WFSA Guidelines on the Application, Preparation and Organisation of the World Congress of Anaesthesiologists
The World Congress of Anaesthesiologists (WCA) is the Congress of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA). The WCA is held every four years and hosted by a national member Society (NMS) of the WFSA. It is the major international exposition of the speciality of anaesthesia and its many related disciplines.
The WFSA Secretary will call for applications to host the WCA approximately nine (9) years before the proposed WCA. The selection of the NMS by the Venue Committee will take place eight (8) years in advance. All applications, including documentation should be submitted electronically to the Secretary at least three months before the meeting of the Venue Committee, i.e. the WCA where selection will take place. The Secretary will advise of the specific closing date for submissions with the invitation for application.
Member Societies interested in hosting the WCA should obtain these WCA Guidelines for preparing their applications to host the WCA.
The Secretary will receive all applications to host the WCA on behalf of the Venue Committee (VC). The VC is appointed by the Executive Committee. It includes a Chairman and up to eight members, each from different Member Societies and including at least one from each major world region (WFSA Constitution Art. 188.8.131.52). The following information should be included in the documents and other material submitted to the Secretary by each NMS applying to host the WCA.
1 The Society will undertake responsibility and demonstrate support for the organisation of the WCA in accordance with the guidelines established by the Executive Committee and General Assembly as laid down in this document.
2 The submission should include support for the application from the regional and national governments, such as the National Ministries of Education, Health and Tourism.
3 Proposed dates of the Congress should be provided.
4 Details must be provided on the conference centre at which the WCA is proposed to be held, including the number and capacity of meeting rooms, available offices and committee rooms, general layout, and proposed sites for events such as the Opening Ceremony and the General Assemblies.
5 Two General Assemblies (GA) consisting of delegates of the member Societies are held during the WCA, as well as meetings of all the existing WFSA committees.
6 Options for appointment of a congress organising company should be provided in order to demonstrate that appropriate, reliable and experienced companies are available to organise the WCA.
7 The submission should give a full account of potential hotel and other accommodation sites, including proximity to the Congress venue and possible transport arrangements between the venue and hotels.
Those considering application should consider that the WCA should not be held in the same country twice within twenty years and global movement is desirable.
The following is a list of general requirements for the Congress, based on experiences from previous WCAs. The list is not all-inclusive but attempts to provide guidelines.
The Centre should include at least eight meeting rooms available for simultaneous sessions of the Scientific Program. Ideally, the rooms should range in size from 50 seats to 2000 seats, thus accommodating major plenary sessions through to small workshops and case discussion sessions. Suitable areas for poster displays, poster discussions & workshops must also be available within the complex. The Convention Centre must also contain sufficient space for committee and other business meetings and administrative office space (see below).
The Healthcare Industry Exhibition is important to the success of the Congress. The Exhibition should be in the Convention Centre or adjacent to the Convention Centre, with an available floor space of at least 10,000 square metres, ideally in a column free hall and contained in one area. Ceiling height should allow for a 8 (eight) meter exhibits. Refreshment and lunch distribution points could be within the Exhibition to encourage Congress delegates to regularly attend the Exhibition.
At least 5,000 bedrooms in hotels and similar accommodation should be available within easy access to the Convention Centre, ideally over 50% within walking distance. Shuttle transport or low cost or free transport tickets to and from the Convention Centre should be provided for more distant officially recommended accommodation. Accommodation type should range from 5-star hotels to hostel type facilities.
At the meeting of the VC each submission is considered by a verbal presentation of the delegation from the applicant Society, following which the Committee may seek clarification from the delegation on their submission and further discuss the overall application. Each member society will be granted a period of up to 45 minutes.
The VC, having heard all the presentations will propose the NMS and site to the Executive Committee. Following approval by the Executive Committee, the decision will be conveyed in private to each bidding society by Officers of the WFSA. The choice will then be announced at the Second General Assembly. The selection is followed by the signing of a Letter of Agreement between the NMS and WFSA. The NMS and the venue are currently (2010) selected eight years before the scheduled event.
The Secretary will call for applications to host the WCA about nine (9) years prior to the proposed WCA and one (1) year before the Venue Committee meeting at the next scheduled World Congress
The Secretary will determine a closing date for submissions, about three months before the Venue Committee meeting, i.e. WCA
The host Society and site are proposed by the Venue Committee and approved by the Executive Committee and the 2nd General Assembly
The Secretary will confirm the appointment in a Letter of Agreement to the elected Society within three months of the determination
The Letter of Agreement will be signed by the Secretary and the Host Society within twelve months of the determination.
The Treasurer will then discuss the arrangements for the payment of the interest free loan.
LETTER OF AGREEMENT between the WFSA and a
Society hosting a World Congress of Anaesthesiologists.
The purpose of this letter is to record the understanding between the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (hereinafter called WFSA) and the name of Society (hereinafter called the Society) that has agreed to host the World Congress of Anaesthesiologists (hereinafter called the Congress), the details of which appear in the title of this document. The understanding is as follows:
1. The WFSA grants to the Society, and the Society accepts, all rights and responsibilities for the planning, development and implementation of the Congress. The Society agrees to use all efforts to present a successful scientific, educational and cultural event.
2. The Society will arrange to provide the WFSA with facilities, equipment, and secretarial and clerical services for the conduct of its organisational affairs during the course of the Congress. The WFSA agrees, consistent with its capacities and to the extent requested by the Society, to provide assistance to the Society in assuring the success of the Congress.
3. The Society will provide the WFSA with annually updated information developed during the course of planning and development of the Congress, beginning six years before the Congress. The Society will maintain segregated accounts of all income and expenditure relating to the planning and development of the Congress. The Society will provide twice-yearly financial reports to the WFSA Treasurer, beginning four years before the Congress. The accounts of the Congress will be held and only accessed directly by representatives of the Society. Such access will not normally be available to any companies contracted by the Society, except the Professional Congress Organising company. (PCO)
4. In an effort to build on the successes of previous WCAs, the WFSA strongly encourages the use of a PCO with experience in running a WFSA World Congress or events of a similar size and nature.
The Society shall inform the WFSA of its selection of a PCO and send a copy of the draft agreement between the Society and the PCO prior to its signing.
5. The WFSA may provide, on request, an interest free loan to the Society as "seed money" for the planning and development of the Congress. The size of the loan will be up to US$100,000 (one hundred thousand dollars), payable as agreed between the parties. This loan shall be repayable as soon as possible but not later than 6 (six) months after the last day of the Congress and repayment shall not be dependent on the financial outcome of the Congress.
6. An audited final financial account of the Congress, prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, will be submitted to the WFSA as soon as practical and no later than ten (10) months after the last date of the Congress.
7. The WFSA shall receive an
appropriate sum from the surplus over all expenses, prior to any incentivised
payments to the PCO, immediately following completion of the final audit. Any
deficit resulting from an excess of expenditure over all revenue will be borne
by the Society.
It is vital that the host Society considers the tax and currency transfer implications of their Congress. Expert advice should be sought to minimize exposure to tax and currency transfer restrictions. This is the responsibility of the host Society which should liaise closely with the WFSA Treasurer (see #3)
8. The Society will obtain a policy of comprehensive damage and public liability insurance cover for the Congress – naming the Society, the WFSA and relevant members and staff of these organisations as insured parties. At its discretion, the Society may also obtain a policy insuring it against financial loss in the event of cancellation or impairment of the Congress due to catastrophic events.
9. The Society agrees to work in close cooperation with the WFSA Scientific Committee in the development of the programme for the Congress.
10. The Society will have
the exclusive right to solicit contributions in support of the planning,
development and conduct of the Congress. Any such contributions shall be
credited to the World Congress account. The WFSA grants to the Society the
rights to use the name and logo of the WFSA in connection with promotion,
planning, development and implementation of the Congress. The Society will
indicate in all publicity that it is a WFSA World Congress of
It is anticipated that as soon as practical hereafter, the Society and the WFSA will agree to details acceptable to both organizations with respect to specific aspects of the conduct of the Congress as outlined in the WFSA World Congress of Anaesthesiologists Guidelines.
11. The WFSA reserves the right to suspend or to alter this agreement when failure of compliance with these guidelines occurs and which is not remedied within 30 days of a request in writing from the WFSA.
Agreed by the two parties and signed on their behalf:
It is important throughout the planning stages that the COC and the Secretary, Treasurer and other Officers work closely together.
The host Society appoints a Congress Organising Committee (COC) to undertake detailed planning of the Congress. Appointments to the COC should occur from at least six years before the Congress, initially with a small number of people and building up as needs expand.
The current Secretary and Treasurer should be ex-officio members of the COC. They should receive notices and a summary of all COC meetings minutes (recorded in English).
The Chair of the WFSA Scientific Committee will be appointed to the Congress Scientific Committee.
The WFSA logo should be incorporated in all relevant documents, letterheads, publicity, notices and other material pertaining to the WCA. It is important to emphasise that the Congress is that of the WFSA.
The COC must provide annual reports on the organization of the WCA to the Secretary to be distributed to the Executive Committee. A verbal and written report must be submitted to the General Assembly at the preceding WCA.
The Secretary, Administrative Co-ordinator, and possibly other Officers, will normally meet with the COC during a site visit two years before the Congress. The main purpose of the visit is to discuss the Federation’s office and equipment needs on site and provisions for committee meetings and General Assemblies.
The World Congress of Anaesthesiologists is an important opportunity for fundraising in support of the aims of the WFSA. Any financial surplus from the WCA, which is allocated to the WFSA and shared with the organising National Member Society, is vital to the educational related activities of the WFSA.
The Treasurer drafts a Letter of Agreement between the WFSA and the Society hosting the WCA (utilising the template attachment document). This document includes the provision of “seed money” from the WFSA, obligations of the host Society on financial accountability to the WFSA, distribution of any surplus and other relevant conditions and requirements. Copies of the letter will be signed by the Secretary and the President or Secretary of the host Society.
This interest free loan is to be provided by WFSA to the NMS at 6 and 4 years prior to the WCA as agreed. The seed money will be returned to WFSA within six months after the WCA.
The WFSA Treasurer shall be appointed to the Finance Committee of the WCA. The Treasurer will regularly receive on-going details of banking and account status and relevant minutes of meetings on WCA financial matters.
Complimentary WCA registration is provided for the WFSA President, his/her spouse and for Past Presidents.
Complimentary accommodation (appropriate to the needs) for the WFSA President and spouse from the time of arrival at the WCA venue city to the final day of the WCA, and complimentary admission for the President and his/her spouse to all associated WCA social events is a common courtesy.
The Scientific Program will be a broad mix of presentations with a variety of formats as determined by the COC. The formal Scientific Program runs up to five days (normally Monday to Friday).. It is suggested that advice be sought from previous Congress organisers on the mix of differing formats for presentations and their relative success with delegates.
WFSA recommends that invited speakers should not receive any honoraria, travel or hotel expenses for their contributions to the meeting. Registration fees should be waived for speakers. It is likely that support may be provided to allow contributions from individuals from less affluent countries. Invited participants in the Scientific Program from a non-anaesthesiology background may also receive reimbursement of costs associated with attendance at the Congress. This should be limited to economy airfare, accommodation and registration costs. Speakers whose papers are accepted may be offered a reduction in the registration fee at the discretion of the COC.
Many delegates are only able to attend the Congress if they are presenting a paper or poster. Therefore, attempts must be made to accept all submitted papers, posters and other presentations in some form or other. All regions of the world should be represented in the scientific presentations. There should be no discrimination among participants, particularly on the basis of country of origin.
The language of the WCA is English.
Provision of simultaneous interpretation for scientific presentations is desirable. It should be considered an important tool in attracting delegates from all countries. Major scientific sessions should have simultaneous interpretation in chosen languages at the discretion of the COC. Some other sessions may be presented in a language other than English but must have English translation facilities.
The Harold Griffith Symposium is an important part of the Scientific Program, honouring the first President of the WFSA and the WFSA itself. It should occur at a time and in a venue to maximise attendance by Congress delegates. There will be no other simultaneous sessions at the time of the Harold Griffith Symposium. The Symposium is chaired by the WFSA President. The Symposium usually does not include a discussion or question and answer period. The format and choice of speaker(s) is at the discretion of the COC.
Every effort should be made to incorporate groups who wish to organise sub-specialty “Satellite Meetings” into the Scientific Program of the Congress rather than hold rival meetings of sub-specialties. If such meetings are planned, they should be held at a venue and time that encourages delegates to those meetings to also attend the WCA. If they cannot be incorporated, encouragement should be given to holding such meetings at the Congress venue prior to or following the Congress.
This Ceremony takes place prior to the start of the Scientific Program. Every effort should be made to encourage a high attendance, as this event can attract positive media coverage for the profession. Entertainment may be provided before and during the ceremony. A national or local dignitary may, at the discretion of the COC, be invited to formally open the Congress. The program includes an address by the WFSA President.
Seating should be reserved for current and former Officers, Executive Committee members and their spouses (± 30). There is a need to be realistic in the planning of this event. It should not been seen as a competition with past or future Congresses and should be simple yet effective. The WFSA believes that money is better put to achieving the aims of the organisation rather than paying for ephemeral and expensive entertainment.
This event can follow the Opening Ceremony, usually within the Exhibition Hall (thus supporting the Industry). It provides the major and initial opportunity for delegates and families to meet and greet each other, assisting to build up the camaraderie of WCA.
The cost of this reception to delegates is included in the registration fee.
A major dinner or similar evening function is usually organised as an official event at which maximal attendance is encouraged. A fee for the dinner is charged although it may be subsidised by the registration fee, thus encouraging attendance.
This final official function should be preceded by a particularly attractive section of the Scientific Program in order to encourage attendance at the Ceremony. The program includes an address by the retiring President, an address by the newly elected WFSA President and a presentation from the host Society of the next WCA.
The ceremony could be followed by an informal closing party, enabling delegates to bid farewell to friends and colleagues. A fee should not be charged, with costs covered by the registration fee.
Additional optional events are organised at the discretion of the COC and should be self-funding. One relatively free evening early in the Congress should be set aside for Health Care Industry events.
The WFSA President may organise a luncheon for past and current Officers and their spouses. This should be held on a day when there is no major clash with other events or meetings. This lunch will be funded by the WFSA.
The Accompanying Persons’ Program is for family and friends of WCA delegates. This program should consist of a range of activities to suit a wide variety of tastes. It is suggested that some research be undertaken on suitable activities and advice sought from previous conference organizers. A specific meeting point at the Congress venue is useful for all participants. It is advisable to hold events during the hours of the Scientific Program. All events should be fully funded through ticketing, with or without sponsorship.
The WFSA grants the WCA to the NMS on the condition that all WFSA administrative and committee functions are facilitated at the WCA. The WFSA and various related bodies hold numerous committee meetings before, during and after the Congress, spanning approx. 8 days. These meetings are to be held at the Convention Centre at the expense of the WCA. This includes an undertaking to provide the following facilities:
Staffing of the WFSA Office will be a combination of WFSA staff (at WFSA expense) and at least one local receptionist/secretary (WCA expense). It is useful if offices for the COC and the host Society are located close to the offices of the WFSA, thus enabling close liaison on administrative needs. The matter of staffing and such liaisons should be fully discussed by the Secretary and the COC prior to the Congress.
A general office and reception area sufficient to house three staff and a lounge/ refreshments area, including desks, chairs and lounge furniture.
Coffee, finger lunch and tea breaks for the Secretariat and the Executive Committee meetings.
Section XI.04 Equipment and office supplies
Three desk top computers (PC) with English Office software and internet connection for e-mail, a laser printer, and ancillary equipment standard for busy office functions.
A high quality photocopy machine with double-sided printing, collating facility and high speed output.
Telephone with two outside lines, located with the receptionist and the office of the Secretary
Office sundries such as staples, sellotape, pens, pads, paper, scissors, markers and other office materials.
Two meetings of the WFSA General Assembly are held in association with the World Congress. Requirements for the meeting area of the General Assemblies are:
A large meeting room to accommodate up to 300 Delegates in “classroom style” within the Convention Centre of the Congress. The number of Delegates from each Society is predetermined by the Hon Secretary. Each Society nominates Alternate Delegate(s) who may substitute for Delegates unable to attend a particular General Assembly.
If an alternative (outside the WCA Convention Area) location is absolutely necessary, it must be within a short distance of the WFSA Administration offices at the Congress for logistical reasons.
An electronic voting system will be required for all delegates.
Standard seating at the rear or side of the room must be available for observers, including Alternate Delegates.
The room must have a suitable entrance foyer that will be used to process and register attendees by the Credentials Committee.
The delegates of each National Society will be seated in areas designated by geographical regions. The WFSA will supply the PCO with delegate numbers for each geographical region.
Stewards will be required to assist delegates to their appropriate seating area.
A raised podium and table and seating for the WFSA President, the Chairman of the Executive Committee, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. The podium should include a lectern for presentations.
Full audiovisual facilities for recording of the proceedings, presentations from the lectern on to a screen at the front of the room, and floor microphones for discussion from delegates must be made available.
Simultaneous translation in Spanish, English and French are required at these meetings.
The First General Assembly will be held the day before the start of the Scientific Program.
The Second General Assembly is usually held two or three days later, either at lunch time or with an interruption of the scientific programme later in the day to enable all delegates to attend. A longer lunch break may be considered to encourage greater attendance at the Industry Exhibition by all the other attendees.
Details of the dates and times of the General Assemblies will be confirmed by the WFSA Secretary 6 months in advance of the Congress.
Organisation of the General Assemblies is a major and very difficult organisational undertaking and requires considerable efforts by all parties.
The total cost of holding the General Assemblies is a cost of the WCA.
There is a general requirement (see below) for a large Executive Committee meeting room exclusively available for up to three days prior to the Congress and for the duration of the Congress. An additional 3 smaller meeting rooms should also be exclusively available to WFSA for the duration of the Congress.
Timing will be confirmed closer to the Congress by the WFSA Secretariat:
First Executive Committee meeting (2 and 1 days before the Scientific Program starts). If the Convention Centre is not available for this meeting, an alternate venue must be arranged at the expense of the WCA.
Standing & Specialty Committee meetings (before the 1st General Assembly).
Nominations Committee meeting (on day 1 after 1st General Assembly).
Venue Committee (1 day after 1st General Assembly).
Second Executive Committee meeting (day 2 of the Scientific Program)
Executive Committee in new composition meeting (day 3 of the Scientific Program)
New Standing and Specialty Committee meetings (days 4 and 5 of the Scientific Program)
Officers, new Executive and Committee Chairmen (day 5 of the Scientific Program).
Many other Committee meetings in addition to those listed above may be organised and held during the Congress, often at short notice. The COC should ensure that adequate meeting rooms are provided for these purposes.
The COC is expected to provide progress reports to the following bodies:
1. at the previous WCA
2. two years before the WCA
3. during the Congress
4. within 12 months after the Congress
WFSA General Assembly:
1. at the previous WCA
2 during the Congress at the 2nd General Assembly.
Report (4) is known as the Final Report and will provide useful information for organisers of future WCAs. The Final Report should include details of the following:
1 Number of full registrants, registered accompanying guests and their countries
2 Number of exhibitors, the total area of exhibition space sold, and the number of registered exhibition staff
3 Number of free and invited papers: submitted, included as oral presentations, included as poster presentations, listed by title, rejected,
4 Number of participants for whom travel, accommodation and/or registration was paid by the Congress, giving the basis for these concessions.
5 Estimated attendance at major official and social functions
6 Estimated attendance at major scientific sessions
7 Details of the Industry Exhibition and sponsorship of the Congress
8 Associated satellite meetings of the Congress and estimated attendance
9 A full audited report of the complete finances of the Congress including Treasurer’s Report.
Examples of previous final reports are available from the WFSA Secretary.
David J Wilkinson