Site Nomination Process for the Evergreen International Conference
Established by members of the 2010 Site Nomination Committee, updated by the 2012, 2014, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023, and 2025 committees
1. The Conference
The Evergreen International Conference takes place annually, usually during the month of April. Expected attendance is between 175 and 225 attendees, representing Evergreen users, advocates, vendors, and others interested in Evergreen or open source. A varied multiple-track program is offered, attempting to cover many aspects of Evergreen and to appeal to developers, system administrators, consortium leaders, library directors and managers, and front-end library staff.
An attempt will be made to hold the conference in different regions of the United States to enable the widespread Evergreen community a chance to attend. Nominations from outside of the United States are encouraged but the location should appeal and be accessible to a wide number of Evergreen users and supporters.
Hosting a conference
Hosting a conference can be fun and very rewarding, but is also a lot of hard work. There are a number of crucial time-sensitive tasks, such as setting the conference dates and securing a venue, sponsorship recruitment, selecting speakers, and reviewing programs. The final 90 days prior to the conference will be very busy for the Local Arrangements Committee. A conference is also a fiscal commitment that involves building and staying within a very tight budget that allows registration costs to stay reasonable while providing an excellent conference experience for attendees, vendors, and other participants.
The call to host a conference usually goes out approximately 18 months in advance. The criteria and information (outlined below) are requested of all nominations and can be submitted in PDF, Open Office, or any other human-readable format.
2. The Site Selection Committee
The Site Selection Committee is comprised of volunteers from the Evergreen community who will hold one- or two- year terms. Volunteers may serve for multiple terms. Two spots will be reserved for Evergreen vendors.
The Committee work begins by sending out requests for Conference hosting proposals. The call goes out on the evergreen-ils mailing lists, the primary communication mechanism of the Evergreen community. The Site Selection Committee gathers the proposals and ranks them based on:
- the criteria set out in this document;
- the results of investigations to confirm the appeal and cost of potential conference centers;
- and estimates of travel and accommodation costs.
Site Selection Committee members receive and review all submissions individually and then confer to make a final decision. The Committee then awards the conference to the most suitable proposal, usually within 3 weeks of the close date for nominations. Once the host has been determined, the Site Selection Committee works with the Local Arrangement Committee and the Evergreen Conference Standing Committee on a smooth hand-off of responsibilities. The Local Arrangement Committee is responsible for providing regular updates to the Evergreen Project (TEP) Board.
3. The Proposal (NB: Please be as imaginative as you like in your proposal, the Site Selection Committee is willing to consider variations on the following requirements as long as reasons for variations are made clear in your proposal.)
Contact Information Required from all Potential Host Sites:
- Name, organization, phone, and email of contact people
- Name(s) of primary contact(s) for the Local Arrangement Committee. These are the people who will take the lead in organizing the conference.
- Prior experience with hosting conferences
Requirements to be addressed in all Proposals
These requirements should be outlined in as much detail as possible, including contact information for conference centers and hotels, etc. to allow the Site Selection Committee to investigate and confirm information provided. Proposals should include all likely sites.
- A conference facility with an auditorium or similar space suitable for 175-225 persons
- Three or more breakout rooms for 50-80 each and a registration area.
- A dedicated booth space for between 15 and 20 exhibitors in a high-traffic area of the conference. Please detail in your proposal where the exhibit space will be in relation to the rest of the conference spaces.
- Include confirmed availability of all sites for the dates indicated
- The facility must have either a catering company or be able to prepare meals onsite
- Wireless network in the conference facility available to attendees free or sponsored by the conference
- Protocols the conference facility offers for infectious disease prevention, including the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)
- What kind of, if any, cancellation insurance offered by the venue
- A host or hosts willing to manage local arrangements
- A commitment to help keep attendee costs to a minimum (which may require a combination of cost-effective sites, and early, vigorous sponsorship recruitment)
- Usual cost of a return air trip to your city from the following cities: Atlanta GA, Grand Rapids MI, Columbia SC, Indianapolis IN, Austin TX, Boston MA, Hartford CT, Seattle WA, Toronto ON, Winnipeg MB, Vancouver BC, Prague (Czech Republic), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Yerevan (Armenia)
Additional Desirable Qualities for Conference Sites
- Reasonably easy to get to, both cost- and travel-wise
- Some distance away from the last conference site
- Attractive, interesting surroundings
- Restaurants within easy access of the host facility (walking distance, shuttles, etc.)
- Attractive to potential site sponsors (keeping in mind issues such as shipping costs for exhibitor materials, travel costs, etc.)
- Prior experience hosting multi-date user conferences
- Note any other strengths of the local site and the Local Arrangement Committee
Responsibilities of the Hosting Site
Proposals will include comments on the proposed host's ability to do the following:
- Preliminary site visits to the proposed site and hotels
- Managing the program and events planning process
- Arranging and providing information about evening networking opportunities (e.g., interesting and/or good restaurants and bars and/or events)
- Participating in the effort to sign on conference sponsors
- Arrange for at least 1 Local Arrangements Committee member to attend a handover meeting at the end of the previous conference.
- Arrange for 1 Local Arrangements Committee member to act as a consultant (by phone and email) for the next conference planning committee.
- Provide Wi-Fi for up to 225 very active Internet users
Please submit proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 13, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. EDT to qualify.
Typical/Example Conference Schedule
The conference should follow a schedule similar to the one outlined below.
- Wednesday (full day) - Developer Hackfest/Pre-conference/Un-conference and committee meetings
- Thursday (full day) - Conference Day 1: Opening Keynote session, Multi-track presentation sessions, Interest Group meetings
- Friday (full day) - Conference Day 2: Multi-track presentation sessions, Interest Group meetings, "State of Evergreen" report/developer update
- Saturday (half-day) - Strategic planning session/group discussion in one large room; Possible small room available for hacking
- Sessions are usually one hour blocks (45 or 50 minutes). Pre-conference sessions, being more in-depth, are usually 2 hour blocks with two sessions at a time (4 total Pre-conferences) although some conferences have had a four hour Pre-conference with a lunch break in the middle
- One or both of the afternoons should include "Lightning Talk" sessions (5 minute limit–sign up happens at the conference)
- Some conferences have included catered lunches for at least one day, but most have extended the lunch break to accommodate lunch outings
Social Activities have included the following:
- Dine-arounds - typically the evening of Day 1
- Pub Crawl - typically the evening of Day 2
- Coordinated tours of local libraries or other sites of interest
- Gaming spaces and informal hacking time
Expectations of the Local Arrangements Committee
The Local Arrangements Committee is responsible for managing the program and events planning process. Local planners from the host site will work in conjunction with the Conference Standing Committee, which is made up of community volunteers available to advise the host site and assist with planning details.
The Local Arrangements Committee should have a minimum of three people who are willing to be responsible for leading such subcommittees as Programming, Sponsorships, Venue and Entertainment, and Registration. The Local Arrangements Committee should appoint one representative to be the lead. That person is responsible for proactive and timely communication with both the TEP Board and the Evergreen community.
The representative from the Local Arrangements Committee is expected to provide regular conference updates at the monthly meetings of TEP Board, currently scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Thursday of the month. The Board meets via video conference.
The Local Arrangements Committee should strive to stick to the following timeline. This timeline is based on an April conference date and should be adjusted accordingly if the conference is scheduled for a different month.
- May - First draft of conference budget submitted to TEP Board. The hosting site should also seek approval from the Board for any budget changes that increase an expense by at least 10% and decrease income by at least 10%.
- June - Venue agreement reviewed/final negotiations
- August - Sponsorship package submitted to TEP Board for review
- August - Conference web page up on the Evergreen community's website (Which will include program proposals, sponsor recognition, general information about the site/costs/travel, and links to register and book housing)
- September - Issue Call for Program Proposals
- September - First contact with potential Sponsors/Exhibitors
- October - Keynote speaker selected and notified
- October - Pre-conference sessions and presenters need to be set prior to registration, since they have an additional charge
- November - Early Bird Registration available
- November - Program Proposal selection finalized, presenters notified
- December - Program Schedule and rough information about social activities posted to web site
- February - Early Bird Registration closes
- February - Invite next year's Local Arrangements Committee to begin attending committee meetings, if a site has been chosen
- March - Sign-ups (if necessary) for social events posted
- At Conference - Meet with next year's Local Arrangements and Conference Standing Committees to share information/suggestions/resources and to answer questions