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Organizing an ECI Conference
Formats and Sites
Engineering Conferences International Inc.
The Engineering Conferences International (ECI) conferences program is the successor program to the United Engineering Foundation conferences program that was established in 1962 to initiate and/or facilitate small, leading-edge interdisciplinary conferences.
Today's conferences are international and bring together participants from different societies and a variety of professions. Over 900 conferences have been held to date with an average attendance of 75. The Conferences program is designed to be financially self-supporting.
The format of the conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Poster presentations are typically an important part of the conference. Free time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance interactions among participants and to promote dialog on the meeting as it develops. The conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.
All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording of lectures and presentations is forbidden as is the photographing of posters. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.
ECI is ready to work with you in two complementary ways. First, an experienced member of the Conferences Committee will act as your technical liaison from the proposal stage through the conference itself. He or she is always available to consult with you on any conference issue. If you are not already in contact with a technical liaison and would like to be, please get in touch with Barbara Hickernell, ECI Director (email@example.com).
Second, after your proposal has been approved by the Conferences Committee, the ECI staff will assume responsibility for the administration of the conference. Your primary responsibilities will be recruiting the organizing committee, developing the technical program and securing third-party funding necessary to support the travel of key speakers. The responsibilities of ECI's "full service" staff include -- but are not limited to -- the following:
The Conferences Committee not only consults with chairs and carefully screens proposals but also works actively to identify important inter-engineering and inter-professional areas which would benefit from the holding of an ECI conference. The Conferences Committee, therefore, not only encourages you to submit a proposal for an ECI conference but also invites you to suggest topics and leaders for additional conferences.
This information covers the major aspects involved in organizing an ECI conference. You are encouraged to obtain a copy of the more detailed Manual for ECI Conference Chairs before drafting a proposal. Ideally, proposals should be submitted from 18 to 24 months in advance of the conference although the staff can work on a shorter timeline.
Attendance typically ranges from 50 to 150, including an average non-US participation of 50%. Currently there are approximately 25 continuing series of conferences, usually meeting every two to three years.
The recommended conference lead times are 18 months for the first publicity and 16 months for the general announcement/call for papers. If funds are to be raised, this process should begin as early as possible so that speakers can be assured of support and a preliminary program can be ready for the mailing of registration material at the six-month mark.
FORMATS AND SITES
The following is a list of sites which Engineering Conferences International either has used for conferences or has inspected and found to be suitable in certain circumstances. Our typical conference site provides a fair degree of isolation yet is reasonably convenient with respect to transportation. Our most cost-effective sites are those we can utilize in off-season or other slow periods. Please contact Director Barbara Hickernell to discuss individual conference needs.
The following locations are among those which have received the most positive feedback:
Canada: Banff, Lake Louise, Quebec City, Vancouver, Montreal, Whistler, Halifax
Caribbean: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico
Asia and Pacific Rim
For chairs considering a publication, ECI also offers the option of an electronic publication through Berkeley Electronic Press.
ECI actively discourages attendance by participants who stay less than three days but recognizes the need for a few featured speakers who cannot participate fully. A reduced conference fee is charged in such cases.
ECI administers grants and donations without charge and makes funds available as soon as a grant is approved or notice of a donation is received.
ENGINEERING CONFERENCES INTERNATIONAL INC.