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[ARSCLIST] Forward: ISMIR Host

Dear ARSCLIST owner,

Would you please pass on this message to your list, as it may be of
interest to its members?

Thanks in advance,

Michael Fingerhut
Director, Multimedia Library
(This is sent to multiple lists, our apologies for duplicate


The "ISMIR" series of annual International Conferences on Music
Information Retrieval was started in 2000, and in just three years, it
has grown tremendously both in contents and attendance (for more
details, see the history of ISMIR on the web site
<http://www.ismir.net/>). In accordance with a decision to alternate
locations between the Americas (North, Central, or South America) and
elsewhere, ISMIR 2003 will be held next fall in the United States (see

While a formal call for hosting future conferences (2004 and later)
come out later this year, we would like potential hosts to start
thinking about the idea. So, if you are associated with an institution
outside of the Americas, please consider hosting ISMIR 2004 or 2006;
you are in the Americas, consider 2005.

Should you and your institution be interested in arranging the
conference in 2004, 2005, or 2006, please read the appendices, below,
which give essential information about hosting ISMIR: some approximate
figures for previous conference costs and a list of requirements that
candidate hosts will need to consider and address in their

Interested persons should send e-mail to Don Byrd
We're excited about the future of ISMIR and of the entire music-IR
world, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can work
with you!

--Don Byrd and Kjell Lemstrom, on behalf of the ISMIR Steering


The 2000 and 2001 meetings lasted 2-1/2 days, the 2002 meeting a full
days. All three included posters as well as regular papers; the 2002
meeting added panels, tutorials and exhibits (with parallel tutorials
and panels, and some parallelism in the paper sessions), as well as
official published proceedings. In 2000, 88 people attended (including
conference staff); in 2001, nearly 100; and in 2002, over 180.

ISMIR 2000 cost about $40,000 to put on, of which an NSF grant paid
about $30,000, and registration fees most of the rest. The hotel rate
was about $97 a night, including taxes.

ISMIR 2001 cost about $37,000 to put on (including student travel
and organizing committee and invited speaker travel), of which an NSF
grant funded approximately $27,000 and registration fees the rest. The
hotel rates were about $84-$114, including taxes.

Putting on ISMIR 2002 cost about 88,000 Euros (and 1 Euro
= $1). An NSF grant paid about $40,000 for travel expenses for U.S.
participants. The hotel rates were about 105 Euros a night, including
taxes. For details of ISMIR 2002, please see the conference web site,

Information about ISMIR 2003 costs is not available yet. Hotel and
registration rates, however, will be publicized on the conference web
site (<http://ismir2003.ismir.net/>).

Note that all the above figures are direct costs, and they do _not_
include salaries for the organization staff. Typically, a significant
portion of the budget has gone to pay travel for invited speakers from
all over the world as well as student stipends. In 2001 and 2002, we
fewer invited speakers than in 2000, but awarded many stipends for
travel and so on (ISMIR 2000 had no stipends). Of course, if future
ISMIRs attract more people than previous ones, they may cost
correspondingly more to put on, but increased registration fees should
more than make up for that.


The Steering Committee is planning to follow essentially the same
procedure for deciding the host institution as we did in the past. In
their formal applications to host an ISMIR conference, interested
institutions will be asked to agree to reserve a large number of

(a) in a suitable venue (hotel or other) for a meeting of 3 to 4 days;
(b) at a reasonable rate (see comment below); and
(c) at an appropriate time--probably in October--that doesn't conflict
with other important meetings.

They will also have to:

(d) agree to reserve an adequate number of meeting rooms for the
activities that can accommodate a large enough number of people and,
unless these rooms are very close to the conference hotel, to organize
good transport between the two.
(e) describe resources (funds, people, infrastructure, links to
industry, special fund possibilities, etc.) they can draw on to plan
organize the meeting.
(f) list persons from their organization who attended previous ISMIRs.
Continuity is important; an institution that had no one at a previous
conference is at a major disadvantage.

We generally consider a "reasonable rate" to be a rate not much above
the previous year's. However, it looks like the rate in 2003 will be
around $150, which is much higher than in 2002. This seems to be
unavoidable because hotels in the Baltimore area are all expensive.
Therefore, for 2004, we may expect a rate that's _lower_ than the 2003
rate and not much above the 2002 rate.

Note that some arrangements must be done many months in advance, for
example, reserving a large number of rooms in a hotel. We intend to
announce the site of the ISMIR 2004 conference during the course of
ISMIR 2003. The deadline for formal applications is likely to be
mid-September 2003 at the latest.

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