This page provides guidelines for preparing a bid for hosting the ACL conference. The guidelines link to two additional spreadsheets, explained further below: a detailed site-specific expenses spreadsheet to be filled as part of the submission, synchronized with the bid document; a task-list spreadsheet, which details many of the tasks involved in hosting the conference and suggests several options for delegating a varying amount of the work to the ACL office and/or to a professional conference organizer.
Preliminary and Final Bids
You are first requested to submit a preliminary bid. Promising bidders will be asked by the Conference Coordinating Committee to provide additional information and turn their bid into the final one, according to the schedule published in the Call for Bids. The purpose of a preliminary bid is to give the committee a detailed description of the organization, venue, and setting. The first round of review will help bidders to create a stronger bid, which is better tailored to the needs of the ACL. The purpose of the final bid is to convince the committee that the organizers are capable of running a large scientific conference with considerable professionalism and attention to detail.
Include a cover letter addressed to the ACL, naming venue and possible dates, identifying contact person(s) and contact details, signed.
- Local Organizing Committee
- Please name the members of the local organizing committee, including titles and affiliations. For each person, provide a statement about their activities in the CL community and their experience in organizing scientific events (and the number of participants at those events).
- Local CL Community
- Describe the profile of the local CL community, including any research groups, graduate programs, professional bodies, companies.
- Professional Conference Organizer
- It is typically advisable to involve a Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) for the local organization, while the amount of work delegated to the PCO might vary. Where geographically appropriate, Priscilla Rasmussen, from the ACL office, might take responsibility for typical tasks of a PCO, as coordinated directly with her.
- Specify (roughly) the intended split of tasks between the local organizers, a PCO and/or the ACL office (see the Task List Spreadsheet section below for detail).
- Identify the organization that will be responsible for such tasks as local arrangements, including venues, catering, accommodation, the social program, and finances. What is the scale of their operation? List major scientific meetings organized recently by the PCO and their size.
- Bidders should indicate one or more options for the conference dates. Sometimes, additional alternatives might be explored when negotiating with the committee. When planning the dates please check first with the conference committee chair for the latest known constraints for that year, such as dates of related conferences.
- Describe the main auditorium, theatres for four parallel sessions, spaces for tutorials and workshops, and an option for meeting rooms on-demand. Describe capacity, seating style, A/V facilities, sloping vs level floor, availability of (fold-out) tables in theatres, ceiling height (especially in the smaller workshop and tutorial rooms).
- Workshops - capacity for 2 two-day workshops, and 8 one-day workshops (6 per each day)
- Tutorials - six is typically the optimal number, but proposers should desirably be prepared for up to eight (4 rooms, for morning and afternoon tutorials).
- Dates for which the venues have been booked.
- List categories of accommodation, considering students as well, and their approximate capacities and prices. State the proximity of the accommodation to the conference venue, and the means of access.
- Dates for which room blocks have been tentatively reserved, or are available.
- Food and Social Program
- Describe plans for breaks (2 per day, mid-morning and mid-afternoon), student lunch (can be off-site; for at least 100-150 students), welcome reception (for about 50-60% of expected attendance), and banquet (typically 40-50% of expected attendance). Provide a preliminary plan of the types/quantities of foods per participant to be provided at each of these events, matching their cost in the site-specific expenses spreadsheet. ACL encourages a tradition of some form of dancing for participants at the banquet.
- Estimated Costs Summary
- Provide a one-page summary of the site-specific expenses spreadsheet (see below), specifying approximate total cost for each component of the conference (main conference, tutorials, workshops, banquet, overheads) and the VAT situation (or similar taxes – see comment in expenses spreadsheet). Please give figures in both local currency and US dollars, and specify the exchange rate. Include any further relevant explanations for your expenses spreadsheet.
- Provide a detailed map showing positions of venues and accommodation, and other relevant locations (if any – e.g. food courts, subway/bus stops).
- Describe the eating options within and near the conference venue.
- Describe the city and region, and the principal attractions. What is the climate at this time of year? Any optional social program. List public cultural events scheduled for the conference period.
- Describe the air and ground transportation that provides access to the city. What is the commute time from regional airport(s) and railway stations to the venue?
(Not needed for preliminary bid)
- Letters of support
- Photographs of venues and regional attractions
- Evidence of sponsorship
- Information about visa, driver licenses
Site-Specific Expenses Spreadsheet
Site-specific expenses should be detailed in a separate Expenses spreadsheet with which the bid document should be consistent. The spreadsheet includes only items which vary from one venue to another. Costs which are largely fixed across venues (such as proceedings and invited speakers) are omitted, and so are all aspects of income except for local sponsorships. The final budget will be coordinated with the ACL Treasurer and business office.
Do not change the spreadsheet in any way, except to populate the yellow and blue cells with your local data. It is important that all bidders submit comparable spreadsheets (as live .xls files, not .pdf). If for some reason you feel that you need to modify the spreadsheet to fit your local conditions, please seek the advice of the Coordinating Committee Chair and the Treasurer before doing so.
Most items in the spreadsheet are self-explained or include explanatory comments. Here are some additional guidelines:
- Some expenses will have both a constant component and a per-person component, and each line of the spreadsheet includes both components. For example, the banquet might have a base cost for the venue rental plus a per-person cost as well. In most cases, however, only one component will be non-zero.
- Complete the spreadsheet in your local currency, and provide a multiplicative conversion factor for USD in the appropriate cell,along with the date on which the exchange rate was valid.
- The spreadsheet total costs are computed using both conservative (lower-bound) assumptions for the size of the conference and optimistic (upper-bound) assumptions, as specified in the first lines of the spreadsheet. However, when considering venue and accommodation capacities, only upper-bound assumptions should be made, as specified in the relevant spreadsheet lines (there might be some flexibility here according to actual conditions, e.g., possibly not all rooms for parallel sessions will reach the maximal session capacity).
- With respect to overall banquet cost, the banquet ticket price should typically not exceed USD 75. Beyond that attendance drops off, which pushes the per-person cost even higher because of constants such as venue rental, risking a serious loss.
- Equipment-related costs should include security arrangements, if relevant.
If you find any problems or bugs in the spreadsheet, please notify the ACL Treasurer, Graeme Hirst, gh =a= cs.toronto.edu.
Task List Spreadsheet
As mentioned above, the organizers may choose to delegate a varying amount of the organization work to a Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) and/or to the ACL Office (Priscilla Rasmussen). As auxiliary information for your task planning, we supply a Task List spreadsheet. The spreadsheet lists many of the organization tasks and specifies three prototypical models for sharing the organization load. Option A represents the maximum amount of work for the local organizers, while Option C is the least amount of work. B is in between. Please indicate, in the PCO section of the BID, which of these three models captures best your preferred model and include relevant explanation as needed. The precise details of who does what will be further discussed with promising bidders, you are not committing to specific tasks at this point.
The expenses items under the administration section, and particularly Conference Management Fees, should correspond to the cost of work planned for a PCO and/or Priscilla. Please discuss directly with Priscilla the plans and costs for her roles.
Further relevant information may be found at the ACL Conference Handbook and Policies. Successful sample bids for previous conferences may be found at the Bids Archive (follow the current guidelines when preparing your bid). For any queries please contact the Coordinating Committee chair.
Evaluation of Bids
Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria (unordered):
- Experience of local arrangements team
- Local CL community support
- Local government and industry support
- Accessibility and attractiveness of proposed site
- Suitability of proposed dates
- Adequacy of conference and exhibit facilities for the anticipated number of registrants
- Adequacy of residence accommodations and food services in a range of price categories and close to the conference facilities
- Adequacy of expense projections
- Geographical balance with regard to prior ACL and other CL meetings in the region.