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Proposal to Host the

2001 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society

Atlanta, Georgia

Nathan B. Forrester, A.T. Kearney


Under this proposal the 2001 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from July 23-27th. The conference site is the Emory Conference Center Hotel (ECCH), located on the campus of Emory University near downtown Atlanta. The conference center is very pleasant and spacious, having numerous places for people to meet and mingle outside the formal sessions. By reserving the entire facility our group can enjoy an intimate atmosphere not possible in a conventional hotel setting.

Traveling to Atlanta is very easy, with non-stop flights from all major US cities, most major European cities, and many capitals throughout Latin America. Delta Airlines has agreed to offer specially discounted fares for conference participants whose travel originates in the western hemisphere. Atlanta is Delta's primary hub and headquarters city. Transportation from the Atlanta airport to the conference site is easy 20-minute ride that costs from $24-$70 per round trip depending on whether you take an airport shuttle bus or a taxicab. Although Atlanta is normally hot during July (consistently 90-95F and moderately humid), air conditioning is ubiquitous and dress will be informal.

Conference Site:

The Emory Conference Center Hotel is a modern facility with large, comfortable rooms and a variety of meeting space appropriate for our conference. In addition to the usual assortment of meeting facilities, the site has a pool, steam room, sauna, whirlpool, tennis courts, volleyball and basketball courts, and fitness center. The main hotel has 198 rooms and the adjacent Emory Inn has 72 additional rooms that are slightly less expensive. If conference attendance should exceed these limits, space can be arranged in nearby hotels and in Emory University dormitory rooms.

The conference center is run on a "meeting package" plan where guests pay a per night charge that includes room, breakfast, lunch, dinner, continuous refreshment with hot dish, meeting space, A/V package, and service charges. Meals are served buffet style in the dining room. A private dining area is available for meal-time meetings. Prices range from US$125-205/person/evening. The lowest cost is for double occupancy in the adjacent Emory Inn. The highest charge is for single occupancy in the Emory Conference Center Hotel itself. The only additional costs to participants would be for alcoholic beverages, any use of business center services, and tax of about 12%. All reservations and payments will be handled directly with the hotel. Penalties will apply for cancellations, no-shows, late arrivals, and early departures occurring less than 30 days prior to the conference start.

Conference participants staying off site will be charged US$75/person/day for the Day Guest Package that includes buffet lunch, continuous refreshment breaks with hot dish (can function as breakfast and possibly even supper for those on a tight budget or a diet), and meeting space. The conference can reserve a minimum of 25 dormitory rooms from Emory University at a cost of about US$32/person/night should we anticipate sufficient demand.

Non-attendee family members may stay in hotel rooms at no charge. Meals may be purchased separately as desired.

The System Dynamics Conference will pay the extra cost of 1) wine and seated dinner service for the banquet (about US$20-US$35/person, depending on menu), 2) costs for computer projection equipment, and 3) costs for copying, fax, telephone, and other administrative services provided on site. The room charges will be structured to include 2-3 complimentary room packages for use as the Society sees fit.

Meeting facilities hold up to 230 in a tiered amphitheater or 360 people classroom-style in the main ballroom. As many as 560 can be accommodated in theater-style seating in the main ballroom. Additional rooms are available for parallel sessions including a second tiered amphitheater holding up to 72 people and four more breakout rooms holding from 28-72 people depending on seating style. More than six parallel sessions can be run concurrently. In addition to the facilities mentioned above, six small rooms and a boardroom are available for meetings or as work areas and 3 offices are available to conference staff.

For details regarding the Emory Conference Center Hotel see the attached folder and CD-ROM.

Conference Business Arrangements and Division of Responsibilities:

The System Dynamics Society

The System Dynamics Society will retain primary financial responsibility for the conference. The Society will have to pay a deposit of 10% of the total meeting package fees (approximately US$15,000) by September of 2000 to reserve the conference center. The deposit is not refundable, should the meeting site be changed. The Society office will be the primary contact point for conference attendees, keeping registration records, collecting registration fees, and disbursing funds as needed. All profits will be retained by the Society. The Principal Office of the Society will handle mailings, correspondence, phone calls, and any other communications with conference registrants.

Society Tasks:


Printing conference brochures and registration materials


Mailing brochures and registration materials


Registering participants


Soliciting conference sponsors


Collecting and disbursing funds


Paying the deposit for conference space


Retaining all profits and financial liabilities for the conference

The Emory Conference Center Hotel

The Emory Conference Center Hotel will handle reservations and payment processing for all meeting plan (room and board) charges. Upon our request the conference center will structure the meeting plan charges to include 2-3 complimentary rooms for as the Society sees fit.

Hotel Tasks:


Handle all room reservations regarding rooms (except dorm rooms, if any)


Handle all charges regarding rooms, meeting plan cost, guest charges


Provide all food and beverage service


Provide all meeting space and normal A/V equipment


Assist conference staff with arrangements as required

The Program Committee

The Program Committee Chairman (usually the then-President-Elect) with the assistance of the core group of SD professionals in the Boston/Albany area will take responsibility for the planning the program.

Program Committee Tasks:


Receiving and selecting all abstracts and papers


Preparing and maintaining the conference program


Publishing abstracts


Producing Proceedings on CD-ROM or other medium


Posting proceedings (or abstracts) to Society web site


Scheduling parallel and plenary sessions, moderators, etc.

Conference Organizer

As Conference Organizer I will take responsibility for site planning and oversight of the entire conference planning process.

Conference Organizer Tasks:


Negotiating with conference facility managers


Preparing copy for conference brochure and registration materials


Arranging for airline discounts on flights to Atlanta


Arranging conference functions, activities, and transportation in Atlanta


Arranging for onsite administrative assistance (family, friends, students, other)


Serving as local host


Overseeing all aspects of conference planning

Disclaimer: Neither the Conference Organizer, Nathan Forrester, nor his employer, A.T. Kearney, Inc., will handle money for, nor be in be in any way financially liable for the conference.

Conference Dates:


July 1999 - Final approval of 2001 Conference Site.


August 1999 - Announce and post 2001 conference site selection


July 2000 - First mailing of conference brochure and call for abstracts


October 2000 - Second Mailing of conference brochure and call for abstracts


September 2000 - Deposit due Emory Conference Center Hotel (+/- $15,000)


February 2001 - Deadline for Abstracts


March 2001 - Notification of Authors


May 2001 - Deadline for full papers


June 2001 - Deadline for Room Reservations/Penalty for Cancellation


July 23-27, 2001 - Conference in Atlanta

2001 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society
Atlanta, GA, USA
Preliminary Budget
Anticipated Income and Expenses
Income Quantity Price Extension
Full-price registrants 275 $300 $82,500
Student Registrants 30 $100 $3,000
Conference Sponsorships 8 $1,000 $8,000
Sponsored Functions 2 $1,000 $2,000
Extra Banquet Tickets 40 $50 $2,000
Total Income     $97,500
Banquet (additional over buffet) 350 $35 $12,250
Welcome Reception 300 $20 $6,000
SUNY Albany Administration     $25,000
Credit Card Fees     $2,000
Proceedings     $8,000
Misc Transportation     $2,000
Other Printing, Postage, Travel, etc     $5,500
Onsite Expenses     $2,000
Total Expense     $62,750
Projected Net Income to Society     $34,750
Anticipated Costs Per Registrant
Total Cost per Registrant (single occupancy, Main Hotel)      
Room Including:      
Breakfast, Lunch, Buffet Dinner,      
Breaks, Meeting Space 4 $205 $820
Tax 4 $25 $98
Conference Registration 1 $300 $300
Taxi to/from Airport 1 $70 $70
Airfare 1 ? ?
Total per single participant     $1,288
Total Cost per Registrant (double occupancy, Emory Inn)      
Room Including:      
Breakfast, Lunch, Buffet Dinner,      
Breaks, Meeting Space 4 $125 $500
Tax 4 $15 $60
Conference Registration 1 $300 $300
Shuttle to/from Airport 1 $24 $24
Airfare 1 ? ?
Total per single participant     $884
Total Cost per Student Registrant (Staying in a Dormitory Room)      
Room Including:      
Breakfast, Lunch, Buffet Dinner,      
Breaks, Meeting Space 4 $32 $128
Day Visitor Charge 4 $75 $300
Tax 4 $13 $51
Conference Registration 1 $100 $100
Shuttle to/from Airport 1 $24 $24
Additional Dinners 3 $15 $45
Airfare 1 ? ?
Total per single participant     $648
Total Cost per Registrant (w/ non-participant Spouse)      
Room Including:      
Breakfast, Lunch, Buffet Dinner,      
Breaks, Meeting Space for registrant 4 $205 $820
Tax 4 $25 $98
Conference Registration 1 $300 $300
Extra cost of Spouse in room 1 $0 $0
Spouse Banquet Ticket 1 $50 $50
Spouse Breakfasts @ site ala carte 4 $10 $40
Spouse Lunches in Atlanta 4 $15 $60
Spouse Dinners @ site ala carte 3 $20 $60
Airport Transportation 2 $24 $48
Airfare 2 ? ?
Total per single participant     $1,476



Last modified: February 17, 2001