Information for Potential Bidders for IPFC
At each IPFC, part of the International Steering Committee meeting is devoted to hearing presentation bids for the location of the next IPFC. Normally, a decision is made on those bids at the ISC meeting. Potential bidders are required to submit to the ISC an outline of their bid at least two months prior to the IPFC.
The bid outline should include the following information:
- names, institutions and job titles of the bidders, indicating the chair or co-chairs and other key members of the team (ideally, including a home page URL for each person, and if they have permanent positions);
- other supporting institutions, if any;
- proposed dates (even if approximate);
- information about the city to host the IPFC;
- proposed venue within host city;
- information about the community of fish researchers in the vicinity of the proposed venue;
- information about the potential for sponsorship for IPFC in their country;
- previous experience by bidders in hosting conferences;
- other relevant information
The ISC considers that an optimal size for the IPFC is 200-250 oral papers, with no more than 4 concurrent sessions. Very large conferences are considered counterproductive for good formal and informal communication. Symposia and workshops organized by experts are an important feature of the IPFC, and should be included. Early calls for symposium and workshop subjects and organizers are essential. It is important that the core IPFC subjects are well represented amongst the oral papers. Poster presentations should be encouraged as some participants prefer to present posters, and some subjects are better done with posters. Poster sessions should be well integrated into the conference program. Student involvement in IPFC is important for the future of fish research, so student presentation of oral and poster papers is encouraged. Most previous conferences have been over 5 days, with the 3rdday for excursions or specimen examination in local collections. This format has proven to be successful and is highly recommended.
It is important to have early distribution of information about the conference and early calls for abstracts that allow participants plenty of time to submit their abstracts and register. Paid registration is essential for inclusion in the conference program. A deadline for abstract submission at least 6 months prior to the conference is recommended. Abstracts should be vetted by informed expert members of the local committee. Consideration of abstracts for symposia and workshops must be done in conjunction with the workshop or symposium organizers. Notification of acceptance or rejection for oral presentation of the abstract should be given at least 4 months prior to the conference. The Local Committee should have a mechanism for providing letters of invitation to potential participants who may require them.
Once a bid to hold the IPFC has been accepted, the Local Committee must maintain regular communication with the ISC. At a minimum, the ISC should receive a report following each meeting of the Local Committee reporting on progress. It is expected that the frequency of reporting would increase as the date of the meeting approaches. The form and content of the reports will be determined by negotiations between the ISC and the Local Committee.
The ISC encourages the Local Committee to hold the IPFC in association with conferences of local or regional societies that deal with fish research. However, any associated conferences should be held in tandem (i.e., just before or after) – and not in parallel or integrated – with the IPFC. The identity of and independent registration for IPFC must be maintained.
The Local Committee is encouraged to arrange for publication of a peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings from the IPFC presentations. An ideal venue for such proceedings is in an established scientific international-refereed journal.
In the past, a small amount of money (ca. US$1000) has been handed on to the new Local Committee from the previous IPFC Local Committee. This is intended to serve as seed money, and an equivalent amount must be passed on to the next IPFC Local Committee. The ISC is working on a method to do this through an existing society or organization with interests in Indo-Pacific ichthyology.
A number of previous conferences have successfully raised enough sponsorship money to support the attendance of students and young fish scientists from developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Future Local Committees are encouraged to continue this tradition.
Jeffrey Leis, Member of the ISC Executive ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
David Lecchini, Chair Organizing Committee, IPFC 10 (email@example.com)