Call for Proposals: COCE 2021 & 2023 Hosts

The IECA's picture
Type of Call: 
Call for conference hosting proposals
March 31, 2019


The International Environmental Communication Association (IECA) requests expressions of interest, followed by full proposals from IECA members at universities and other institutions that wish to host the biennial Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) in 2021 and 2023.

Typically, conferences alternate between Europe (2017, 2021) and North America (2019, 2023) since these are where the majority of IECA members live. That means shorter travel distances for most delegates and consequently a lower environmental impact for the conference. That said, we are open to other possible locations.

Information about past COCEs can be found here:

COCE Details and Suggestions

  • Recent COCEs have had 250-350 delegates, mostly from Europe and North America, but with participants from all regions of the world. Delegates are a mix of academics, practitioners, students and artists.
  • Some COCE delegates participate virtually in order to avoid travel impacts. We hope to increase the proportion of virtual delegates in order to reduce the conference’s environmental impact.
  • COCE is typically held in June because this is when most academics are not teaching and members' children are out of school.
  • The conference runs from Monday to Thursday, with optional excursions on Friday. This minimizes work on weekends.
  • Ideally, pre-conferences and workshops would happen on the Monday and end before 4PM. This ensures that participants can make it back for the customary Keynote address that kicks off the conference (see the next note).
  • The conference proper usually begins on Monday with a Keynote at 5PM.
  • The keynote is usually followed by a reception in the room where the posters and artworks are displayed. Past surveys of participants have shown us that attendees enjoy time to talk about the Keynote address and socialize early on in the conference.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are full-day sessions, usually starting with a keynote, followed by 3 sessions of up to 6 parallel breakout panels, ending before 6PM.
  • Lunches as well as morning and afternoon refreshment breaks should be provided on site Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
  • A special conference dinner should be held on Tuesday or Wednesday night. Surveys of participants demonstrate that this is a particularly enjoyable part of the conference.
  • Special programming such as a film screening, pub night, or engagement with the local community could be scheduled for the night (Tuesday or Wednesday) that the conference dinner is not being held.
  • Optional Friday excursions would ideally include 1 or 2 related to environmental communication as well as 1 or 2 of general interest.
  • As much as possible, we follow green conference good practices that include reducing waste, emphasizing plant-based food, minimizing paper use, etc.
  • It will also be very helpful to have access to volunteers to help before and during the conference.

Meeting rooms required:

  • 1 seminar room for the IECA Board to meet in on Monday afternoon and for use thereafter for conference coordinating, storage of registration materials, etc. Must be lockable at night and in close proximity to the meeting rooms (Monday-Thursday).
  • 1 or 2 rooms totaling around 1500-2000 square feet (140-185 square meters) for the registration table, posters, artwork, publisher displays, etc. and the refreshment breaks. Room(s) must be lockable at night and in close proximity to the other meeting rooms (Monday-Thursday).
  • 1 auditorium, seating 300 people for plenary keynotes, with A/V setup (Monday-Thursday for 2 hour blocks per above).
  • 6 breakout rooms, seating 30-60 people for parallel sessions, with A/V setup, preferably some with flexible seating and tables, all in close proximity to each other (Tuesday-Thursday).
  • Rooms for pre-conference events (specific requirements vary, Monday).
  • All rooms should have fast, reliable Wi-Fi access. This is especially important for our virtual participants.

Accommodation required:

  • Low cost rooms in close proximity to meeting site for student delegates and those with limited budgets (campus dorms for example).
  • A variety of other nearby accommodation options.
  • It is important that accommodation be relatively close to the meeting space.

Conference hosts will work closely with The IECA Executive Director and Conference Committee in planning all aspects of the conference.

The IECA will take primary responsibility for the logistical aspects of the following:

  • Conference website
  • Submissions, review and program development
  • Contracting with invited speakers
  • Conference registration

The local host will take primary responsibility for the logistical aspects of the following:

  • Arrangements with host institution
  • Meeting spaces, including technology
  • Virtual participation
  • Food/catering for meals and breaks
  • Identifying suitable accommodations
  • Providing invitations to those who need visas
  • Volunteers during the conference
  • Greening initiatives
  • Excursions

Guidelines for Proposals

For COCE 2021, preliminary expressions of interest should be sent to IECA Executive Director Mark Meisner (mark at theieca dot org). by February 28, 2019. At that time, we can discuss details, answer questions, etc. before completion of the full proposal.

Full proposals for COCE 2021 should be submitted by March 30, 2019. Proposals should address each point below.

  1. Host: Specify who is making the proposal, including individuals and institutions involved. If hosted by an institution, please include a letter of support from the institution’s leadership as an appendix to the proposal.
  2. Dates: Specify possible and preferred dates for COCE that work for your institution and location. This can often depend on availability of space and accommodation.
  3. Location: Explain what conference delegates would enjoy or benefit from when visiting your city/region/institution. In other words, what makes it a desirable place to hold the conference. This can include people, organizations, geography, history, etc.
  4. Venue: Describe where the conference will take place, including your site’s meeting spaces/rooms, Internet access, possibilities for teleconferencing with virtual participants, etc.
  5. Food: Explain who would be providing lunches and refreshment breaks, sustainable food options, and how they would be delivered.
  6. Dinner: Explain where the conference dinner would be held and what would make it a great experience for delegates.
  7. Greening: Provide details of how your site, caterers, etc. would undertake good practices for green conferences.
  8. Travel: Describe how conference participants would travel to your location, including airport, coach, train, and public transportation information.
  9. Accommodation: Describe possible conference lodging such as hotels, dormitories, and other options.
  10. Excursions: Describe any thematic tours or local sightseeing options that scholars and practitioners of environmental communication might be interested in.
  11. Funding: Describe possible financial support from your institution, grants, or other sources.
  12. Budget: Provide a breakdown of the costs of the conference using the following template (adjust as necessary)

VARIABLE EXPENSES (per delegate)

  • Delegate Package (badge, swag)
  • Reception, including drinks (1)
  • Refreshment breaks (6)
  • Lunches (3)
  • Conference dinner, including drinks (1)


  • Seminar/Board meeting room (1 room - 4 days)
  • Poster/Artwork/Publisher display room (1 room - 4 days)
  • Plenary lecture hall (1 room - 4 2-hour sessions)
  • Breakout rooms (6 rooms - 3 days)
  • Pre-conference rooms
  • Insurance
  • Display boards for posters, etc.
  • Signage and Printing
  • Administrative charges
  • Other

We would like to have a Memorandum of Understanding with the COCE 2021 host by May 31, 2019 and be able to announce the COCE 2021 location at COCE 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Meisner (mark at theieca dot org). Thank you for considering hosting COCE.