Dear members of the EACL board, The Norwegian Computing Centre for the Humanities (NCCH, or Humanistisk Datasenter), in cooperation with the University of Bergen's new research Programme on Humanities Information Technology (HIT), are willing to host EACL in Bergen in 1999. http://www.hd.uib.no/e-index.html NCCH has experience with the organization of international conferences, notably ALLC-ACH in 1996, which was a success: http://www.hd.uib.no/allc-ach96.html Based on this experience, we have set up a detailed preliminary budget for all foreseen local expenses including materials, printing, lunches, banquet, refreshments, copying, mail, security and cleaning personnel, telecommunications, administration, etc. etc. The bottom line is as follows. Assuming 300 participants, a registration fee of 190 ECU, paid lunches 50 ECU, and banquet 50 ECU, then an additional external funding of 50.000 ECU would still be required. We are of course prepared to discuss the budget in more detail, but the figures should be taken as strongly indicative. Please find below our answers to your detailed questions regarding local arrangements. SITE REQUIREMENTS FOR EACL CONFERENCES 1. A person willing to assume responsibility for local arrangements who has had some prior involvement in ACL activities. Frequent meeting attendance coupled with strong interest would be enough, although having presented papers at conferences or published in CL would be preferable. Prof. Dr. Koenraad de Smedt will take overall responsibility for local arrangements. He is professor of computational linguistics and is currently also research director of NCCH. He has attended many meetings and presented papers in the computational linguistics community, including ACL, EACL, COLING and Applied ACL. He has published in CL. He will be present at the ACL/EACL'97 conference in Madrid. 2. A local support group of colleagues actively engaged in computational linguistics research. Bergen has several active groups, including the Section for Linguistic Studies, the Norwegian Computing Centre for the Humanities (Humanistisk Datasenter), the Norwegian Term bank and others, which from September 1997 will cooperate in the new Research Programme on Humanities Information Technology (HIT). There are about a dozen researchers and technical staff who are actively engaged in various areas of computational linguistics. http://www.hf.uib.no/ach/default.html Most tasks regarding the practical conference organization will be coordinated by the administrative staff of NCCH/HIT. For some jobs, NCCH/HIT will hire students or other personnel. 3. An auditorium to hold plenary sessions containing 300-500 people during the conference itself. "Jussbygget" is a new, well-designed building at the University of Bergen with complete, modern academic conference facilities and a fantastic view. Here are pictures (from the ALLC-ACH conference): http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/jussbygg2.jpg (outside) http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/img0042.jpg (main hall) http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/img0045.jpg (entrance via old building) This conference site offers a multitude of well equipped auditoriums, open spaces, a cafeteria and much more, all under one roof. The building and its equipment can be used for free, but operating costs such as security and cleaning personnel, as well as use of telephone lines, copiers, etc., must be paid for. The only real limitation in the building is that the largest auditorium has a capacity of 350 seats. If this capacity is sufficient, then Auditorium 1, which accommodates 350 people, is very suitable for plenary sessions, with good acoustics, comfortable seats and all audiovisual equipment. The auditorium is located on the 6th floor, next to the main entrance hall which also gives direct access to the cafetaria. Pictures: http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/50.jpg (Aud. 1) http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/img0029.jpg (Aud. 1) http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/47.jpg (Aud. 1) N.B. If more than 350 seats are absolutely necessary, the large conference center at Grieghallen could be rented. However, this would significantly increase costs. 4. Facilities for tutorial sessions: 2 rooms that accommodate from 50 to 100 people. Needed the day before the conference proper. Many rooms in the conference building are available, depending on the exact capacity needed. On the 4th floor, several modern seminar rooms are available, including 3 rooms with 30 seats each and Seminar room 2 with 66 seats. If necessary, Aud. 2 (with 250 seats) and Aud. 3 (with 150 seats) on the 6th floor can also be used for this purpose. Several slightly older but perfectly suitable rooms with capacities between 50 and 100 people are also available in the same building. 5. Exhibit space close to the plenary session room with power, phone lines, adequate air conditioning, and security. Requirements will vary, but it might be reasonable to plan for 8-10 publishers and 10-15 system exhibitors, occupying about 2000 square feet (10 x 10 booth size). Having separate spaces for each exhibitor would facilitate scheduling, but clustering is possible if space is limited. Vendors like Symbolics, DEC, Xerox, and Sun might be prevailed upon to provide hardware which can be shared by the exhibitors. This is for demos. For exhibits involving computer demos, we suggest the 4th floor, two levels down from the main entrance. This floor offers several suitable rooms and ample open space, with adequate power outlets, phone outlets, network connections, movable furniture and air conditioning. The rooms can be locked at night. Together, the rooms have the required capacity. N.B. telephone lines will have to be leased for the duration of the conference; Internet via the university network will be free. http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/14.jpg (demo session) http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/img0037.jpg (demo or seminar room) 5A. Book exhibit space close to plenary session, registration desk, and coffee breaks. This is somewhat critical. The book exhibitors pay to attend and want to get maximum attendance. If it is right by the breaks then they'll get an audience. The large main hall, directly in front of the three main auditoriums and directly adjoining the cafeteria, offers suitable space for registration as well as book exhibits. Overflow space is available in an immediately adjoining hall (Borgg=E5rd). http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/45.jpg (book display) 6. Two rooms for student paper sessions holding about 100 people, although the plenary session room could be used for one of them. No problem (see 4). 7. Possible space for poster sessions. The best place for posters would be the open space on the 4th floor, next to the rooms where the exhibit with computer demos is planned (see 5). http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/15.jpg (poster session) 8. Possible need for rooms holding 50-100 before the conference for SIG-sponsored or other workshops. No problem (see 4). 9. Registration space close to auditorium with telephone line access and that can be locked up so that registration materials do not have to be moved. This can also be handled by making sure that there are enough hired people to move the registration materials into a locked room every night. OR, hire security guards. All of these have been done. I think critical, as in book exhibits, to be near refreshments and central meeting area for breaks. This facilitates business iwth the ACL. Need a large amount of space for tables. I'll get number of tables from Priscilla. The large main entrance hall (see also 4) right next to the cafeteria and the main auditoriums is very suitable as a registration area. Telephone lines can be leased, mobile telephones can cheaply be rented from the University. From the registration desk in the open hall, valueable registration materials can easily be moved to secure adjoining rooms at night. http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/7.jpg (registration area) 10. Refreshment area close to auditorium, registration, exhibits, and tutorials. A modern capacious lunchroom/cafeteria with a great view over the fjord is available for refreshments and meals. This cafeteria is in the same building, adjoining the main entrance hall. http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/img0033.jpg (cafetaria with view) http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/16.jpg (lunch in cafetaria) 11. Convenient housing and eating places in reasonable proximity to the conference site with lower cost accommodations for students and attendees with limited budgets. We estimate that 30-50% of the attendees will request such facilities. The conference site is situated at only 5 to 10 minutes walking distance from the main hotels and restaurants in the city centre. Regular hotels are as expensive as in any other major European cities. Due to the attractiveness of Bergen for tourists in summer, a number of rooms must be ordered well in advance, preferably before Sep. 1. Some cheap hotels ("pensjonater") are available in the immediate vicinity of the conference site. Student housing in dormitories (Fantoft studentby) is also available, but requires a 15 mins. bus ride (at 4 ECU one way). The city center offers many eating places in all price classes. 12. Catering and banquet facilities. Lunches (and dinners, if desired) can be arranged at the cafeteria. Due to the unique location of Bergen, many special reception and banquet sites can be considered close to the conference site, including a historic site (e.g. H=E5konshallen), a mountain top (Fl=F8yen), or a boat to the fjords. http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/haakon1s.jpg (H=E5konshallen) http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/38.jpg (banquet at H=E5konshallen) http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/13.jpg (reception in Grieghallen) 13. Reasonably convenient transportation access to the area in which the conference is being held. The city offers adequate bus transport, but the conference site is so close to the city centre that most participants can simply move on foot. Regular bus lines are provided to the airport and to student dormitories. http://www.hd.uib.no/allc/bgkart6.jpg (Bergen map) 14. Network communication links. The university network is available in the building and can be used without cost. 15. Location with regard to previous and subsequent meetings to ensure some geographical distribution over time. EACL-97 will be held in Spain, EACL-95 was held in Ireland, EACL-93 in Holland, EACL-91 in Berlin and EACL-89 in England. No country in Scandinavia has hosted EACL so far. 16. Availability of facilities in Easter/Spring time frame; consideration of quarter or semester break schedule may be relevant. The recommended time for booking the conference facilities is from June 8 until the end of June or later. The Easter holidays are not recommended since all local personnel will be skiing or fishing. 17. Proximity to related meetings that can serve to encourage attendance; usually only of incidental interest. No related meetings are known. Attendance can somewhat be encouraged by the fact that Bergen is an especially attractive tourist goal, offering the mountains, the sea, and a historic city centre: http://www.hd.uib.no/bergen-pict.html Visits to the fjords can be arranged. Koenraad de Smedt, June 20, 1997.