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Guidelines for Choosing Future HAB symposia


The US National HAB Committee has developed guidelines for selecting a venue for the biennial US HAB Symposium. The guidelines are intended to make it easier for individuals and groups who have an interest in hosting a symposium to organize and plan details in advance.  The guidelines allow the participation of members of the US HAB research community in the selection of a symposium venue.  It is hoped that this process will reduce the time and effort of all involved in proposing and selecting a venue.

The guidelines comprise to following steps for proposing and selecting a venue.  Once established, a preliminary local organizing committee would submit a brief letter of intent to the co-chairs of the US National HABs Committee.  Upon approval, the organizing committee would be encouraged to draft a proposal for hosting the next symposium, which would be presented in-person to symposium participants.  Symposium participants would vote among competing proposals to select the venue for the next symposium.

Individuals or groups interested in hosting a symposium are encouraged to follow the outline below for establishing preliminary local organizing committees; drafting letters of intent; submitting proposals; and presenting the proposals to symposium participants.  The chances of success are likely to be enhanced through careful preparation and attention to all of the items in the outline.

Guidelines (approved by the NHC July 2009)

Preliminary Local Organizing Committees (PLOCs) should be formed 1-2 years prior to the symposium they are proposing to host in order to allow enough time for adequate planning. A PLOC will have responsibility for:

  • Identifying the venue
  • Identifying opportunities for conference financing
  • Submission of Letter of Intent (LOI) to the NHC (detailed below)
  • Presentation of Symposium Proposal to the National HAB Symposium (detailed below)

PLOCs draft and submit Letters of Intent (LOIs) (no more than 3 pages) to the NHC

  • LOIs should be submitted ~2-3 months prior to the symposium at which potential Symposium Proposals are to be presented
  • LOIs are submitted to the NHC co-chair(s)

LOIs may include the following (good preparation is important, but it is not necessary that all items be completed at this early point):

  • Location
  • Dates
  • Theme suggestions
  • Potential participating/collaborating organizations
  • Venue description
    • Main and breakout rooms
    • Poster display space
    • Seating capacities
    • A/V & IT support
    • Local accommodations (including affordable alternatives for students);
    • Transportation
  • Rough budget
    • Venue rental costs
    • Organizer time
    • Reception(s)
    • Banquet
    • Potential funding opportunities for speakers, students
    • Other
  • Potential funding sources
    • Sponsors
    • Attendee conference fees
    • In-kind donations (e.g., venue rentals)

Preliminary approval of LOIs

  • The NHC will evaluate all LOIs at least two months prior to the symposium at which potential Symposium Proposals are to be presented based on the extent to which details regarding venues and budget have been described
  • All satisfactory LOIs will be posted on the National Office Website at least 2 months prior to the National Symposium.

The approved PLOCs will be invited to present their plans at the next US HAB Symposium (2 years prior to the symposium they will host)

  • 10 minute oral presentation which should include:
    • draft budget
    • Plans for obtaining funding
    • Plans to solicit support from collaborating or sponsoring organizations
  • 10-minute question-and-answer period

Approval of Symposium Plan and selection of venue for the next US HAB Symposium:

  • Symposium attendees select the preferred venue based on majority vote of attendees present when the vote is taken. Vote is to be by written ballot
  • Once the site is selected, the PLOC becomes a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and its composition may be modified as needed

Location of chosen venue (and proposed meeting dates) will be posted on the National Office website