Bid Process to host ISME

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The Symposium

The ISME Symposium is a biennial event, held in the even years, and should be held in the 3rd week of August. The symposium attracts 1500 – 2500 delegates with a program consisting of 3 components: scientific, society and social. If you would like more information regarding the guidelines for the organisation of the symposium please contact the ISME Events team.

The Requirements

Conference Center - We preferably work with conference centers that can hold 2000 people in one room (opening & closing ceremony). Besides this hall we roughly need 8 additional session rooms and a poster/exhibition area. A typical schedule of the symposium can be found online.  Please note that the schedule is subject to change without prior notification. 

Hotels - should be available in different star categories and close to the conference center (or easy to reach). 

Food - ISME generally does not include lunch on conference days so ideally there would be plenty of lunch/dinner options close to the conference center and hotels.

Dates - ISME’s are held around the 3rd week of August (preferably somewhere between  the 16th and 26th); in the even numbered years (biennially). Bidding takes place 4 years prior to the actual event.

Location - ISME rotates regions (Europe, North America, Asia/Oceania, and South America/Africa). Depending on the bids, the aim is to organize the conference in the region that is due or has not had an ISME in 6 years’ time (or longer)Overview of past or future ISME's.

Who - The LOC is responsible for the bid. Tourist agencies and conference centers can work with the LOC to create the bid but the bid itself must come from the local scientific community. The ISME Office & Executives will collaborate with the winning LOC and organize the conference.

Other issues we find important (in random order): venue costs (including Wi-Fi, catering and logistics etc.) international accessibility of the city, climate/weather during the symposium, eco-friendliness of a venue, sponsorship, gender-balance of LOC.

Please note - The ISME Society will, at all times, be owner of  the conference (thus legally & financially responsible). Besides being the owner of the event, ISME is also the official organizer of the event. Certain elements of the conference can/will be outsourced but always in close collaboration and under the leadership of the inhouse events team of ISME.

The Bidding Process

Symposium bids are only accepted from senior scientists in the field of microbial ecology. There are a number of steps in the bid process and we ask that they be met in full or the proposal may be unsuccessful.
The bid process for the ISME Symposium is as follows:

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI) – An expression of interest must be completed using the ISME EOI form. This form is just a brief look at the city as a venue and should be completed by the bid chair. This submission should not exceed the form plus 1 attached venue floor plans and room capacities. The ISME Executive will then consider these submissions. If successful the ISME Executive will invite the organisation or collective to submit a full proposal. In considering the EOIs the ISME Executive will consider the following:

    - The symposium facilities and the available dates
    - International access to the region and the accommodation facilities
    -The interest of the region and the typical weather conditions
    -The calibre and experience of the proposed Organising Committee

  2. Full Proposal – The preparation of this proposal is by invitation only. Guidelines for this proposal will be sent to you with the invitation. The ISME Executive will then consider these proposals and score them based on a selection matrix.

  3. Venue Site Visit – Representatives of the ISME Executive and the Events team will visit the 2 or 3 high ranked proposals. The bidding organisation or collective must sponsor this site visit.

  4. Selection and Announcement – A report of the site visit will be prepared by the Site Visit attendees and this will be submitted to the ISME Board for deliberation. The Announcement of the host organisation and location will occur at the penultimate symposium (i.e ISME16 will be announced at ISME14)

  5. Confirmed Future Conferences
    ISME17 (August 2018) will be held in Leipzig, Germany.
    ISME18 (August 2020) will be held in Cape Town, South Africa.
    ISME19 (August 2022) will be held in Auckland, New Zealand.

  6. ISME20 (August 2024):
    Preferred Region :   Europe / North America

    Open for Expression of Interest (EOI) :  tba 
    Deadline Expression of Interest (EOI) :  tba
    Invitations sent out by ISME for full Bid : tba 
    Due date Full Bid :  tba 
    Site Visits by ISME : tba  
    Announcement winner :   August 2020 (during ISME18)