City Health Conferences

Information for Prospective Conference Hosts

 

This document provides information for prospective local hosts for City Health[1] conferences. If your organisation is interested in hosting a future conference, please read it carefully and then submit a proposal to City Health International. There is no application form but we invite you to submit an outline proposal – no more than 4 pages – which addresses the areas identified below.

Once we have your proposal, we will contact you to discuss it in more detail before making a decision on whether the event you propose is viable.

If you have any initial queries prior to submitting your proposal, please contact Paddy Costall This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will be happy to try and help.

What is City Health International?

Founded in 2012 City Health International is a network of individuals and organisations engaged in the study of and response to structural health issues and health behaviours in the urban environment.

For the first time in history the majority of the world’s population now live in urban environments and the proportion continues to grow. As national governments struggle to deal with the pressures and demands of growing urban populations against a backdrop of financial deficits and uncertainty, it is increasingly left to those working at a city level to provide the leadership and support needed to tackle key health issues.

We are likely to see further challenges to urban quality of life in the next decades. These circumstances have given rise to a large number of imaginative and creative ‘bottom-up’ community responses to meet needs in relation to health and well-being.

Much urban health research and planning has been focussed on the impact of the physical environment and has not been cross-sectoral, or multidisciplinary. Nor does it focus on how urban population health behaviours might be influenced to reduce morbidity and mortality and improve the quality of life, health and well-being.

The focus of City Health International is on health and well-being. We concentrate on health behaviours – including alcohol and drug use, diet, sexual behaviour, violence – and the structural factors that affect health behaviours, including housing, migration and tourism; and we employ an ‘inclusive’ approach, engaging with NGOs, community projects, advocacy groups, as well as academics, policy makers and those who deliver services and interventions.

Key to the whole concept of City Health International is robust adherence to an evidence-based approach, placing the relationship between academics, practitioners, advocates and policy makers at the centre of all we do.

The collaborative approach is designed to encourage engagement at all levels, from individuals working on projects within communities, to community advocates, to academics, to those charged with policy development and implementation.

In its work City Health International uses a number of means and media to engage and communicate with members and collaborators, including the City Health International Group established on Linked-In(http://tinyurl.com/9rvj375) dialogue via Twitter ( @CityHealthInt) and other social media. We work with colleagues at local/national/regional levels to organise and contribute to seminars and dialogues, addressing topics of special interest. In addition there is an annual conference, in a different location each year, which examines current policy and practice in relation to public health and health behaviours in cities.

The Conferences

The inaugural City Health Conference was held in London, in October 2012. There are archive sites for each of the events to date, which can be accessed from the website http://cityhealthinternational.org/conferences/archived

The delegate numbers will be 250 – 500 for each event[2] , with the majority likely to be locally, nationally or regionally based.

The formal programme will take place over two full days, with the scope for pre- and post-conference satellite meetings, training, or visits to services locally.

In deciding on future destinations there are certain basic requirements to be satisfied, in terms of venue and services, organisational, financial and political support necessary to off-set any potential risks to City Health International. This document describes these requirements and provides other information for those organisations interested in being hosts for future editions of the conference.

Your Proposal

It is often best for a group of organisations to work collaboratively in preparing a proposal, with one organisation taking the lead, as this spreads the workload and possibly also any potential risk in seeking to host the conference. In terms of the make-up of any collaboration/consortium it might include governmental bodies – local and national - academic institutions, NGOs – including service providers, consumers/users and advocacy organisations – tourist and trade associations, each of which can lend added value to a proposal.

In the proposal the lead organisation should be identified, along with the name and contact details for the lead individual who will negotiate with City Health International. Please also describe the capacity of each of the organisations to provide organisational/infrastructural support to developing and producing the conference. This might include providing personnel to assist with administrative tasks/on-site management at the conference, providing members for conference committees, facilities locally – meeting rooms, office facilities, etc.

Rationale for the Destination

Please provide a brief rationale as to why the conference should be held in your chosen destination, identifying any particular achievements and examples of innovative policy and/or practice that delegates might learn from, potential for learning/development/capacity building the conference might support locally and importantly legacy for the conference locally and nationally/regionally.

It would also be helpful to have a brief summary of the accessibility of the destination – transport links, any visa restrictions/costs that might impact on delegates attending, etc.

Financial Support Available

To ensure that the conference is viable and affordable for delegates attending we require local support, both financial and political.

City Health International has relationships with a number of donors and other sponsors and exhibitors, but these are not alone sufficient to support the financial requirements of the conference. In order to maintain delegate fees at an affordable and attractive level we require core funding of $50,000/£30,000 per conference. This funding supports personnel, travel and other infrastructural costs to stage the event.

We ask you to consider where contributions towards the core costs might be sought and, where possible, to secure commitments/declarations of intent from these sources. At the least we need details of a strategy to secure the required funds which includes details of the sources approached/to be approached, with an assessment of the likely outcome (on a scale of 1-5, with five being the most likely) together with reasons for this assessment.

In thinking about potential sources of funding you should consider local and national governmental sources, regional funds (UN family, international NGOs, etc) foundations/charities and commercial sponsors/exhibitors. In addition you might approach tourist boards and trade organisations, on the basis that delegates, most requiring hotels and local transportation, as well as spending money in the local economy, represents a significant commercial opportunity.

In some instances we would be happy to receive ‘goods in kind’ in lieu of money, where these can off-set some of the costs of the conference – for example providing a conference dinner or reception, providing delegate bags, printing conference materials, etc.

Political Support

Obviously high level political support for the conference can make its development and delivery run smoothly. The active support of city authorities is essential and it is advisable to secure this at an early stage, particularly if any degree of persuasion might be required. City Health International is happy to assist with this in any way that might be appropriate, including meeting key personnel during site visits.

The patronage of city leaders, as well as their participation in the event, can lend significant weight to the proceedings and result in more widespread publicity locally. Again having a commitment in a mayor’s diary at an early stage is a significant advantage in this.

It also helps to have national government support and involvement – particularly health, social affairs and justice ministries – and again dates in diaries for ministers and officials can be an advantage in the latter stages of planning the programme for the conference.

An assessment of the level of support available at an early stage would be helpful. Where any potential problems are identified, please advise how you think these might be addressed, including how the organisers might be able to assist.

Finally in this section, please provide details about how you will provide support to the organisers’ media team in the promotion, publicity and reporting of the conference, prior to, during and after the event itself.

Venue

The proposed venue - which could be a hotel, university, community resource, or other type - needs to be located in or near to the hotel(s) being used by delegates and also to be accessible by public transport for those locally based. Dates (year) when it might be available (preferably in October/November) should be provided.

For the sessions in the programme the venue needs to have one auditorium able to accommodate all of the anticipated number of delegates. This will be used for the opening and closing sessions, as well as for the plenary sessions during the conference. In addition a minimum of one breakout room [3] , able to accommodate 50% of the total number of delegates will be required, being used alongside the main room for parallel sessions.

Additional rooms available for hire by groups attending to hold side meetings would be a welcome addition, although this is not essential.

Rooms used for the formal programme will require a basic a/v set-up:

  • projector, screen and laptop
  • stage with table and 4/5 chairs plus lectern
  • 3 x table microphones, one lectern microphone, 2 x roving microphones

The venue will also require:

  • an area for the registration of delegates
  • ability to provide catering services and space for refreshments and lunch to be served comfortably to allow for networking
  • space to accommodate a number of exhibitors and posters (minimum 25) – ideally co-located with the refreshment and lunch location
  • access to an office (phone/fax, photocopier/printer) for conference staff – including the media team
  • (ideally free) Wi-Fi/internet cafe for delegates

Please provide indicative costs for the facilities and services. Some balancing of costs against level of services may be required at a later stage in planning.

Hotel Accommodation

International delegates and speakers attending, as well as some from the locale, will require hotel accommodation for the duration of the event, with some wishing to extend their stays, both pre- and post-conference. An indication of available hotel accommodation in proximity to the conference venue – together with information about any possible discounts available for delegates – would be helpful.

Ideally the booking of hotels can be handled by a single company, providing preferential rates to delegates directly. It would be helpful to know if such a company would be available to undertake this task.

Visas

Many delegates attending from outside of the country will require visas. It would be helpful to know who will provide the necessary letters of invitation, the costs of visas and any restrictions applied to other countries.

Other Services/Activities

Printing – costings for printing locally the conference reader (24/32 pages) with colour cover and black and white inside (300 and 500 copies) [4] .

Delegate Bags – cost to provide bags for delegates (printed with conference logo) [5] .

Networking Events – ideally we would like to hold one networking event, possibly a welcome reception for delegates, either the day before the conference, or on the first evening. This could be a sponsored event, or hosted by the local organising group.

The contents of this document are intended as a guide to preparing a proposal and there may be other things you might wish to include. If you would like to discuss a proposal before formal submission, please contact Paddy Costall This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will be happy to assist.

We thank you for your interest and look forward to receiving your proposal.


[1] The naming rights for all the conferences are retained by Knowledge•Action•Change

[2] This is dependent upon the potential local constituency for the conference, which will vary from one locale to another

[3] 2/3 additional rooms would be advantageous

[4] This is something that might be sourced as ‘goods in kind’

[5] This is something that might be sourced as ‘goods in kind’