Invitation to Host the
5th Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium
The first Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium (APCRS) was held in Hong Kong in June 2006 with around 300 participants. Since then, the Symposium has been held every four years and has grown in size, with more than 500 participants attending the subsequent meetings in Phuket, Thailand in June 2010 and Kenting Taiwan in June 2014. The fourth APCRS in Cebu from June 4 to 8, 2018 expects participants to exceed 500.
The symposium is sponsored by the Asia Pacific Coral Reef Society (APCoRS). An International Organizing Committee is formed to oversee the general running of the symposium, but the main responsibility of organizing, including fund raising, lies with the Local Organizing Committee of the host institution.
Interested institutions in the Asia Pacific Region are now invited to submit bids to host the Fifth APCRS in 2022. Bids received before the deadline will be evaluated by the Steering Committee during the 4th APCRS. All bids are to be submitted to the Local Organizing Committee before 5pm of Tuesday June 5th. To assist with the preparation of bids, some background information about the structure of APCRS and a guide on what to prepare in the bid submission are provided.
Decision on the successful bid will be made before the end of the 4thAPCRS and will be announced at the closing ceremony. The successful host will give a 10-minute presentation at the closing ceremony on Friday, June 8, 2018.
The 3rd APCRS at Pingtung, Taiwan in June 2010 (Photo from the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Taiwan)
The 2nd APCRS at Phuket, Thailand in June 2006 (Photo from theRamkhamhaeng University)
II. Structure of APCRS
The general structure of APCRS as described is not rigid. The successful host institution and Local Organizing Committee have much freedom at introducing variabilities in the format.
The symposium covers a period of five days, from Monday to Friday. In every symposium so far, there are invited talks in the form of keynote and plenary lectures. There are also concurrent sessions of mini-symposia, contributed talks, poster sessions and student competitions. Awards are given to students with the best oral presentations and the best poster presentations.
There are three social events for all participants, including an ice breaker night before the formal start of the symposium, a welcome dinner on Monday, the first day of symposium and a symposium banquet on Thursday, before the end of the symposium on Friday. There is also a special event for students, called the students’ night. Programs for accompanying persons are also organized with a variety of activities to cater for everyone. There are also mid-symposium tours organized on Wednesday. Mid-symposium tours in the last few symposia included diving tours to local points of interests, e.g. MPAs etc., or tour to fish market, local hotspots and sites of special scientific interest, including touristic and historical sites. Pre- or post-symposium tours are also made available, but most of these can be arranged through local travel agents or by participants themselves.
The first symposium was held at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Different types of accommodation were available, including dormitories, university guest houses and local hotels. The second, third and the upcoming fourth symposia were/is held in a hotel venue in tourist hotspots where different types of accommodation were/are available.
The symposium registration fee of the symposium is kept low with the aim of attracting more participation from the Asia Pacific region, from students to scientists, from fishers to park managers. Students are given discounted registration fees. Local organizers are also encouraged to provide subsidy to student and regular participants who may need support to attend the meeting.
As the symposium increases in size, it is very important to seek government, university or other sources of support to ensure the smooth running of the symposium.
The official language of APCRS is English.
III. GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING THE BID TO HOST THE 5TH APCRS
The presenter(s) should prepare Powerpoint slides with detail information of the following:
1. Theme of the 5th APCRS
The general theme of the 5th APCRS should be provided, but specific theme may be modified and finalized nearer to the symposium.
2. Time of 5th APCRS
The 5th APCRS is expected to be held in 2022. Although the past APCRS’s were held in June, it is not necessary that the 5th APCRS should also be in June. However, considering factors like weather, school term, tourist season, June appears to be an appropriate time to meet. The potential host may consider June as an appropriate time. The exact date could be negotiated with APCoRS Steering Committee and also with the International Organizing Committee that will be formed subsequently.
3. Venue of 5th APCRS
The first APCRS was held in a university setting, but the subsequent ones were held in hotels. The venue of the 5th APCRS is therefore flexible, but the underlying principle is the same, which is to keep the cost as low as possible.
One very important factor to consider is that the venue should have facilities like meeting rooms and dining place large enough to support at least 500 people. There should be a meeting room large enough to accommodate all participants at the plenary and/or keynote talk, at least four meeting rooms for 100 to 200 people each for the concurrent sessions. The availability of all audio-visual facilities is expected in all these rooms together with relevant support personnel. Smaller meeting rooms should also be available for workshops, side meetings as well as to serve as viewing room for presentation, and the office of the secretariat during the meeting. Free Wifi is expected to be available at the symposium venue.
A large enough space for the poster session (150 - 200 posters) is also needed. Posters are expected to be put up for viewing throughout the duration of the meeting. A dining place for participants during lunch is needed, as lunch is normally provided during the meeting (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, assuming Wednesday is the day for the mid-symposium tour). There should also be enough space for people to move around during tea/coffee breaks.
4. Access to the Conference Venue
The main Conference Venue should be easily accessible from major airports in the Asia Pacific Region. Long distance local travel, in terms of time and different transport facilities, is not preferred.
- 5. Accommodation around the Conference Venue
It is strongly encouraged that other inexpensive accommodation within reasonable distance of the main Conference Venue be available. Some information on this should be provided, including the costs of such accommodation (in projected 2022 value).
6. Registration Fee
Registration fee is kept as low as possible. Registration fees of the 4th APCRS in Cebu, Philippines may be used as a reference. It is expected that the registration fees for the 5th APCRS should not depart significantly.
7. Funding Support
- With the size of APCRS, it is necessary to secure funding support from the national or local government or both to host the meeting. Any other sources of support are welcomed. It is important that the potential host should be able to provide some form of assurance, from the government or other sponsors, the availability of support to host the APCRS. It is important to note that subsidy for needy students or other participants should be made available. The Local Organizing Committee should also be prepared to shoulder the cost for the various awards, including the Best Student Oral and Poster Presentations.
8. Local Organizing Committee
It is important to provide a list of members of the Local Organizing Committee and their institutional affiliation(s). Some potential members could still be added in the future but the main person responsible, i.e. the person expected to be the Chair of the Local Organizing Committee should be clearly identified.
9. Contributions to APCoRS
As of this moment, the Asia Pacific Coral Reef Society (APCoRS) does not charge any membership fee from participants of APCRS. This situation could change depend on the decision of the APCoRS council in the future. APCoRS also does not have any revolving fund to support APCRS.
10. Any other matters
Other matters may arise or additional/ more specific questions may be raised during the presentation by the potential host of the next APCRS.