Conference workshops

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This page describes the NeIC way and stance on conference workshops.

NeIC conference workshops are hosted by the conference and organized by interested communities. Each workshop has one person - the workshop organizer - who is responsible for the planning, execution and reporting of the workshop.

Workshop organizer responsibilities

In order to have a successful event that will inspire and connect people, the workshop organizer has a number of responsibilities that are described on the Conference organization page:

Conference organization#Workshop_organizer

Content and format

The workshop should be an external facing event with wide appeal, to attract a wide audience where new ideas and connections can be formed and new collaborations forged. Workshop organizers are engaged based on excellence and long experience with the field, and are therefore trusted to have the best knowledge on how best to achieve this. They therefore have a great degree of freedom in selecting the best content and formats that are the most suitable for their field. Workshop organizers are nonetheless warmly welcome to brainstorm content, topics, people and formats with other workshop organizers and the conference program committee.

Possible formats:

  • Speed dating.
  • Cafee style group discussions on concrete issue, with task to present outcome in plenary.
  • Discuss concrete issues (for example, how do you do advanced user support at CSC vs NSC).
  • Hands-on training.
  • Hackathon.
  • Panel discussion.
  • Demos of prototypes/production services.
  • Talk-talk-talk-coffee, Talk-talk-talk-end (boring :-).

Examples, audience and scope:

  • Users/researchers
    • Tech/training: how to profile and optimize your scientific code so it runs faster/better.
    • Tech/strategic: this is how we use e-infrastructure, and this is how we need it to improve.
    • Strategic: set up a new project, draft project directives...
  • e-infrastructure
    • New technologies
    • Usage statistics, collection and presentation


The workshop report should not aim to be lengthy or exhaustive, but should rather aim be short and concise. The aim is to make it easier to arrange a similar event in the future, and to enable follow-up on good ideas born in the workshop with concrete action. What lessons were learned in planning of the workshop, and what were the important findings in the workshop? What was good about the format? Did the event attract the right people? If not, what changes could have promoted better coverage? What new ideas for collaboration were spawned in the workshop? What needs for services? NeIC will provide templates for reporting.


NeIC does not cancel registration fees nor reimburse travel expenses or work hours for workshop organizers, as these are seen as performing this function within their normal duties in their home organization.

However, there may be room in the conference budget to cancel registration fees and reimburse travel expenses for invited external high-profile speakers, provided that they are of sufficient added value to the workshop. This decision is made by the conference project manager, and will be made on a case-by-case basis. The recommendation is to keep this in moderation, and preferably try to engage speakers who are already invited for the main event.

Lessons learned

  • To facilitate engagement between workshop organizers, set up an video meetings for enrolled persons, and provide a collaboration space on the NeIC internal wiki.
  • Ensure participants are well informed about what is required from them both in order to be able to contribute to the workshop, and to get the best possible value out of it. Consider doing do at least one of:
    • Send out a pre-workshop survey, in order to assess the background knowledge among the participants.
    • Invite to a pre-workshop meeting (for example a video meeting) to establish the goals and purposes of the workshop, and the requirements for participation.