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FAQ - Call for proposals

2019 Ecsite Conference

Pushing boundaries
Copenhagen, Denmark 6 June 2019 - 8 June 2019
#Ecsite2019

Here you will find a compilation of everything you need to know in detail about speaking and/or convening at the upcoming Ecsite Conference

Speakers & Convenors

Sessions

Presentations

What is the role of the convenor?

The convenor of a session is the person who makes sure that the session actually takes place on the given time and day and that all speakers are well briefed, show up on time, etc.

Before the conference, the convenor is responsible for

  • Keeping all session-related details updated in the online programme (abstract, speakers, contributions, outcomes, etc)
  • Making sure there will be no repetition or overlap between presentations
  • Ensuring coherence between the speakers - each speaker should have an idea of what the others are going to talk about
  • Defining in which order speakers are lined up
  • Gathering all session's presentations and uploading them in time onto the conference system at the convention centre. The technicians here will need to know in which order they come.

During the session, the convenor will

  • Act as a presenter or moderator, making sure the audience have a great experience in the session
  • Take charge of everything that will make the session flow smoothly: checking that everything is in place before the session, reminding participants of social media hashtags, keeping an eye on the time, making sure evaluation forms are filled in…

After the conference, the convenor will

  • Collect and upload the session's legacy (= striking ideas, conclusions, surprises or happenings to be recorded for the future. Include links to resources or presentations stored on external platforms, if applicable).

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What is the role of the speaker?

Before the conference, speakers will

  • Ask the convenor for all needed information, if not provided well on time
  • Update their profile information (name, job title, organisation) via the online session form
  • Deliver a detailed description of their individual contribution to the session. This detailed information will not be published in the printed programme but will be available on the website.

After the conference, speakers will

  • Send to the session's convenor all info relevant to build the session's legacy

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Help! I cannot add a speaker (and/or convenor) to my session proposal form.

You can find speakers and convenors by typing their first or last name in the dedicated search field. If the person you’re trying to add doesn't show in the users list, it can be one of two possibilities. Either that person isn't registered as a user on our website or that person used a different first or last name that you aren't aware of. Better to contact this person and ask for more details.

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How to add a speaker (or convenor) who isn’t registered yet?

Speakers and convenors need to registered to be added to session proposals. Please urge her or him to do so, by directing them to the sign in page.

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Do speakers and convenors pay the conference fee?

Yes, speakers and convenors pay the conference fee like all conference participants. However, speakers who will contribute novel topics, angles or session formats to the conference are eligible to apply for the 20 free day passes granted by Ecsite. Read more about the "fresh ideas" scheme.

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What were the Programme Committee’ selection criteria?

The Annual Conference Programme Committee (ACPC) receives numerous proposals every year and devotes a lot of time and attention to their review and selection, following a carefully orchestrated process to ensure fairness and quality.

ESSENTIAL CRITERIA

Your proposal must…

concentrate on what participants will be getting from the session. No one likes unidirectional sales pitches or project reports. If accepted, your session will be running in parallel with another half dozen: you need to give future attendees a good reason to be there. Start by defining your audience and what they will be getting from the session: take the "outcomes" field in the proposal form very seriously, and define the session format that will best deliver them.

foster peer learning and present honest lessons learnt. The Ecsite conference is renowned for the quality of exchanges and conversations and the honesty of the stories shared in sessions. Failures are as interesting as successes. You don't need to have all the answers: you can also share ongoing questions, recurring struggles, true dilemmas or embark participants on an adventure you've not tried before… be open about it in your abstract.

include speakers and convenors from different countries and projects. Several people are needed to deliver an Ecsite conference session: you really need to work as a team, each bringing a different perspective, case study or skill. Ecsite is a truly international network and this diversity should be reflected in the composition of each session’s group of speakers. If there is a possibility to include speakers from countries which are usually underrepresented at the conference, we fully encourage you to take this opportunity.

include a complete list of speakers. Even if all speakers are not confirmed at the time of submitting the proposal, it is important to include names. Three speakers are expected for a panel session and possibly fewer than three for other types of session formats.

ensure a gender balance. The committee avoids sessions where the convenor and speakers are all male or all female.

involve a committed and skilled convenor who will advise and guide speakers from the session’s conception through to the presentation at the conference. This includes ensuring that your session’s presentations are coherent as a whole in order to produce a session with a clear vision, successfully meeting the aims set out in the abstract. It requires a good deal of communication with your session’s speakers in the months leading up to the conference. Read more about convenors & speakers roles here.

be new to the Ecsite conference. Copy-paste sessions or presentations from previous years don't stand a chance. Not everything needs to be new: a traditional format on an edgy topic will work great, and so might a new format or angle on a usual topic. Check out the session archive.

BONUS POINTS

You have higher chances of success if your proposal…

is active or interactive. Sessions gather dozens of participants, including many professionals who will have insightful questions to raise on the topic at hand, examples of best practice to share, and most importantly a strong urge to take an active part. The best sessions take advantage of this collective expertise and energy, whether by allowing a good amount of time for questions, incorporating an interactive element into presentations, or using one of the interactive format suggestions listed below.

is linked to the conference theme. For a description of the theme, see the about page.

brings new, unusual or younger faces to the conference. The conference relies on fresh perspectives. Having at least one speaker who is new to the Ecsite Annual Conference or from a different professional background heightens your chances. Like in previous years, Ecsite is offering 20 free one-day registrations to speakers bringing in fresh ideas to the pre or main conferences.

is related to one of these usually underrepresented keywords:

  • Collections
  • Explainers & visitor services
  • Marketing & communication
  • Business & fundraising

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My session was accepted, now what?

Well done! As you will have seen in the email you've received from the programme committee, your session has been already been assigned a time slot and room. All other speakers and convenors involved in your proposal were also notified. The Programme Committee might have left remarks for you – check your email or read it directly in the session page on Ecsite's website.

These are your next steps :

  1. Before anything else, please check that your public profile on the Ecsite website is accurate and complete: information later included in the programme about you will be pulled from there. Check your job title and organisation, fill in your Twitter name, add a picture…
  2. You can now refine your session description if needed: review its abstract, add speakers and convenors, change format and keywords etc. You have until the end of Thursday 24 January 2019 to do so.
  3. Note that in order to make the programme easier to read we would like to try shorter abstracts this year: if you can, reduce your abstract to 900 characters including spaces. If your session's title contains the words "pushing boundaries" we also recommend you to change it: there are so many similar titles that most of them will have to be changed. Generally speaking, we recommend simple, descriptive titles that clearly state what to expect from a session.
  4. Your abstract will then be “frozen” and edited by the Ecsite team.
  5. Do you know that we offer a number of free one-day registrations to speakers bringing new perspectives to the conference? If there is space in your session for an "outsider"s view", this could be your opportunity to spice things up.

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My session was accepted with conditions, what are my next steps?

This means that your idea was positively reviewed, but that some elements of your proposal need revising before it can be fully accepted. You will find guidance to revise your proposal in the “Remarks from the Programme Committee” section in the email you've received from the programme committee or directly in your session page on Ecsite's website. Your session has nevertheless been assigned a time slot and room. All other speakers and convenors involved in your proposal are also being notified.

These are your next steps:

  1. Before anything else, please check that your public profile on the Ecsite website is accurate and complete: information later included in the programme about you will be pulled from there. Check your job title and organisation, fill in your Twitter name, add a picture…
  2. You can now refine your session description if needed: review its abstract, add speakers and convenors, change format and keywords etc. You have until the end of Thursday 24 January 2019 to do so.
  3. The ACPC will then check your proposal again end of January to ensure that you have met its conditions of acceptance.
  4. Note that in order to make the programme easier to read we would like to try shorter abstracts this year: if you can, reduce your abstract to 900 characters including spaces. If your session's title contains the words "pushing boundaries" we also recommend you to change it: there are so many similar titles that most of them will have to be changed. Generally speaking we recommend simple, descriptive titles that clearly state what to expect from a session.
  5. Your abstract will then be “frozen” and edited by the Ecsite team.
  6. Do you know that we offer a number of free one-day registrations to speakers bringing new perspectives to the conference? If there is space in your session for an "outsider"s view", this could be your opportunity to spice things up.

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My session was rejected, is there anything I need to know?

The quality of session proposals was incredibly high this year. If your session didn't make it to the programme, check out the remarks on the email you've received from the programme committee as they might have left tips to improve your idea for the upcoming editions.

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I missed the call for proposals, can I still join in?

If you missed the call for proposals, here's what you can still do:

  • Subscribe to receive our news in your inbox, that way you won't miss next year's call.
  • Browse which sessions have been accepted. If you think your contribution is of relevance to one of these accepted sessions, contact the convenor and ask if you'd be welcomed as a speaker. Note: most sessions will be completed, so don't take it personally if the session cannot accommodate your contribution anymore. Ecsite Conference sessions are often participative, feel free to join the session as a participant and enjoy not having to be in charge of making it a success!
  • Special cases: touring exhibitions and collaborative project showcase. These are pitch based sessions that are available on a first come, first served basis. There are slots still available, check out more information about the touring exhibitions and more information on the project showcase, right below.

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What is a "travelling exhibition" session format and how can I submit a pitch for my exhibition?

There are two special session slots on the Thursday dedicated to touring exhibitions pitches. In each session, 15 speakers have four minutes each to present their new travelling exhibition(s). Exhibitions should be recent and should not have been presented at a previous Ecsite Annual Conference. One pitch per organisation, they are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To claim your slot, contact Raquel da Cunha with the following information:

  • Title of the touring exhibition (Ideally each presenter only pitches one exhibition, but (if you stay within your 4 minutes slot) you're free to present more. In this case, please write here a general title and below in the description, please write down the titles of the exhibitions you will present)

  • When did the exhibition started touring?

  • Have you presented it at an Ecsite Conference before?

  • Small description of the exhibition(s) (max 100 words)

Username of the presenter (If you don't have an account on Ecsite's website, please create one here)

Browse all travelling exhibitions sessions in Ecsite Conference's sessions archive

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What is a "project showcase" session format and how can I submit a pitch for my project?

This is the second and last case in which you can submit a one-person / one-project pitch. This is a special slot dedicated to non-profit collaborative projects. Each proposal should describe one nonprofit collaborative project involving a minimum of three different institutions, at least one of which is an Ecsite member. Basic information on the project timeline, funder and participating institutions, as well as a summary of the concept should be provided, along with the contact details of the presenter. Results and resources available to share with conference participants are a plus. To claim your slot, contact the session convenor Cristina Paca with the following information:

  • Title of the project
  • Who is your funder?
  • Project partners (This should be a nonprofit collaborative project involving a minimum of three different institutions, at least one of which is an Ecsite member. No need to list all your partners here. List at least three of them, including one Ecsite member)
  • Have you presented it at an Ecsite Conference before?
  • Small description of the project (max 100 words)
  • Project website
  • Username of the presenter (If you don't have an account on Ecsite's website, please create one here)

Browse all project showcase sessions in Ecsite Conference's sessions archive

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How long are the session slots?

All session slots are 75 minutes long. Exceptionally, Friday's last slot is shorter - 45 minutes. The programme committee is responsible for building the programme and assigning about 8 of the selected sessions to this shorter slot.

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What are the technical guidelines for presentations?

This information will become available to speakers and convenors by the beginning of the Spring.

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I didn't find my question in this FAQ section…

Don’t worry! Please contact Raquel at rdacunha@ecsite.eu (+32 2 649 73 83) with your question. She will happily answer your question (and perhaps add it as a FAQ!)

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