Hosting an ICMM Congress or regional conference

ICMM member museums may submit a bid to host an ICMM Congress in response to a general Congress bid invitation from the ICMM Executive Council. Bids are always considered at least two years in advance of the Congress date.

Guidelines for hosting an ICMM Congress

Specific guidelines for hosting a future ICMM Congress are issued by the Executive Council when bids are sought. 

For any museum considering submitting a future bid, the following general notes may be useful.

  • The host museum, which will either be a member of ICMM or be willing to become a member prior to making its Congress bid, should indicate its commitment to organising a biennial
 Congress for ICMM by presenting a formal bid to the President of ICMM. This bid should take the form of a Letter of Intent offering to act as host for a future biennial Congress. The bid should come from the highest authority of the organisation – Chairman of Trustees or similar. It should identify any proposed supporting partners and the sponsoring government department, where applicable.
  • The host museum should be prepared to play the lead role in the logistical preparations for the biennial Congress. With the agreement of ICMM it may use the services of a professional conference and event management agency as long as this does not result in the delegate registration costs exceeding the agreed maximum.
  • Venues should be easily accessible to overseas and local delegates via good airport, railway and road networks.
  • Venues should be able to offer conference facilities for a minimum of 150 delegates: including conference accommodation, catering arrangements and technical support services.
  • By agreement with the ICMM Programme Committee, the host venue will provide an appropriate and attractive programme for accompanying partners at a registration cost to be agreed.
  • Venues should be able to offer hotel accommodation capable of accommodating at least 200 delegates, including accompanying partners, within a reasonable distance, and at a range of affordable prices. The venue, or its conference organisers, are expected to administer registrations and arrange hotel accommodation. They are also expected to administer the conference budget, including registration fees, and provide progress reports to the Programme Committee as required.
  • The conference language is English: simultaneous translation may be requested in some circumstances.
  • The venue is expected to provide reasonable conference technical facilities for presentations including sound systems, computer-generated PowerPoint and video, with the necessary technical support.
  • The Congress is expected to include a varied supporting social programme: it should include a formal Congress Dinner and may, for example, include receptions or similar events in local historic locations.
  • The host venue will have sole responsibility for the Congress budget which is expected to be self-financing from registration costs and any local funding. Any profits will be divided, by agreement, between the host venue and ICMM.
  • The Congress Registration Fee will be agreed between the host venue and the Programme Committee of ICMM. In recent years it has been € 500, or local currency equivalent. This should include all Congress administration costs, catering during the Congress sessions, two evening dinners, including the formal Congress Dinner, and at least one excursion.

The host venue is encouraged to find local sources of funding, including sponsorship where possible, to offset the costs of the Congress and any supporting events. Sponsorship arrangements must be agreed between the venue and ICMM before formal commitments are made.


Guidelines for hosting a regional conference under the ICMM banner

Background: In the Spring of 2012, ICMM’s Executive Council established a working group to develop a proposal for the first regional ICMM-flagged workshop. The proposal for a Northern European workshop was approved by the ICMM EC. On the 7-8 March 2013 the first workshop organised under the ICMM banner was held at the Maritime Museum & Aquarium in Gothenburg, Sweden. Fifty participants from twenty maritime museums in eight countries in Northern Europe gathered for two intense days to share experiences in workshops, case studies and talks. The workshop was judged to be a good start for this ICMM initiative.

The following guidelines have been prepared for the guidance of organisers wishing to stage future regional workshops under the ICMM banner

1:  A proposal to stage an ICMM-flagged Regional Workshop should be sent to the ICMM Executive Council for approval, addressed to the President and Secretary General. The proposal should give outline details of the event including the name of the host institution and any institutional partners.

2: Applications to host ICMM Regional Workshops must be lodged at least 5 months before the date of the event.

3:  The subject matter of the Workshop should be connected with maritime heritage and/or maritime museum business.

4:  The institution hosting an ICMM Regional Workshop must be a full institutional member of ICMM. Ideally, any institutional partners in the Workshop should also be ICMM members but, on occasions, there may be good reasons for exceptions to this.

5:  An ICMM Regional Workshop must be organised, administered and funded by the host institution and, where applicable, partner institutions. Fees may be charged to delegates to recover costs.

6:  Prior to any promotion of the Workshop, the workshop organising committee should circulate the programme and proposed content of the workshop to members of the ICMM EC for constructive comment.

7:  The organisers of an ICMM-flagged Regional Workshop should invite the President of ICMM, or the President’s nominee, to open the event and, where appropriate, to present a paper.

8: ICMM cannot be mentioned in any advance promotion for a Workshop until formal endorsement has been received from ICMM.

9: The Workshop organiser should submit a short report to the ICMM Secretary General within a month after the event, and a report on the Workshop for the ICMM website.


Robert Domzal –ICMM EC member, November 2013