GUIDELINES FOR BFS WORLD CONGRESSES
The Bachelier World Congress, held every two years in the Northern Hemisphere summer of even years, is the main event of the Bachelier Finance Society (BFS). This document outlines the expected content of proposals to host the Congress, as well as the procedures and timelines that apply after the successful proposal is approved.
Proposals are initially evaluated by the Meetings Committee of the BFS and recommended to the Council of the BFS for approval at the beginning of the even year preceding the Congress. The current composition of the Meetings Committee, corresponding calls for proposals, and upcoming deadlines for submission are available at the BFS website.
As soon as possible, potential organizers should get in contact with the President of the BFS or the Chair of its Meetings Committee to discuss the plan to begin preparing a promising submission for hosting a Bachelier World Congress. Multiple proposals can be considered simultaneously.
A – PROPOSALS
Proposals should address the following points:
1. Organizers and Supporting Institution
This is the group responsible for all organizational aspects of the Congress. It typically consists of one or two lead organizers assisted by a local organizing committee.
The Organizers must identify the Supporting Institution providing logistic and administrative support for the Congress. This could be a University, College, Institute, Centre, Society, or similar institution, and will be responsible for assisting the Organizers in handling all preparations for the Congress, including website, posters and other promotional material, call for papers, submissions, acceptances, registration, bookings of venue, invoices, reimbursements, and reporting. It is expected that work carried out by regular staff of the Supporting Institution will be provided on the basis of in-kind sponsorship to the Congress and recognized in all public materials and announcements related to the Congress. Additional work in the form of temporary staff and outsourced work (e.g. handling on-site registration via an event management company) should be clearly specified in the proposed budget.
Letters of support by the Supporting Institution and potentially other supporters should be included in the proposal.
2. Venues and Dates
The proposal must include information on conference facilities, availability and costs in the proposed location and dates.
Although detailed comparisons do not need to be included in the proposal, it is expected that the Organizers will take into account all available spaces, including both academic and commercial facilities, before choosing the venue for the Congress. The choice needs to consider both the suitability of the venue for hosting an event with a large number of participants and several parallel sessions (e.g. lecture rooms easily accessible from each other) and the need to maintain the cost of registration at reasonable levels.
Regardless of whether the Congress is to be held in a university, hotel or another venue, the proposal should contain information on alternative accommodation in the Congress vicinity in various price ranges.
4. Industrial and Government Sponsorship
The BFS relies on sponsorship in order to minimize the cost of participation by graduate students and junior faculty in its congresses. Organizers are expected to seek support from new sponsors and sponsors of previous congresses, both locally and internationally, in the private and public sectors, and to articulate their vision for this in the proposal.
Opportunities for sponsorship include logos on websites and posters, printed material in delegate packages, sponsoring of receptions during the congress, travel awards, information tables and banners in the foyer area, private rooms for interviews with job candidates attending the congress, and more.The BFS Industry Relations Committee might be of help regarding these issues.
5. Satellite Meetings and Other Activities
Organizers are welcome to explore different formats for satellite meetings and other activities related to the Congress, such as specialized meetings before or after the main Congress in nearby locations, student events, coordination with other large conferences such as other societies’ meetings, etc.
6. Budget and Financial Responsibilities
The proposal should contain a detailed draft budget with all sources of income, including grants, sponsorships, and estimated registration fees, and all expected expenses, including venue, catering, promotion, staffing, and incidentals.
The Supporting Institution shall handle all financial transactions related to the Congress, including the signing of contracts, collection of registration fees, administration of grants, payment of invoices, reimbursements, and any other financial transfers and legal matters.
The BFS is willing to share some of the financial risks related to the Congress. For example, in some cases the BFS may support the early securing of venues by providing a loan to the organizers, with the expectation that the loan will be fully paid back after the event plus some fee for providing the loan. In other cases the BFS may underwrite financial liabilities more directly, with the expectation that any surpluses from the Congress shall be transferred to the BFS, unless explicitly agreed in advance because of restricted sources of income (e.g. government grants whose surplus needs to be returned to the granting agency).
The details of the risk sharing agreement depend on the nature of the Supporting Institution and have to be negotiated and fixed before the final approval of the proposal.
B – PROCEDURES
The following procedures apply after a proposal to host the Congress is approved by the Council of the BFS:
1. Scientific Committee
Both the Organizers and the Executive Committee of the BFS are expected to recommend names for a Scientific Committee to be approved by the Council of the BFS according to the timeline below. The Scientific Committee, chaired by the Lead Organizer(s), chooses the plenary speakers, accepts or rejects contributed talks, makes decisions about financial support for Congress participants, decides on the structure of the Congress, and creates the program of the Congress.
The starting point for forming the Scientific Committee should be the list of invited speakers of the previous Congress. Not all the previous speakers have to be chosen for the committee, but a fair number would be good. This first selection should then be increased with additional members, aiming to broaden the visibility of the Society. The Scientific Committee should represent a diverse background in country of origin, gender etc. and should be able to work harmoniously together as a team.
The list of speakers (plenary lectures, invited lectures, contributed talks) should show a balanced composition with respect to countries of origin, gender, age, etc.
One of the plenary lectures is to be called the «Louis Bachelier Lecture». It is a keynote lecture by a prominent researcher and meant to emphasize the lecturer’s fundamental and sustained contributions to the field. The Louis Bachelier Lecturer is also chosen by the Scientific Committee.
The Scientific Committee also acts as the Prize Committee for the BFS Junior Scholar Award. The Committee requests, collects, and evaluates nominations and finally decides on a paper for the prize award. Details to be found on the website.
2. Venue and Accommodation
The final choice of venue for the Congress needs to be approved by the Executive Committee of the BFS based on the options presented in the proposal and the risk sharing agreement negotiated with the Organizers.Once the selection is made, the Organizers, with the help of the Supporting Institution, are responsible for reserving the space for the Congress and for organizing the Congress receptions, social events, and a banquet.The Organizers shall include in the program a meeting of the General Assembly of the BFS. Furthermore, a boardroom shall be provided for one meeting of the Council of the BFS during the congress. Additionally, an exhibition and contact table for the BFS shall be provided in the foyer area of the congress.The Organizers are expected to secure blocks of rooms at preferential rates in the hotels mentioned in the proposal.
The full range of sponsorship levels (e.g Platinum, Gold) and corresponding opportunities must be agreed between the Organizers and the BFS Executive Committee before being formally offered to potential sponsors.
4. Final Budget and Fee Structure
Organizers should make every effort to keep registration costs as low as possible, especially for junior academics, postdoctoral fellow, and graduate students. The final budget, including the registration fee structure, needs to be approved by the Executive Committee of the BFS based on the final choice of venue, expected sources of revenue.
5. Best Practices
The Organizers are encouraged to consult frequently with the Meetings Committee of the BFS throughout all stages of preparation for the Congress. This committee can provide information about past congresses, advise on best practices, and generally intermediate the communication between Organizers and the BFS.
C – TIMELINE
Once a proposal has been accepted, the Organizers should use the following timeline to prepare for the Congress, which refers to an approximate number of months before the date of the Congress.
24 months before: Whenever possible, the successful proposal should be announced during the preceding Congress.
18 months before: Venue and Scientific Committee chosen.
15 months before: Plenary speakers chosen. Date, venue, plenary speakers and Scientific Committee announced at BFS website. Sponsorship options set and search for sponsors start.
12 months before: Congress website launched (domain www.bacheliercongress.com has already been set up, please contact BFS). Structure of registration fees set. Preliminary list of sponsors announced. Flyers and posters prepared for distribution. Congress starts accepting registration and submissions.
8 months before: Submissions deadline.
6 months before: Acceptances communicated to authors.
4 months before: Junior faculty and graduate support awarded
6 weeks before: Program announced.