managers, policy makers and scientists.
- Topics suggested from previous congresses include but are not limited to:
- use of remote sensing and GIS in the management of grazing lands in various parts of the world.
- computer applications of decision support systems to aid in grazing land management.
- new ideas and methods in technology transfer or information transfer/ extension education for management of grazing lands
- topics that include intensive grazing management as well as extensive grazing management.
- topics that include wildlife habitat, grazing management, and wild life/ cattle grazing interaction and conflict resolution.
- topics that include the recreational and social use and conflict resolution of grazing lands around the world. Nomadic Massai in Kenya vs big game companies and government: paid hunting on ranches in USA makes a very large portion on the ranch income.
- examples of range land transfer and ownership in all countries.
- wild life management and promotion of habitat.
- topics involving land restoration of abandoned mines, oil wells, power line and pipeline corridors.
- resources/land tenure and transhumance
- political decision making on rangelands
- fire science
- conservation at the expense of local land "owners"
- grazing land (range and grass land) education is in transition / decline?
- the link between grazing land 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 grazing land peoples including social issues, indigenous peoples, minorities.
- success stories
- 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.
- addressing the increasing divergence of commercial livestock production and biodiversity issues.
- grazing land end-users can be included for sharing their experience on the landscape.
- An option to poster viewing as an end to itself is to call participants back to the concurrent session room following review of posters where the session chair would summarize the posters and the invited speaker’s presentations to the session audience at the conclusion of the poster viewing.
- 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 chair persons to highlight the key points from the relevant posters at the summary session.
- Report the findings in the conclusion of the sub theme session and in the closing plenary papers.
- 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.
- Various agencies as part of the fundraising process might want to host a workshop for their organization as part of the congress. These workshops will be held on the opening Sunday. The agency sponsoring the workshop is responsible for all aspects of the workshop. Workshops should be well advertised and should be open to all delegates.
- The cost of the room rental, the audio visual equipment and the complementary registrations associated with sponsorship must be calculated into the master congress budget.
- Coffee break costs should be left to the sponsoring organization to provide. This needs to be made clear in the sponsorship materials.
IRC Business Meetings
- The Congress business meetings are held on the Monday morning and the Friday afternoon. No other activities should be planned during this time as all delegates should attend this meeting.
- Business Meetings are the responsibility of the IRC Continuing Committee.
Rangeland User Forum
- This event highlights the land users from different eco regions of the world. Their presentations would consist mainly of pictures telling about their operation. It would include their family activities and involvement, the history of their operation, their aspirations for the future, the economics of their operation and their year round time table of activities on their operation.
Paper Submission Process
- It is very important to post these instructions and an example of a correctly formatted submission on the congress web site
- The official language of the International Rangeland Congress is English.
- Papers should be sent by email submission. Email submissions will be acknowledged by e‐mail to the corresponding author. Only papers in final form should be sent. Only papers written in the standard format will be accepted.
- A maximum of two (2) papers will be accepted from any one corresponding/lead author.
- Papers describing programs and projects should focus on what was done and restrict background information such as the description of organization/institution/country to a minimum.
- All offered papers will be peer-reviewed by experts.
- The selection criteria will include: (i) Relevance to the congress theme and sessions; (ii) Significance of information and enriching current state of knowledge; (iii) Originality and novelty; (iv) Structure and clarity; (v) Scientific validity.
- Presentations at the congress will be in either Oral or Poster format. Indicate preference for oral or poster presentation in email submission. The Editorial Committee retains the right to decide whether the abstract is more suited for Oral or Poster presentation.
- Authors who have papers accepted for Oral presentations should prepare a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.
- Presenting authors, both Oral and Poster, will receive detailed instruction about congress computing facilities, requirements and appropriate guidelines prior to the congress. Oral presenters are limited to 13 minutes plus 2 minutes of audience questions & discussion.
Paper Submission dates:
- Paper submission will be open on && and close on && Submissions will not be accepted after the closing date/time.
Paper &Typing guidelines:
- All papers should be typed and formatted in Microsoft (MS) Word (.docx) format in digital form. The MS Word version and a PDF version should both be sent by email to &&
- Unless mentioned otherwise, all text should be single spaced. The font should be Times New Roman Font size 11 in single column. A4 size (letter) paper with uniform margin of 25 mm (1 inch) on all four sides should be used. Left and right justified typing is preferred. The headings should be bold in font size 11. Do not apply page numbering or line numbering.
- Offered papers can be a maximum of two pages (maximum 1000 words).
- The length of invited papers needs to be determined by the Publications Committee.
Title and key words block:
- The title should be centered at top of the first page. Font type should be Times New Roman, size 14 points, bold and single spaced. After one blank line, type the corresponding author’s name, affiliation, mailing address, an e-mail address followed by the name, affiliation, and mailing address of all collaborating authors; all authors’ details should be in upper and lower case letters, centered under the title in Times New Roman Font size 12.
- Key words: Leave one blank line under the Title. Type "Key words:" flush left in bold letters, followed by a maximum of five (5) key words that are not a part of the title. These are placed below the author’s name and before the body of the text.
Main body of text:
- Type text single-spaced, Times New Roman, Font size 11, with one blank line between paragraphs, and the following Major headings in bold print: Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results & Discussion, Conclusions & Implications, and References sections. Start paragraphs flush with the left margin.
- All headings should be typed using upper and lower case letters in Times New Roman bold without underlining. Major headings: Major headings should be flush with the left margin followed by a single line space.
- Sub-headings: Type sub-headings flush with the left margin, in bold italics, capitalizing the first letter of the sub-heading.
- Avoid footnotes, but if needed, then mark footnotes in the text with an asterisk (*); use a double asterisk (**) for a second footnote on the same page. Place footnotes at the bottom of the page, separated from the text above it by a horizontal line.
- A maximum of three (3) figures/charts/graphs/tables/photographs may be embedded within the paper.
- All tables with number and caption should be placed directly within the text. Figures: All figures must be in digital form in the appropriate location in the document. Photographs: All photographs should be in jpeg/jpg format and numbered accordingly. Placement: Tables, Figures, photographs etc. must be placed in the appropriate location in the document, as close as practicable to the reference in the text.
- All captions should be typed in upper and lower case letters, centered directly above tables and below figures and photographs. Use single spacing if they use more than one line. All captions are to be numbered consecutively (Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Table 1, Table 2).
- If the article contains any copyrighted illustrations or imagery, please include a statement of copyright such as: (c) SPOT Image Copyright 19xx (fill in year), CNES. It will be the author’s responsibility to obtain any necessary copyright permission.
Equations, symbols and units:
- Equations should be numbered consecutively throughout the paper. The equation number should be enclosed in parentheses. One blank line should be left before and after equations.
- Symbols and units: Use the SI (Systeme Internationale) Units and Symbols. Unusual characters or symbols should be explained as footnote.
References and/or selected bibliography:
- A maximum of 5 references should be provided. References should be cited in the text, thus (Smith, 1987b; Kawamura et al., 2000), and listed in alphabetical order in the reference section, leaving a blank line between references. The following arrangements should be used:
References from Journals:
Stanford, G., Smith, S.J., 1972.Nitrogen mineralization potential of soil. Science Society America Journal 36,465-472.
Kawamura, K., Akiyama,T., Watanabe,O., 2000. Estimation of aboveground biomass in Xilingol steppe using NOAA/NDVI. Grassland Science 49(1): 1-9.
Names of journals can be abbreviated according to the "International List of Periodical TitleWord Abbreviations". In case of doubt, write names in full.
Reference to articles in conference proceedings:
Kosta, L. D., S. D. Upadhyay and M. K. Awasthi. 2000. Guava based agroforestry system for rainfed agro ecosystem. In : Proc. International Conference on Managing Natural Resources for Sustainable Agricultural Production in the 21st Century (Feb.14-18, 2000), New Delhi.
References from books:
Bogdan, A.V., 1977.Tropical Pasture and Fodder Plants. London: Longman,. 205-212.
Robson, M. J., Sheehy, J. E., 1981. Leaf area and light interception . In: Hodgson J, Baker R D, Davies A, et al. Sward Measurement Handbook. Berkshire: British Grassland Society, 115-139.
Articles in edited books:
Tran, V. N. and A. K. Cavangh. 1984. Structural aspects of dormancy. In: D. R. Murray (ed). Seed Physiology, vol. 2. Germination and ReserveMobilization, Academic Press. Sydney. pp. 1-44.
Robson, M. J. and J. E. Sheehy, 1981. Leaf area and light interception . In: Hodgson J, Baker R D, Davies A, et al. Sward Measurement Handbook. Berkshire: British Grassland Society, 115-139.
References from other literature:
Smith, J., 1987.Economic printing of color orthophotos. Arlington, VA, USA: Report KRL-01234, Kennedy Research Laboratories.
Smith, J., 2000.Remote sensing to predict volcano out bursts. In: The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences Kyoto, Japan: Vol. XXVII, Part B1, 456-469.
References from websites :
Moons, T., 1999.Report on the Joint ISPRS Commission III/IV Workshop "3D Reconstruction and Modelling of Topographic Objects", Stuttgart, Germany[EB/OL]. http://www.radig.informatik.tu-muenchen.de/ISPRS/WG-III4-IV2-Report.html.
Articles in preparation or unpublished observations should not be included in the reference list but may be mentioned in the article text (e.g. Singh, pers. comment.).
Paper Review Process
- The Publications Committee will be responsible for the review of all papers and abstracts ( if the latter are requested), electronic publication of the scientific review papers, the congress proceedings, the Congress Program Booklet and the daily congress newsletter.
- All papers will be printed in English.
- Use authors from the host country and individuals throughout the world who have published in relevant scientific journals to review the invited review papers and volunteer abstracts.
- Involve many (50-75) to review the papers. These can be identified with the help from the International Scientific Committee.
- Reviewers must make sure that all papers are formatted correctly according to instructions posted on the web site. This is extremely important otherwise it will cost considerable labor to have the congress secretary make the formatting corrections.
- 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 5 months before the congress dates. The publications committee needs to decide on this completion date.
- See Invitation to Review Papers below:
- Optional Guidelines for Authors are in Appendix N of the IRC Congress Planning Guidelines
- The Publications Committee needs to develop and create the congress proceedings electronically for distribution to the delegates at the start of the congress on a USB memory stick or similar device. The compilation of all the papers into the master document complete with index is very labor intensive and funds might be required to hire people to assist in the process.
- Printing the congress program booklet would include the agenda of the opening ceremonies, and a list of all session presentations and posters.
- 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 invited review papers might be published in a host country’s scientific journal.
- The Publications Committee should assess the need for printed copies of the proceedings at an extra cost to individuals requesting the document.
- The Publication Committee will need to decide how many copies of the proceedings ( paper vs electronic format) will be needed for libraries, sponsors, etc.
- Proceedings will preferably be produced in electronic format for distribution to delates upon arriving at the congress.
Congress Program Booklet
- The program committee will develop the entire congress program and present this information to the Publications Committee for printing.
- The booklet should include names of all invited speakers, the name of their presentations, the location and time of presentation, the list of posters with author’s name and abstract titles and poster board number/location.
- The booklet should include the day to day congress program, logos of all sponsors, the names of the IRC Continuing Committee and the LOC names and welcoming addresses from the President of IRC and the Co-Chairs of the LOC.
- This booklet should be available electronically prior to the congress and also distributed to all delegates upon arrival at the congress to pick up with registration materials.
- 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. Be prepared to cancel individual tours if interest is not sufficient.
- It is recommended to base your tour budget on 24 participants but be prepared to operate the tour on less people using smaller vans. It still needs to be financially viable at these lower numbers. In previous congresses it was difficult to get sufficient numbers to operate large tours.
- There needs to be a contingency plan to use vans if there are not enough people registered to warrant the use of a large tour bus.
- Delegates need to know six months in advance of the congress if their tours will be held. This will allow them to change their air flights if the tour is cancelled.
- 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. Pre congress tours need to allow a rest day at the start to allow delegates to get over jet lag
- All pre- or post-congress tour fees must be set to pay all expenses including tour guides and any expenses incurred with planning the tours. The committee needs to decide on what capacity or occupancy percentage the tour is based on.ie do you budget at a percentage of the number of seats on the bus.
- Mid congress tours are held on the Wednesday of the week with no other activities or sessions planned that day.
- Mid-Congress tours will be organized by the local committee with perhaps the help of a bus tour company.
- Mid Congress Tours needed to be developed to match the varying interests of the attendees. There should be sufficient tours to manage the numbers in reasonably sized groups. Remember that nearly all delegates will attend these mid-congress tours.
- Budget all mid congress tour expenses as one-line item and included in the registration price.
- Have delegates chose their first and second choice of mid congress tour on the registration form. Delegates who do not wish to go on the mid congress tour are free to develop their own activities for the day.
- The tour committee might wish to have all mid congress tours end at a designated place for the evening meal, fellowship and entertainment.
- Maps. Give each passenger a line drawing map. This is very useful. A suggestion would be to provide roadmaps courtesy of the tourism department. The road maps can be then used to talk about the various ecosystems on the trip. Provide additional tourism pamphlets and information on what they will see.
- Provide name tags.
- Have various additional tour guides on the buses that know each local area i.e. every day a different local person or Agricultural Extension specialist that knows the area and history. The guide on board needs to be completely familiar with the geology, vegetation, livestock systems, etc. of the area.
- As you travel, the following are examples of the information that should be provided both verbally and in handouts to the participants.
- 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.)
- Who owns the land. Private, State, Cooperatives.
- Describe the government of the area at the local and national level.
- 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: soils, 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.).
- How do grazing lands play a role in this region
- What kinds of forages, livestock, and grain crops 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.
- Need a portable PA system for use outside the bus and as a back up to the bus’s PA system if it fails. 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 everyone’s 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.
- 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. On some tours, portable bathroom facilities have been used and in some cases these bathroom facilities have followed the tour to the various locations in rural areas. Need to stop about every 1.5 to 2 hours for washroom breaks. Tour bus companies might not encourage the use of their toilet on the bus. Need at least two bathrooms at each stop. The line ups can be very long. At the farm stops might need to bring in portable bathrooms.
- Reserve the front and second row seats for people that have motion sickness problems. Assign the seats at the start for those people that indicated they had that type of problem. (put place cards on the seats saying reserved.) Have some motion sickness pills available for emergency use. Ginger pills work well.
- Good idea to play some local low key music over the bus sound system during the last hour of the tour when everyone is tired.
- A possibility is to rotate passenger seat locations every half day. This aids in people meeting each other. Have the people move back one seat on driver side and forward on the other side going clock wise around the bus.
- 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 and discussion. Do not start any presentation at a stop until all busses are unloaded and all delegates gathered.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- It is recommended to have a sitting area at the tour site for the delegates listening to the oral presentations. Information hand outs and LARGE poster board presentations will be of benefit to the audience.
- In order to speed up the time of registering tour people at the hotel on overnight tours it would be advisable to have a list of all participants including their home addresses prepared ahead of time. The tour guide sends the names and addresses of all the travelers to the hotel rather than have each person sign into the hotel.
- This registration arrangement needs to be discussed with the hotel management ahead of time.
- Present this list to the hotels registration desk in order to give out the pre assigned room keys. This will speed up the time that people get their rooms.
- When the tour bus arrives at the hotel, the tour guide gets all the room keys.
- The keys are in an envelope with the room number and the couple’s luggage tag number and couples name on the envelope.
Luggage Tags – Optional
- Each couple/single person gets two large shipping tags which they tie to their suitcase.
- Each couple’s luggage is identified with a large number, the same number on each bag.
- The bus company unloads the luggage, the hotel people then find the luggage by the number code and put the room number on the tag then another crew carries the luggage to the designated room.
Lunch and Dinner Menus
- On the first night before the tour begins the tour guide gives everyone a list of all the meal choices for each evening of the tour.
- There could be 3 choices for meals at the designated restaurants.
- The tour guide then collects all the meal choices from the group and tallies the numbers for each meal and by choice.
- Tour guide then gives the paper back to each person so that they can remember what they ordered for each day.
- The tour operator phones ahead to the restaurant and gives then a total requirement for each meal choice.
- When the bus arrives at the restaurant the meals are ready and the waitress just asks which meal you had previously ordered. Service will be fast and everybody fed and done in 30 to 45 minutes. Sometimes there could be local entertainment during the meal.
Pre and Mid 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. 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
- There will be a need to accommodate special diet needs on the tours and at the congress. The delegate should select their special diet needs as listed on the registration form. It is advised that special diets be listed as vegetarian, vegan, Halal, glucose intolerant. Keep the categories simple for an easy food organizing process.
- A cancellation policy for pre congress tours needs to be established and posted to the tour section of the congress web site. A down payment should be required for all pre congress tours at registration time. Full payment is required as soon as the tour has been sanctioned.
- 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).
- It is recommended to keep the registration fee as low as possible in order to attract more delegates. To accomplish this, every line item in the budget needs to be carefully thought out to be sure it is necessary.
- Local Sponsorships can be allocated towards any specific line items in the budget
- International sponsorships are allocated towards Keynote/Invited Speaker and designated Delegate support.
- Attendance projections of from 500 to 1400 need to be made with a separate budget for each level.
- The number of interested delegates responding to the announcements will be the best estimate of the potential number of delegates attending the congress. This number should be used to determine the registration fee.
- 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 of the IRC Congress Planning Guidelines
- Authorization for expenditures must be approved by the Finance Co-Chairs.
- It is recommended that the registration and tour fees be in US Dollars and that a US currency bank account as well as a local dollar bank account be established. This will facilitate the travel expense payments of invited speakers who must present their accounts in US dollars.
- The final budget needs to be set 18 months before the congress in order that the delegate registration fee can be posted on the congress web site at that time.
Budget Line Items
- This budget will be used to calculate registration costs per delegate.
- Congress banquet is a cost that could be included in the registration fee or available on the registration form as an additional cost to the delegates.
- Variable Costs
- All printing costs, all costs associated with editing and compiling all papers in the proceedings on USB stick, conference carrying bag, name badge holder and lanyard.
- Socials and meals including opening reception food (no alcohol), morning and afternoon nutrition breaks, lunch meal, evening social events, mid congress tour.
- Credit card user fee charges for delegate to pay registration fee by credit card. Using credit cards will be expensive.
- Levy to Continuing Committee Organization. $10 US per delegate
- Fixed Costs
- Printing and production congress program, identification hats or name tag ribbons for local committee and volunteers, signage.
- Commercial company to handle delegate registration
- Additional Secretariat costs including cost of a paid congress coordinator if needed
- Software development for registration and paper submission and review process
- Speaker travel, accommodation costs and registration
- Opening reception entertainment
- Coffee and snacks for accompanying persons
- Plenary Speakers gifts, if any
- Promotion and fundraising expenses
- Venue including all meeting rooms, poster board rental, AV equipment.
- Insurance for liability
- Contingency fund at least $25,000 US
- Food and registration for volunteers including tour leaders, bus drivers and concurrent session monitors and AV operators.
- Costs associated with editing of papers and abstracts to get them into a uniform document for transferring as the congress proceedings to the USB memory stick
- Registration cost for the complementary registrations as part of the sponsorship program
- Room rental and AV cost for the workshop rooms.
- What constitutes a Sponsorship versus Support:
- Support may be in cash less than $10,000 or in-kind services such as assistance to the congress by personnel, free booth space at their meetings to advertise the congress, posting congress website information on their website or in their publications, etc. Judgment needs to be used in the Support category.
- Sponsorship must be greater than $10,000 in cash, Support for an organizations own delegates does not constitute a Sponsorship but could be considered in the Support category.
- Sponsors can select a budget line item if their internal requirements insist upon doing so. It is more advantageous to the LOC if the sponsor allocates that Sponsorship simply towards conducting the congress in a satisfactory manner.
- Levels of Sponsorships/Benefits need to be developed by the finance committee. Past levels and benefits are as follows:
- Diamond – $US50,000 which provides free Information Market Place/ Trade Show space, five complimentary registrations, the naming/conducting of a workshop, and name associated with all Congress promotional materials both prior to and during the Congress.
- Platinum – $US 40,000 value which provides free Information Market Place/Trade Show space, four complementary registrations, the naming/conducting of a workshop and name associated with all Congress promotional materials both prior to and during the Congress.
- Gold – $US 30,000 which provides free Information Market Place/Trade Show space, three complimentary registrations, the co-naming/conducting workshop and name associated with all Congress promotional materials both prior to and during the Congress.
- Silver – $US 20,000 which provides free Information Market Place/Trade Show space, two complimentary registrations and name associated with all promotional materials both prior to and during the Congress.
- Bronze – $US 10,000 which provides free Information Market Place /Trade Show space, one complementary registration 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 the desire to conduct a workshop. The Fundraising Chairperson keeps this master list and continually updates Registration personnel, Information Marketplace and Trade Show Chairs, Program Chairs, Tour Chairs and Workshop Chairs of this list.
- All sponsorships, regardless of the forms or procedures required by the sponsor, might require a cash flow budget and receipts for documentation of expenses/payments.
IRC Bank Account
- Many U.S. organizations cannot grant funds to an international organization. In these cases the IRC has established non-profit status with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and has established a bank account in the U.S. through which funds are channeled to the LOC. The LOC will need to establish a local bank account that can accept dollar transfers electronically from the U.S.
- The Delegate Sponsorship Application must be on the website as soon review/acceptance process of volunteer papers begins to allow successful author to apply for support. Deadline to apply is 6 months before the congress.
- The Budget Committee will inform the Program Committee and the Delegate Support Committee of the total figure of funds available for Keynote/ Invited Speakers and Delegate Support.
- Based upon number of Keynote/Invited Speakers and the categories of support as determined by the Program Committee, the Program Committee will prepare a list of recipients of these funds and the amount offered to each.
- At the time of inviting speakers the Program committee 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 committee 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 and Finance Chair at least 12 months before the Congress.
- The Program Committee will also remind them of the visa acquisition process.
- The deadline for delegate sponsorship application should be at least 6 months before the congress. The decision on sponsorship should be sent to the delegates as soon as possible in order to provide enough time to get the necessary travel documentations.
- Congress Secretariat will be receiving applications from delegates. Congress Secretariat will send all applications immediately upon receipt to the Chair of the Delegate Sponsorship Process who will have an international committee assist with allocation of funds.
- 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 IRC provide funds to support and encourage more people from developing countries to be able to participate in congresses and meetings.
- Depending upon the number of delegates applying for sponsorship and the amount of available sponsorship funds these rates may have to be changed. Three levels of sponsorship are usually established:
- Priority Level One – Congress Registration only
- Priority Level Two – Congress registration and partial accommodation
- Priority Level Three – Congress registration, partial accommodation and contribution towards travel of up to perhaps $US800.
- Selection Process:
- Address Priority Level One for all applicants. Strive for balance in:
- Need (e.g. Unable to access sponsorship from others)
- Potential to contribute to congress through presentation of paper/poster, serving on Continuing Committee, etc.
- More support for delegates from the least developed countries (based on United Nations designation)
- 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).
- If additional funds still exist use same process to allocate for Priority Level Three (contribution towards travel on top of what they have received from Priority Levels One and Two).
- Address Priority Level One for all applicants. Strive for balance in:
- Selection process must be completed 6 months before the congress and will explain the process for obtaining these funds at the congress. He will also remind successful delegates of visa acquisition process.
- Upon the decision of the delegate sponsorship evaluation committee the delegate will be informed of the amount of sponsorship available.
- The delegate will be required to sign an agreement form that they will attend the congress using designated funds.
- The Chair of the Delegate Selection Process will explain to the recipients that cash assistance for travel reimbursement will be paid to the delegate upon arrival and registering at the Congress.
- Funds for accommodation should be paid directly to the supplier.
- Delegates will need to approach their own organization, NGO or other aid agency to support their pre-purchase for travel.
- See suggested Delegate Sponsorship Application below. Application must be on website 18 months before the congress.
Airline and Bus Contracts
- The main value in airline contracts is 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
- One of the purposes 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. The levy is also used to pay expenses incurred by IRC for web site charges, mailing list update, etc.
International Assistance to Local Organizing Committee
- With adequate planning on the part of the Host Country Organizing Committee most assistance can be received while in attendance at previous congresses or by electronic means thereafter. 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 must be built into the budget.
The publicity committee would:
- Be responsible for developing and sending out the various announcements/call for papers/press releases as previously outlined.
- Be responsible for the development of the conference web site with the web master.
- IRC will update the email list of potential delegates from around the world following mass mailings.
- Be responsible for contacting host country press and news reporters to cover the highlights of the congress for the host country media.
- Work with the members of the IRC Continuing Committee to submit press releases to relevant scientific, producer and industry news letters / journals around the world for free publicity on the Congress.
- Be responsible for submitting promotional news items to all the major international scientific societies and related organizations whose membership might be potential delegates. This information should be posted on the society’s web site and emails to their membership.
- Be responsible for organizing a congress promotional display booth or information at scientific meetings such as the Society for Range Management Annual Meeting, the Australian Rangeland Society, New Zealand Grassland Society, South African Rangeland Society, China Grassland Society, British Grassland Society, and Ecological Society of America etc. etc.
- Be responsible for a Daily Newsletter during the Congress.