ICIS Site Selection Procedures

The purpose of this document is to provide potential ICIS bidders with a reference on the bid process. While there are many components of ICIS that are the direct responsibility of the Conference Committee, there are many aspects that must adhere to the respective practices that are described in this document. Running a large conference such as ICIS is complex, and the experience from previous chairs and administrators embedded in this document should be leveraged. The opportunity to give the community a valuable learning event as well as the occasion to share the advantages of your chosen location should be considered an honor, while at the same time be a rewarding experience for the entire Conference Committee.Download a PDF version of this page.

The International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) is the premier annual research conference in the information systems discipline. Each year, ICIS attracts more than 1200 attendees from over 40 countries. It is conducted under the auspices of the Association for Information Systems (AIS). ICIS is held at different sites throughout the world. AIS academic members with leadership experience take responsibility for organizing the Conference with significant support from AIS staff members.

ICIS is held around the second week of December each year. ICIS usually starts with an opening reception on Sunday evening and finishes at noon on Wednesday. Because of the holiday season and airplane and/or hotel conflicts, ICIS may be held on a Wednesday to Saturday schedule.

A Doctoral Consortium is held in conjunction with ICIS. Forty doctoral students are selected from nominations received from universities around the world. Universities are invited to nominate one student for the Consortium. Ten international academics are invited to act as Faculty members for the Consortium. If ICIS is held on a Sunday to Wednesday time schedule, the Consortium starts on the Thursday evening before the Conference and ends at Sunday lunchtime.

The ICIS Executive Committee is responsible for recommending Bid Committees for future Conferences to the AIS Council by following these ICIS Site Selection Procedures. The ICIS Executive Committee at its December meeting (held prior to the ICIS conference) selects Bid Committee four years in advance of the date of each Conference (i.e., bids for ICIS in December of year X will be considered in December of year X-4) and recommends the selected Bid Committee to the AIS Council, which makes the final decision. A general outline for regional rotation of ICIS is available on the AIS web site ( This outline gives the desired AIS region (1, 2, or 3) for each year. Bids to hold the conference in this region will be given first consideration, but bids to hold the conference in other regions will also be considered.

The ICIS Site Advisory Committee (SAC) solicits bids to host ICIS, assists Bid Committees in developing bids, and advises the ICIS Executive Committee on the merits of each bid. It is comprised of the following five individuals, all members of the Conferences Committee:

  • AIS Vice President of Meetings and Conferences (Chair)
  • Immediate Past Chair of the ICIS Executive Committee
  • Immediate Past Program Chair or a former Program Co-Chair
  • A past Doctoral Consortium faculty member or other suitable person
  • AIS Executive Director

If any of the individuals listed above are ineligible or decline to be members of the SAC, the AIS Vice President of Meetings and Conferences will appoint a replacement with the experience and expertise to provide high-quality advice and feedback to Bid Committees and the ICIS Executive Committee.

A SAC member may not be directly or indirectly associated with any bid being considered by SAC. A SAC or ICIS Executive Committee member may not accept any gifts, benefits, or other considerations from any party in connection with any bid being considered.

SAC Responsibilities:

The SAC has three main responsibilities:

  1. The SAC has the responsibility of soliciting bids for ICIS within the region specified in the regional rotation or outside this region if no bidders can be identified within the region. The Chair of SAC will coordinate the efforts of the members of SAC in soliciting bids. Members of SAC will contact individuals at locations who might be interested in forming Bid Committees and will invite them to bid. Individuals not contacted by the SAC are encouraged to bid but should contact the SAC Chair for advice on bidding. Neither the Bid Committees nor the SAC will solicit information from hotels or conference facilities at bid locations. Rather, this activity will be the responsibility of the AIS office after an Intent to Bid is received by the AIS office (see below).
  2. The SAC has the responsibility of assisting Bid Committees in preparing and revising bids. Prior to bid deadlines, Bid Committees are encouraged to contact the SAC with questions about bidding. During the bid process, the SAC will provide feedback to Bid Committees as outlined in the schedule below.
  3. The SAC has the responsibility of advising the ICIS Executive Committee on the strengths and weaknesses of each bid as outlined in the schedule below.

The following schedule for submitting bids and selecting the site to host ICIS in year X will be followed in year X-4 unless modified by the SAC Chair:

  • By 1 May: SAC solicits Preliminary Bids for ICIS.
  • By 1 June: Chairs of the Conference Bid Committees (Bid Chairs) complete the Intent to Bid form online at the AIS web site (the URL for this site is included in the invitation to bid). Upon receipt of the Intent to Bid, the AIS office will assist the Bid Chairs in preparing their preliminary bid, including gathering information about hotel and conference facilities at the proposed site.
  • By 1 August: Bid Chairs prepare a Preliminary Bid and send it as an email attachment to the SAC Chair. The Preliminary Bid must in Word or pdf format.
  • By 15 August: SAC assesses each Preliminary Bid and the SAC Chair provides Bid Chairs with feedback and bid changes requested.
  • After 15 August: SAC Chair informs all prospective bidders of the other sites that are competing for ICIS. Only the names of General Conference Chairpersons and the proposed conference city will be provided.
  • By 15 September: Bid Chairs submit revised Preliminary Bids, if requested, to the SAC Chair. SAC Chair sends (revised) Preliminary Bids to the voting members of the ICIS Executive Committee.
  • By 30 September: ICIS Executive Committee meets to consider the Preliminary Bids, and the SAC shares their view of their strengths and weaknesses. The ICIS Executive Committee selects zero, one, or two bids whose Bid Committees will be invited to prepare and present a Full Bid at the December meeting of the ICIS Executive Committee. ICIS Executive Committee Chair provides Bid Chairs with feedback on their bids. Each Bid Chair is informed as to whether or not they are invited to prepare and present their Full Bid at the December meeting of the ICIS Executive Committee. If no sites are selected to prepare Full Bids, the SAC will open the process to new bids including bids from regions not in the regional rotation and prepare a schedule for reviewing them.
  • By 1 November: Bid Chairs send Full Bids as an email attachment to the SAC Chair. The Full Bid must be in Word or pdf format.
  • By 15 November: SAC assesses each Full Bid and the SAC Chair provides feedback to Bid Chairs as to suggested changes.
  • By 1 December: Bid Chairs finalize Full Bids and send them as email attachments to the SAC Chair. SAC Chair sends Full Bids to the voting members of ICIS Executive Committee.
  • At December meeting of ICIS Executive Committee in year X-4 for conferences in year X: Invited Bid Chairs present their Bid to the ICIS Executive Committee. Twenty minutes maximum is allowed for the presentation with a question period of no more than 10 minutes. The SAC summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of the bids for the ICIS Executive Committee. The ICIS Committee selects zero, one, or two proposals to recommend to the AIS Council. The ICIS Executive Committee Chair notifies each Bid Chair as to the success of their bid and provides feedback regarding the basis for the Committee’s decision. The ICIS Executive Committee Chair sends all selected bids to the AIS President along with the ICIS Executive Committee’s recommendation for the selected bid(s). If no bids are considered acceptable, the ICIS Executive Committee will defer its decision until acceptable bids are received. In this case the SAC will open the process to new bids, including bids from regions not in the regional rotation, and prepare a schedule for reviewing them.

The Preliminary Bid shall not exceed three pages and shall include the following:

  • The site (city) proposed, including brief comments explaining why the city will provide an attractive setting for the conference.
  • The proposed dates for the conference.
  • Proposed Conference Chair (or Co-chairs), Program Chair (or Co-chairs), and Doctoral Consortium Chair (or Co-chairs). For these chairs, list significant AIS, ICIS or other major information systems conference leadership or organizational experiences.
  • A summary of the Bid Committee's ideas for improving ICIS from the perspective of the participant. What is it about your team, your institutions, your industry connections, your program plans, your keynote speaker criteria, your panel ideas, your social event ideas, your pre-conference event ideas or any other aspect of your vision for the conference that will make this ICIS Conference special? Please give us your ideas for enhancing the intellectual stimulation and networking opportunities that ICIS submitters, reviewers and attendees will experience. We realize that some of your goals or ideas will be wildly premature at this point, and we know that they may not come to fruition, but please help us understand how you would envision making this conference successful.
  • Facilities. The AIS Conference Director will provide most of the information to the Bid Committee for this part of the bid. Provide a brief description of the hotels and/or conference centers where the meeting may be held, with brief comments as to how the available option(s) would provide an attractive setting for the conference.

For more detail on the above, see the Full Bid section which follows. Examples of previous accepted bids can be requested from the SAC Chair.

The SAC and the ICIS Executive Committee will consider the following criteria in evaluating a Preliminary Bid:

  1. The Bid Committee: The experience of the conference, program and doctoral consortium chairs, their commitment to AIS and ICIS, the diversity of the team.
  2. The Bid Committee's Ideas: The novelty and relevance of the team's ideas for improving the ICIS experience for all stakeholders.
  3. The Conference Facility: The desirability of the proposed hotel(s) or hotel/conference center combinations.
  4. The site (city): The desirability of the site for attracting attendees and the geographic location of the site relative to the planned rotation of ICIS sites. Returning to a popular site, after other parts of the Region have been visited, is not precluded.

The Full Bid will describe, explain, and provide details in support of the main elements listed below. A Full Bid may also include details on other bid-related matters that the Bid Committee feels will help the ICIS Executive Committee reach a decision.

The Full Bid (including an executive summary) must not exceed 20 pages (U.S. letter size) including appendices. Bid leader contact details (e-mail, phone numbers, fax numbers, mailing address) should be included.

The Full Bid should include the following elements:

Conference Site

The conference site (city or other location) should be described in sufficient detail so that the desirability of the site can be assessed by those who are not familiar with it. Information about the site may include a short "promotional" description. Information about amenities that may be of interest to attendees (restaurants, night life, attractions, etc.) should be given. Pointers to major attractions, tourist sites, etc., may be included. Location of major airport(s) relative to the site must be given and transportation options from the airport(s) to the site should be explained.

Conference Dates

Proposed dates of the conference and ancillary meetings should be given. Any known conflicts with other conferences and meetings should be identified. Conference Committee

All conference chairs should be listed along with details of their prior experience with conferences administration. At a minimum, the following conference chairs must be identified:

  • Conference Chair(s)
  • Program Chair(s)
  • Doctoral Consortium Chair(s)

Other conference chairs may also be identified.

The Bid need only "sketch" the experience of each member of the proposed Conference Committee. A paragraph on each indicating significant conference administrative involvements, especially those which include ICIS, will suffice. The leadership experience of the Conference Chair(s) and the scholarly accomplishments of the Program Chair(s) and Doctoral Consortium Chairs are also relevant.

Additional information:

The quality of the Conference Committee proposed in support of the bid is a critical factor in securing a favorable result. The Conference Chair, Program Chair, and Doctoral Consortium Chair should have extensive prior experience with conferences in some administrative or organizing capacity. As a group, they should be able to demonstrate experience with, interest in, and a commitment to ICIS. No Conference Committee positions such as Vice-Chair or Advisory Committee are recognized by ICIS.

According to the ICIS Terms of Reference, three people may share the positions of Conference Chair, Program Chair and Doctoral Consortium Chair. This allows Bid Committees to have representation from all three AIS Regions in these roles, especially the Program Chair and Doctoral Consortium Chair roles, although it is by no means necessary to do so. Where two or more people share a position, they will be known as Co-Chairs. Each will assume all responsibilities and obligations of the position unless otherwise relieved from doing so by provisions herein. If a bid has Conference Co-Chairs, one must agree to serve as Chair of the ICIS Executive Committee, on future SAC Committees, on the Conferences Committee and on AIS Council at the appropriate time if the bid is successful.

The Program Chair must be an established scholar in the discipline and be capable of judging the quality of scholarship in a broad range of relevant topics. Recognizing the international nature of the conference, the Program Chair must be willing and able to build a Program Committee that draws strongly on the worldwide scholarly information systems community. The Program Chair must also be willing to serve as an ICIS Track Chair (or Co-Chair) in the year preceding their conference, if so invited by the preceding year’s Program Chair. Similarly, the Program Chair (or one of the Program Co-Chairs) must be willing to serve on the ICIS Executive Committee in the years prior to, during and following their conference. The Program Chair must agree to use the AIS-approved Web-based peer review system.

The Doctoral Consortium Chair must be an established scholar in the discipline and be capable of attracting and organizing a highly-competent consortium faculty with experience advising PhD students from all three regions. Ideally, the Chair will have served as an ICIS Doctoral Consortium faculty member previously and will be well acquainted with the objectives and consortium process. The Doctoral Consortium Chair also accepts responsibility for managing the Dissertation Award Competition in the year following the Conference. The Chair also accepts responsibility for notifying Consortium Faculty members that a condition of their accepting an appointment as a Consortium Faculty member is that they will assist in reviewing materials associated with choosing the Dissertation Award in the year following the Consortium. Finally, the Doctoral Consortium Chair (or one of the Co-Chairs) must be willing to serve on the ICIS Executive Committee in the years prior to, during and following their conference.

The proposed Conference Chair assumes the important responsibility of ensuring that every member of the Bid Committee understands and accepts their responsibilities as a member of the ICIS Conference Committee, should their Full Bid be accepted, and subsequent responsibilities, should they become a member of the ICIS Executive Committee.

The right of the Conference Chair to choose the makeup of her/his Conference Committee is acknowledged. However, each Program Chair can strengthen ICIS by agreeing to provide training for the Program Chair of the conference for the year following their own conference. This may be achieved by inviting the Program Chair for the year following to serve as a track chair, and for future Program Chairs to volunteer to serve as associate editors and reviewers in the years leading up to their conference. This vital form of "knowledge transfer" will help ensure that each Program Committee is knowledgeable regarding peer-review procedures and ready to assume this very important function.

In the same vein, the right of the Doctoral Consortium Chair to choose her/his Consortium Faculty members is acknowledged. However, for the reason explained in the previous paragraph, the Doctoral Consortium Chair should provide experience and training for the Doctoral Consortium Chair for the year following by inviting that Chair to serve as a member of their Consortium faculty.

The AIS Conference Director will obtain information about the hotel and conference facilities and provide details to the Bid Committee. The hotel and conference facilities should be described in sufficient detail so that bid evaluators can visualize the conference experience. The number of hotel rooms in each hotel option should be given. To accommodate attendees on a limited budget, conference organizers should include in the bid a few nearby low cost hotels. Images of conference facility layouts should be included. If all facilities (hotel rooms and conference facilities) are in one hotel, this should be made clear. If multiple hotels are needed to accommodate expected attendance, the distance between the hotels and the conference facility should be given and any transportation requirements (e.g., shuttle bus) should be explained. If a conference center is proposed, the distance between the hotel option(s) and the conference center should be given. If a conference facility must be rented, then the rental cost must be given. A map indicating the location of all options (hotels and conference facilities) should be provided.

Additional information:

Ideally, more than one hotel should be proposed as options to enable the conference negotiator to obtain the best possible room rates and overall hotel agreement once the conference has been awarded. However, a proposal can include only one hotel if there is only one adequate facility at the location. Ideally each hotel should have sufficient capacity to accommodate the estimated attendees. However a main hotel in combination with other nearby hotels may also be proposed. The conference hotel must be located in close proximity to amenities such as shops, theaters, restaurants, pubs, and so forth. Hotels requiring taxis, public transportation, or a long walk to reach such attractions should not be proposed. The AIS Conference Director has detailed records on the space needed for the conference and will assess the space available and advise the Bid Committee about the acceptability of each proposed facility. The banquet room, meeting space, and accommodations available for the Conference must be described in the Bid. The meeting space must accommodate expected conference attendance at plenary sessions, luncheons, parallel sessions, exhibits, and placement activities. In addition, space will be required to host ancillary meetings before, during, and after the conference.

Describe any innovations you are proposing in the design of the Doctoral Consortium that will enhance its value to participants. The location, description, capacity and rental cost of at least one Doctoral Consortium site must be provided. The AIS Conference Director will assist the Bid Committee in determining whether the proposed facilities are appropriate and adequate. The Doctoral Consortium site is typically removed from the conference hotel but in the region of the host city. It must provide an environment in which students and faculty can work intensively yet relax from time to time. Therefore, in addition to the operational characteristics of the Consortium facilities, recreation and other amenities are considered a plus in evaluating the locale.

Facilities to support meetings of ancillary groups should be described. The bid should indicate what levels of support, if any, will be provided to ancillary groups.

Additional information:

A list of ancillary groups and their likely needs is best obtained from the AIS Meeting Planner.

Given the long lead time, the Full Bid need not propose a theme, but if a theme is suggested for the Conference, the rationale for the theme should be explained briefly. The Full Bid should elaborate on the proposals of the Bid Committee for improving the experience of all ICIS stakeholders -- submitting authors, those who review or otherwise contribute to the selection of submissions, and all attendees. How can your ICIS be more intellectually stimulating and provide a better networking experience for everyone?

Additional information:

The Bid Committee should examine the program offerings of recent Conferences and seek advice from previous Program Chairs on the strengths and weaknesses of various offerings, including not only the scholarly program elements, but also keynote speakers, birds of a feather events, and pre- and post-conference workshops. Program Chairs have some latitude in choosing the format for the Conference's scholarly program but must receive approval from the ICIS Executive Committee for any major changes from the traditional design. The ICIS Executive Committee’s concern will be to evaluate whether the proposed program format is likely to attract attendees and whether it is likely to result in high-quality research being presented.

Estimates of attendance will be provided by the AIS Office, based on history. However, any unusual factors that may affect attendance (positively or negatively) should be described. These could include, for example, a location that is particularly attractive and thus likely to attract a large attendance or a known conflict with another conference that may draw attendees away from ICIS.

Additional information:

The Bid Committee should review attendance figures for recent conferences, which will be provided by the AIS office.

A pro forma budget must be developed and included in the Full Bid based on a template provided by the AIS Office and with the assistance of the AIS Conference Director. The template will include costs that are pre-determined (fixed), such as attendee revenue expectations, expenses for the use of the review system, and expenses associated with AIS Office personnel. The Bid Committee and/or the AIS Conference Director will jointly determine other costs and revenues for the Conference. Notes to the budget should identify any revenue or expense items that are likely to deviate significantly from the expected norm for ICIS. For example, normally there is no charge for the use of meeting facilities in hotels. However, if facilities in a conference center must be rented, then the expected cost of these facilities must be identified in the budget and explained. Expected sponsorship revenue should be included in the pro forma budget only if sponsors provide a letter of provisional support, or if sponsorship for similar conferences is the norm, or under similar circumstances. If sponsorship revenue is expected to cover specific costs, then both those costs and corresponding sponsorship revenue should be included in the budget. Any unusual factors that may affect either revenue or expense in the budget must also be described. These could include, for example, significant revenue from large attendance, a plan for a particularly expensive social event, additional transportation charges between hotels and conference facilities, or a donation of facilities or equipment. Normally, particularly expensive options will need to be covered by sponsorships.

Additional information:

Approximately 1 year before the conference, the AIS Office will prepare a detailed budget for the Conference. The AIS Office will work with the Bid Committee to identify the costs of various budget items.

The Full Bid should describe the Bid Committee's plans for soliciting sponsorship for the conference. Likely sponsors should be described. Any committed sponsors should be identified.

Additional information:

Sponsorship could be in monetary or in-kind gifts.

One or more options for the social event should be described.

Additional information:

The social event is normally held on the night before the last day of the conference. It is a time for attendees to interact in a relaxed atmosphere. The social event should be planned to provide for maximum attendee interaction in an atmosphere that showcases the location of the conference. Facilities that are broken up and distributed are less desirable than spaces where it is easy for attendees to meet each other. Long performances that interfere with attendee socializing should be avoided. The location should be convenient to the hotels. The cost is a function of the respective budget and often driven by sponsorship revenue.

The ICIS Executive Committee will consider the following criteria in evaluating a Full Bid:

  • The Conference Committee: The experience of the chairs, their commitment to AIS and ICIS, the diversity of the Conference Committee.
  • Conference program elements. The proposed program innovations, and the likelihood of the program to draw a large number of attendees, stimulate stakeholder learning, and afford networking opportunities.
  • The site (city): The desirability of the site for attracting attendees, the geographic location of the site relative to the regional rotation of ICIS sites.
  • The conference facility: The proposed hotel(s) or hotel/conference center combinations; the proposed sites for ancillary meetings.
  • The doctoral consortium plans: The proposed plans and site for the doctoral consortium.6. Financial factors. Any financial factors, including budget considerations and sponsorship plans that are likely to affect the conference.

Once a bid is approved to host the Conference, key representatives of the Conference Committee must attend certain the ICIS Executive Meetings to present a verbal and written update on the status of their preparations for the Conference. In addition to enabling the ICIS Executive Committee to monitor the progress of preparations for each Conference, attendance of the Conference, Program, and Doctoral Consortium Chairs at these meetings keeps them apprised of matters that might affect the conduct of the conference.

Future conference chairs are also invited to attend pre-conference meetings at AMCIS and ICIS to meet the AIS staff members who will support them.

Questions on preparing a Preliminary Bid or Full Bid may be directed to the Chair of the Site Advisory Committee or the current Chair of the ICIS Executive Committee. Bidders are also invited to contact the AIS Vice President of Meetings and Conferences and the AIS Executive Director.

(Revisions approved by the ICIS EC, December 2013)

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