MeCCSA Conference Proposal Guidelines

Guideline delegate numbers

200-250 delegates, including postgraduates.  Given that it is difficult
to predict with any accuracy the number of delegates, it is advisable
that the provisional budget includes several different projections
corresponding to different figures of attendance. You should assume that
10-15% of delegates would be PGs.

Plenary speakers

Provision should be made for up to four or five invited speakers whose
costs would be met by the conference. For international speakers, you
could try to find external funding for their attendance but in this
case, you’d have to plan considerably ahead because of the time lag for
funding decisions.

Administration

All arrangements on the ground, including registration of delegates are
made by host institution. We expect to see realistic administration
costs in the budget which take account of costs for technical support
(including web support if you intend to have an online registration
facility, including payment) and all conference administration.

Dates

Conferences are normally held in second/third week of January so we need an indication of the planned dates.

Conference Format

The MeCCSA Annual Conference is a 3-day event commencing on the
afternoon of day 1, a full day 2 and a half-day on day 3. The conference
normally starts with a prestigious keynote speaker or plenary session.
The second (full) day also generally includes a keynote speaker or
plenary session and closes with a speaker or panel.  The rest of the
conference is organised in simultaneous parallel thematic panels in
break-out rooms. Sufficient time should be provided between sessions for
proper breaks as well as for lunch in order to facilitate contacts and
exchange among participants.

We welcome ideas for the screening etc of examples of practice and for
extra optional conference social events. There is normally a conference
dinner or event on the second evening.

Conference Venue

The conference site will be a university or HE institution.  It is
possible for a university to host the conference at a cultural
institution with sufficient capacity but this should be carefully costed
into the budget. The venue should include a large room (for keynotes
and
plenaries) along with up to six breakout rooms with appropriate
screening facilities. A central area is required for lunch and other
breaks. This area should also be used by or be very accessible to
publishers’ stalls.  The conference also requires space for the running
of MeCCSA’s AGM (held on the second day of the conference) and the
running of MeCCSA associated network meetings. Appropriate areas for
social
events such as venue for the conference dinner and for the exhibition of
conference poster submissions should be considered. While the panels
and keynotes should take place at the conference site, a limited number
of sessions and events can be organised in another site or location if
absolutely necessary.

Location

The conference can be residential or non-residential. In both cases, we
need an indication of what the in-house accommodation contains as well
as suitable hotel accommodation nearby, together with the a note of
costs and any special offers.  The conference venue should be close to a
varied choice of accommodation (hotels, university rooms etc.) with
sufficient capacity for all participants and within easy travelling
distance from the conference site. The area should  also be easy to
reach by public transport.

Conference delegate prices

The registration rates need to be indicated with provision of reductions
for postgraduates. It is advisable that a day rate be kept relatively
high to encourage full attendance. Conference dinner is often separately
charged. Pricing will be confirmed before advertising the event but
needs to be planned in the provisional budget. You should include fee
options for attendance on the full day only (day 2) as well as the
conference as a whole.

Academic arrangements

There should be a designated conference leader and organising team.  The
MeCCSA Executive Committee includes an experienced conference
organising team who will provide support to the conference host but will
not be involved in day-to-day operations and decisions.  
However, as this is a MeCCSA badged event, we need to be involved in
discussions about processes such as criteria for paper acceptance,
potential
key speakers, plenary topics and so on. Such decisions are therefore
discussed regularly at the Executive Committee meetings and managed by
the MeCCSA conference committee which includes representatives from the
host institution as well as MeCCSA Executive members.  The Executive
Committee will regularly require a timetable of the entire project, a
full budget plan, which should be kept up to date and accessible to the
MeCCSA Executive Treasurer if required.

Finances

The conference should ideally make a profit so that the initial budget
should be based on at least a breakeven position. MeCCSA policy is that
all profits (and losses) are allocated 75%/25% between MeCCSA and the
host institution.

Publicity

MeCCSA has a website, association online newsletter and mailing lists
but we welcome other costed ideas for publicising the conference.

Conference theme

The conference should appeal to the range of media, cultural studies and
communications interests of MeCCSA members, so we would not agree to
those which are too narrowly themed.  However, we welcome input from the
hosts about distinctive events within the conference which relate to
their expertise and research interests e.g. guest speakers,screening,
identification of particular topics or strands.

Locale

Do list any particular attractions of your area including any cultural
institutions associated with film, television or the media. Past
conferences have featured receptions in film theatres, museums or other
such venues.

Year of event and planning

We like to identify hosts as far in advance as possible. Planning
generally starts at least a year in advance of the conference. We invite
proposals to host the annual conference two years ahead of the event,
so you should indicate whether you are interested in a specific year or
could be flexible.

Sponsorship

Please keep in mind costs when selecting keynote and plenary speakers. 
If you are planning international speakers, please bear in mind applying
for external research funding and plan this into your schedule, Events
usually generate modest income from publishers’ stalls. Some
conference organisers have secured modest funding from local cultural
bodies but all ideas for income-generation are welcome.

Expressing interest in hosting the conference

To conclude, our annual conference is a major national event that
attracts international delegates, providing a significant opportunity
for scholars in our field to share research, debate, network and
socialise.

If you are interested in hosting a future MeCCSA conference, please
return your initial proposal to Professor Sue Thornham, Chair MeCCSA at s.thornham@sussex.ac.uk Please copy to Professor Heather Nunn, Vice-Chair MeCCSA at
h.nunn@roehampton.ac.uk

The Executive Committee will keep in touch with you about when your
proposal will be discussed and advise you as soon as possible of our
decision.

Thank you on behalf of the MeCCSA Executive Committee for your interest and we look forward to your proposal.

Posted by Einar Thorsen