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This page has a collection of lessons learnt from previous International Cartographic Conferences (ICCs). It is intended as a resource to support the local organizing committee (LOC) of an ICC.



How many delegates can I expect at my ICC?

It depends... on the city and country, for example. At recent ICCs, there were at least 800 delegates. Official reports, statistics, lists of scholarships, rewards, etc. of previous ICCs and RCCs are recorded on the website of the International Cartographic Association, go to 'ICA conferences and events' on the top menu.

What is the split between local and international delegates?

The biggest group of delegates is usually from the local host country. You can probably count on 300-400 international delegates, and the rest will be from your local host country.

Do you have any advice on a tool for managing registrations?

Scientific programme

When should we send out the first call for papers?

The earlier the call is sent out, the better. This gives time to plan submissions and funding to attend the conference.

Do you have advice or suggestions for a tool to use for managing submissions and reviews?

You are free to use any tool of your choice.
For ICC 2023, [EasyChair] was used. Advantages include that many academics are familiar in EasyChair because it is also used for other conferences. Note that you will probably need to purchase the Professional license for a conference the size of an ICC.
Another (free) option is [Indico], which is used for the RCC, EuroCarto 2024.

Where do we find reviewers for all the abstracts and papers?

The Chairs of Commissions can assist with contact details for Commission members and others in the field of their Commission's topic.

How many presentations should we expect?

Difficult to say, as it depends on the location of the conference. It can be anything between 350 and 800. The number also depends on how involved the local community or a local association is (see also comment about delegates above).

How should we structure the programme into sessions?

Where do we find session chairs, and what is their role?

You can invite ICA Commission Chairs to chair sessions at the ICC, and it is also an opportunity to involve those active in the local community.

How many keynotes should we invite?

What are suitable topics for keynote presentations?


How much space do we need for the Technical Exhibition?

How much space do we need for the International Cartographic Exhibition?

How big should the boards be for maps exhibited in the International Cartographic Exhibition?

The guidelines for the exhibition specify the size (dimensions) of exhibits. You can use this as a guide for the size of the boards.

How much space do we need for the Barbara Petchenik children's map competition?

Usually 150 - 200 items at the maximum size of A3 are exhibited, organised by age groups (4 categories) or (preferably) by country (about 30).

How big should the boards be for maps in the Barbara Petchenik children's map competition?

Since the largest maps are A3 in size, the boards for this exhibition can be smaller.

Should the exhibitions be located in the same venue as the conference?

Yes. You want to get as many as possible people to look at this exhibitions. Ideally, they should be close to the refreshments where many people will see them during the breaks.

Can we allow short presentations for exhibitors, when and where?

Technical Tours

How many technical tours should we arrange?

One technical tour per day is good, more are possible, and it is an option to have the same tour on different days, so that delegates have flexibility for planning on which day to go.
Technical tours should not overlap with keynote presentations and other 'special' sessions such as the opening

How should delegates register for technical tours?

The list of tours should be available at the time of registration and part of the conference registration process. Registering on-site at the conference can be done, although this complicates logistics, and it is better if technical tours are pre-booked.

Pre-conference workshops

How should delegates register for pre-conference workshops?

Preferably, registration for pre-conference workshops should be incorporated into the registration for the overall ICC. Note however that pre-conference workshop attendance is usually free.

What should the LOC provide for the pre-conference workshops (e.g., venue, catering, etc.)?

As there was no budget allocated to the pre-conference workshops for ICC 2023, academic and government institutions were utilised for the pre-conference workshops. The venues therefore differed in terms of the facilities available. It is also useful to have points of contact at the various venues who can assist the commissions with preparations (including catering), especially on the days of the workshops.

When should the pre-conference workshops be scheduled?

As most participants are travelling from abroad, it is beneficial to host workshops as close to the ICC dates as possible in order for them to arrange their travels accordingly. Ideally, on the day before or on the day of the opening ceremony (if it is in the evening). It will further help if the pre-conference workshop dates are available at the time of registration.

Where should the pre-conference workshops take place?

Ideally the pre-conference workshops should take place in venues as close as possible to the ICC, as most participants will be staying in hotels close to the conference venue. However, this may not always be possible. Venues should be accessible via public transport.

Commission business meetings during the ICC

How do we contact the Commission Chairs?

through ICA mail list, contact ICA SG

What kind of venue is suitable for a business meeting?

Any room with capacity min. 15 - 20 persons, possibility of board presentation is welcome, sessions presentation rooms can be used.

Where do we announce the business meetings?

In conference program, on daily announcements, wherever suitable and possible.


What is the most suitable time for the orienteering event?

Ideally, the orienteering event should not overlap too much with the presentations. For example, if the technical sessions end a bit earlier on the Wednesday, the orienteering could take place on the Wednesday afternoon (assuming that conference runs form Monday to Friday). Alternatives are the Tuesday afternoon or Thursday morning, depending on other activities and distance from conference venue.

Where should we organise the orienteering event

Experience has shown that the closer the location of the orienteering event is to the conference venue, the better the attendance. This may not always be possible, in which case it is important that there are transport arrangements for delegates to/from the orienteering venue.

Nobody on the LOC has done orienteering before, where can we find someone to support us with organizing the orienteering?

ICA Vice president Dušan Petrovič can assist with possible locations and connections to local clubs.

How should delegates register for the orienteering, and should they pay a fee for participating?

Ideally, delegates should be able to register for the orienteering event when they register for the conference, but latter registration should also bi possible, especially if organised transport is not offered. Small fee is welcome, also to guarantee the registration.

Gala dinner

Which evening is suitable for the gala dinner?

Usually this is last evening before the closing ceremony on Friday, i.e. the gala dinner usually takes place on Thursday evening.

How should delegates register for the gala dinner?

Ideally, delegates should be able to register for the gala dinner when they register for the conference, and there is an additional fee that they pay for attending the gala dinner.

How many participants can we expect?

Up to 50% of delegates have attended the gala dinner at past ICCs. However, attendance depends on several factors, including the cost of the dinner.


Is the LOC responsible for lunch at the ICC?

No, only in case there are no other suitable options for lunch in close surroundings of venue.

Where should refreshments be served?

Ideally, refreshments should be served in the same venue as the exhibitions to encourage delegates to spend time viewing the exhibitions.