Preparing a proposal to run BMVC
This document summarises some of the important components of the British Machine Vision Conference, and suggests a list of points which should be addressed when considering organising the conference. It may also be helpful to refer to the detailed notes on Running BMVC.
The British Machine Vision Conference is the foremost UK computer vision conference, and is considered by many to be the fourth international computer vision conference (in recent years, 70% of papers from outside the UK). It has been running since 1990, with broadly the same format every year, while including many innovations. Below is what would be expected by default, but alternatives will be considered.
It is a single track conference, held over four days, starting on Monday afternoon and ending Thursday, in the first or second week of September. There are usually around 40 oral papers and 90 poster presentations.
Typical expected attendance is about 200 people.
Attendees usually arrive on the Monday, and there is a 3 hour tutorial into some relevant topic on the Monday afternoon.
The conference formally begins Tuesday morning.
Wednesday is designated `Industry Day'. Exhibitors from industry are encouraged to show their wares and to attend to see what is going on at the cutting edge of the field (one of the BMVA's roles is to encourage collaboration and information flow between academia and industry).
The conference dinner is held on Wednesday evening.
The conference usually ends at lunchtime on Thursday, but may extend to the end of the day depending on the number of accepted papers.
There are usually two invited speakers from overseas, who are given slots first thing on Tuesday morning and first thing either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the programme. All invited speaker expenses are paid, but there is no honorarium.
The conference fee is traditionally inclusive of accomodation, proceedings and food.
It is highly desirable that all attendees are housed close together, and ideally close to the lecture theatre. BMVC is usually held at a University, with attendees staying in student accomodation. In cases where the accomodation is more than a 15 minute walk from the lecture theatre, coaches should be laid on. However, it is generally much preferred that everything is in walking distance.
- Possibly a lunch for those arriving for the tutorial
- Evening meal (for those who arrive in time)
- Breakfast/Lunch/Evening meal
- Breakfast/Lunch + Conference dinner
- Breakfast, Lunch (though perhaps 50% will leave before lunch)
- Lecture Theature seating at least 200, but preferably no more than 400 (other wise it may start to look empty)
- Space for posters, demonstations, industrial exhibitors, refreshment dispensing (ideally in the same large space)
- Availability of computers for web/email access
- Wireless network access
- A room on the Monday evening for the BMVA Company meeting and the paper prize selection meeting (no more than 20 people)
From 2009, there will no longer be paper proceedings. However, there will be a USB stick and a Book of Abstracts.
Preparing a Budget
It is necessary to prepare a budget to estimate the costs of the conference. Budgets of recent conferences can be provided to give a useful starting point.
It is important to have a firm statement from the head of department, or university finance officer, that the presented budget includes no hidden costs. In particular, the VAT status of the conference must be confirmed, and any overhead the university may charge should be clear at the outset. An example statement is provided.
Key costs to consider are:
- Accommodation fees (also check availability of rooms and cancellation fees)
- Lecture room hire
- Conference website administration (currently we use CMT which is free)
- Conference dinner (venue hire, price per head,transport costs)
- Catering (tea/coffee, lunches if not at accomodation etc)
- Printing of full-colour book of abstracts
- Advertising budget
The proposal should include a floorplan of the various spaces that will be used, as well as a map of the local area if the proposal is multi-site.
Student bursaries were originally part of the conference budget, but are now funded by the BMVA.
The budget should be broken into fixed costs and per-delegate costs, and projected profit/loss considered for various price points. Typically the break even should be at around 180 delegates, but pricing for breakevens of 150,180,200,220 should also be included.
The BMVA fully (and solely) underwrites the conference, for which it expects to recieve all the conference profit. The BMVA is a charity devoted to promoting computer vision in the UK, and the BMVC is its main source of income.
The conference paper review committee will be predominantly made up of the programme chairs, and a set of area chairs typically drawn from the UK and Europe, although with virtual committee meetings, a fully international panel may be appointed. Some overlap with previous meetings is encouraged but new blood is also recommended.