Conference program

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Guidelines for producing an excellent conference program.

Parallel workshops, single track conference is a good structure.


  • Workshops are described in detail on the page for Conference workshops
  • Workshops should cover the scope of interest of NeIC and its stakeholders, based on advice from the program reference group and proposals from the communities.
  • The program committee should have a publicly announced call for workshop proposals, but can also invite workshop organizers directly.

Conference sessions

  • Conference sessions should cover the scope of interest of NeIC and its stakeholders, based on advice from the program reference group.


  • Intro-talk-talk-talk-end is good enough for most sessions.
  • Panel debate (please choose another topic than systems and locations).
  • Talkshow.
  • Inventory of interests (possibly good early on at conference?)

Possible topics:

  • Not systems and location again.
  • New areas for collaboration.
  • Inventory of initiatives that could be opened for Nordic participation.
  • Inventory of trainings.

Lessons learned


  • Make preliminary workshop room assignment immediately as the venue is settled, and change it as necessary.
  • Work is not finished until conference is over. Tune down frequency an lengh of meetings, but do not cancel them. Allocate time for monitoring of developments (cancellations etc)
  • Set up a private working area for program committee and reference group.
  • Publish confirmed info to the official conference website as soon as possible.


  • More user perspective is useful.
    • This allows constructive criticism of e-i activities; new inputs, new opportunities of focused improvement.
    • Should have at least one researcher presenting in each session.
  • In fact, in each session we should have one user presentation, one tech presentation, and one strategic presentation.
  • Should have more hands-on workshops / tutorials.
    • We did have centre operations competition, security workshop, easybuild hands-on.
    • Very time consuming. Need full days.
    • Having multiple workshop tracks quickly becomes problematic, as interests clash.
    • This could attract more users to the event; for example profiling your scientific program, data management.
  • Political panel debate has been the least favourably evaluated session in the past. Proposals for alternatives:
    • User panel, ventilate their experiences with using e-i services, and enumerate their needs for changes.
    • Fish bowl discussions (hard in auditorium).
    • Get funders / users to sit in audience and get panel to motivate their spending.
    • Get a journalist, professional entertainer or other complete outsider as chair. Does not need to maintain civil relations to panelists. Problem with finding such a person that still understands the issues.
    • Drop session; replace with normal session.
    • NeIC session; not include much NeIC content in other sessions, which are used as inspiration and motivation for activities. Last session presents what NeIC is doing to address the issues. Only populate to 50% and then invite a discussion on what NeIC should be doing instead/in addition.
    • Summary session; workshop organizers welcome to submit 2 slides of summary to be presented in plenary. This will be extremely good reporting, as it will be how workshop organizers wish to present their case to the Nordic audience.
    • Birds-of-a-feather presentation session. Have open BOF room to spontaneously BOF, need booking schedule (short slots!) with names, email and topics so people can join. Task is to produce one slide to be presented in final session.
    • In NeIC2013 we had smaller, shorter, more focused panel debates at the end of sessions, with only speakers and chair, allowing only 1-2 questions.
  • Maybe we should have 2 parallel conference tracks. Off-track could have BOF, board meeting.
    • Nope! We do not want to pull VIPs out of the plenary.


  • Colour code workshops: technical, user community, strategic... To help registrants choose interesting workshops, etc.