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Call to Host the 2026 and 2027 Ecsite Conferences

Ecsite, the European network of science engagement organisations, is now accepting expressions of interest from those wishing to host the Ecsite Conferences for 2026 and 2027.

The selection process will be conducted in two steps. The first step is submitting a non-binding expression of interest, followed by a second formal application stage. This process allows interested parties to meet with Ecsite before submitting final proposals and discussing their initial ideas for hosting the event. Ecsite is committed to working with the hosts to create the best possible events that will be mutually beneficial to all involved.

Initial requirements are outlined below.

Ecsite Conference 2026 & 2027

The Ecsite Conference is a global gathering of over 1000 science engagement professionals. Ecsite is exploring new formats for the conference's future editions that will make it easier for hosts to organise while maintaining high-quality content. The 2026 and 2027 Conferences will be 3 days long, compared to the 4-day long 2024 edition. However, the number of sessions and key programme elements will remain the same. To reduce the resources required to organise the event, the Gala Dinner social event will be replaced by a Welcome Reception (working title).

To express interest in hosting the Conference, the following requirements must be met:

  • Availability to host the Conference in the first half of June 2026 or 2027 – please state preferred year or no preference. Submission by an Ecsite full-member organisation – or by a consortium of partners led by a full member.
  • A letter of intent explaining the motivation for hosting the event
  • A list of potential venues for the Conference and its social events (see below for more information on requirements)
  • Explanation of Hosts commitment to sustainability, including ideas for making the event sustainable and highlighting existing green solutions in the venues and the city.
  • Letters indicating potential funding support from organisations that can contribute to the organisation of the event, such as for the venue, event services, volunteers etc.

Please submit your expression of interest and all necessary documents to Wiktor at wgajewski@ecsite.eu


Expression of interest 24 April 2024

Pre-selection by the Ecsite Board by 8 May 2024

Dialogue with the Ecsite team May – June 2024

Submission of a formal bid 30 August 2024

Pre-selection by the Ecsite Board September 2024

Study visits to potential hosts October 2024

Final selection November 2024

Details about the Ecsite Conference

The Ecsite Conference has a history of 33 in-person editions and is a well-established event in the science engagement community. The Conference offers a diverse and thought-provoking programme created by participants through an open call for proposals. It also provides unmatched networking and business opportunities.

The 2026 and 2027 Conferences will consist of:

- Three Conference days, including one day for 10 full-day Deep Dive workshops and two days for up to 100 parallel sessions and plenary events.
- A trade show exhibiting +65 businesses that support science centres and museums and other science engagement organisations.
- Three social events:

  • Welcome Reception on the first day of the Conference – a networking-focused event for all participants including a newcomers event and new Ecsite members event.
  • Nocturne – a night-at-a-museum/ science centre event allowing all participants to discover the Host institution.
  • A Farewell Party that closes the event with a night of dancing and socialising that participants can attend optionally (capacity of 400 pax.)

- Other events for smaller groups of up to 100 participants like the CEO Focus (for senior management).

The Host is responsible for:

  • The conference venue that includes an auditorium, up to 10 rooms for parallel sessions, a 1700m2 space for the trade show and a space for standing or seated lunches.
  • Venues and social events programme.
  • Relevant equipment and services (Wi-Fi), to run the Conference sessions and all events.
  • Catering for the event, consisting of lunches and coffee breaks on all days, buffet dinners at the Welcome Reception and the Nocturne and snacks and drinks at the Farewell Party
  • Designing a conference visual identity, promotional materials for digital and print uses and printing necessary materials and photography during the event.
  • Sustainability of the event and its production, ensuring the Conference has as little negative climate influence as possible.
  • Securing venue and event accessibility for all participants, regardless of their abilities and needs
  • Providing a project team for organising the Conference and staffing the event, including the social events
  • National and regional promotion of the event
  • Fundraising at the national level

Ecsite is responsible for the overall event, notably:

  • Programme of the event, including session and plenary events content and selected other events (for example, CEO Focus)
  • Pricing, registration, fee collection
  • Communication with participants before and during the event
  • Promotion at the European and international level
  • Trade show organisation, exhibitor and sponsor recruitment, fee collection

Financial mechanisms between the Host and Ecsite

The Hosts and Ecsite sign a contract for the organisation of the Conference, covering most of the specifications described above and the Conference budget. The contract also specifies the financial agreement between parties. In total, the Ecsite contribution for the host is around EUR300.000 ex-VAT, with hosts bringing the remaining budget of the Conference (around EUR100.000 - 200.000 ex-VAT) in-kind or through sponsors and partners.

An example of a full agreement text can be provided to bidding organisations on request.