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Proposal to Host the 1998 System Dynamics Conference

Introduction

The conference will be held in Quebec City. The conference site will be in a large, internationally recognized hotel inside or just outside the Old City, the only walled city in North America and a UNESCO-recognized Heritage Site. Sponsorship and support from Université Laval and its Faculté des sciences de l'administration is being sought. Tentative dates for the conference are for four days in the last two weeks of July, 1998.

Estimated Budget

These figures are largely based on past experience of similar conferences. All figures are in US$ at an exchange rate of 1$CDN = 0.75$US. Some items such as the social program and the banquet could be made largely self-financing. Communications costs could be controlled by extensive use of e-mail and Internet services.

Revenues Number Amount
Participants 200 * US$300 $ 60,000.00
Sponsored Participants 50 * US$100 $ 5,000.00
Sponsors $ 10,000.00
Total $ 75,000.00
Expenses
Proceedings 500 Copies * 20 $ 10,000.00
Mail, Phone, Fax $ 5,000.00
Personnel $ 5,000.00
Conference Operations $ 10,000.00
Banquet 250 Place * US$40 $ 10,000.00
Social Program 250 Place * US$40 $ 10,000.00
Total $ 50,000.00

Conference Site

The conference site will be in one of three large hotels in Quebec City with the capacity to accommodate this size of conference. At present, the most likely candidate is the Quebec Hilton. Projected room rates are about 100$ single-occupancy with other hotels offering rooms in the range 115$ to 150$, single occupancy. All three offer conference facilities at reduced cost if certain rooom-night targets are met. The Conference operations amount noted above is at the upper end of the range of costs (including meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment, coffee breaks) for these hotels. All of the candidate hotels are within walking distance of each other and of many fine restaurant and tourist facilities as well as other, less expensive accommodation.

Quebec City is accessible by non-stop flights through Montreal and Toronto and there are direct flights from Paris during the summer. The airport is about 20 minutes from the conference site with taxi and hotel transport easily available.

Program

The program will follow the classic format of three and one-half days of mixed plenary and parallel sessions. No specific theme for the conference has been identified yet.

Program and Organization Committees

Program and organizing committees will be organized soon. Several society members have indicated their willingness to participate in one or other of these committees.

Tentative Deadlines

Mail call for abstracts: July 1997
Deadline for abstracts: December 1997
Mail registration forms: February 1998
Deadline for full papers: May 1998
Deadline for pre-registration: June 1998

Proceedings, Final Program and List of Participants

In keeping with the traditions of the Conference, participants in the conference will receive one copy of the Proceedings, the final Program and the list of participants. The proceedings will have a limit of 4 pages per paper with a fee of 30$ per page over this limit to a maximum of 10 pages. The development of a Web-based proceedings should be pursued as a means to reduce Conference costs.

Special Considerations

As I made clear when accepting to try to organize the 1998 Conference, resources both financial and human are very limited in this region. While I expect that the physical running of the conference can be handled well with the support of groups such as those at SUNY-Albany and MIT, the financial side is less clear. In the short term, the hotels require a cash deposit to hold sufficient rooms and facilities available. Since the amounts are not excessive, I could pay the deposit myself with a guarantee of reimbursement out of the proceeds of the conference. In the medium term, some sort of bank account and payment system and signing authority must be established.

Although Society by-laws have specified that the local organizing committee be responsible for losses while splitting profits with the Society, I feel that a more appropriate model in this case would be for the Society to accept responsibility for losses while keeping all profits.

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Last modified: November 02, 2000