Bid for EACL 1999

Dear members of the EACL board,

The Norwegian Computing Centre for the Humanities (NCCH, or
Humanistisk Datasenter), in cooperation with the University of
Bergen's new research Programme on Humanities Information Technology
(HIT), are willing to host EACL in Bergen in 1999.

NCCH has experience with the organization of international
conferences, notably ALLC-ACH in 1996, which was a success:

Based on this experience, we have set up a detailed preliminary budget
for all foreseen local expenses including materials, printing,
lunches, banquet, refreshments, copying, mail, security and cleaning
personnel, telecommunications, administration, etc. etc.  The bottom
line is as follows.  Assuming 300 participants, a registration fee of
190 ECU, paid lunches 50 ECU, and banquet 50 ECU, then an additional
external funding of 50.000 ECU would still be required.  We are of
course prepared to discuss the budget in more detail, but the figures
should be taken as strongly indicative.

Please find below our answers to your detailed questions regarding
local arrangements.


1. A person willing to assume responsibility for local arrangements
   who has had some prior involvement in ACL activities.  Frequent
   meeting attendance coupled with strong interest would be enough,
   although having presented papers at conferences or published in CL
   would be preferable.

Prof. Dr. Koenraad de Smedt will take overall responsibility for local
arrangements.  He is professor of computational linguistics and is
currently also research director of NCCH.  He has attended many
meetings and presented papers in the computational linguistics
community, including ACL, EACL, COLING and Applied ACL.  He has
published in CL.  He will be present at the ACL/EACL'97 conference in

2. A local support group of colleagues actively engaged in computational
   linguistics research.

Bergen has several active groups, including the Section for Linguistic
Studies, the Norwegian Computing Centre for the Humanities
(Humanistisk Datasenter), the Norwegian Term bank and others, which
from September 1997 will cooperate in the new Research Programme on
Humanities Information Technology (HIT).  There are about a dozen
researchers and technical staff who are actively engaged in various
areas of computational linguistics.

Most tasks regarding the practical conference organization will be
coordinated by the administrative staff of NCCH/HIT.  For some jobs,
NCCH/HIT will hire students or other personnel.

3. An auditorium to hold plenary sessions containing 300-500 people
   during the conference itself.

"Jussbygget" is a new, well-designed building at the University of
Bergen with complete, modern academic conference facilities and a
fantastic view.  Here are pictures (from the ALLC-ACH conference): (outside) (main hall) (entrance via old building)

This conference site offers a multitude of well equipped auditoriums,
open spaces, a cafeteria and much more, all under one roof.  The
building and its equipment can be used for free, but operating costs
such as security and cleaning personnel, as well as use of telephone
lines, copiers, etc., must be paid for.  The only real limitation in
the building is that the largest auditorium has a capacity of 350

If this capacity is sufficient, then Auditorium 1, which accommodates
350 people, is very suitable for plenary sessions, with good
acoustics, comfortable seats and all audiovisual equipment.  The
auditorium is located on the 6th floor, next to the main entrance hall
which also gives direct access to the cafetaria.  Pictures: (Aud. 1) (Aud. 1) (Aud. 1)

N.B. If more than 350 seats are absolutely necessary, the large
conference center at Grieghallen could be rented.  However, this would
significantly increase costs.

4. Facilities for tutorial sessions: 2 rooms that accommodate from
   50 to 100 people.  Needed the day before the conference proper.

Many rooms in the conference building are available, depending on the
exact capacity needed.  On the 4th floor, several modern seminar rooms
are available, including 3 rooms with 30 seats each and Seminar room 2
with 66 seats.  If necessary, Aud. 2 (with 250 seats) and Aud. 3 (with
150 seats) on the 6th floor can also be used for this purpose.
Several slightly older but perfectly suitable rooms with capacities
between 50 and 100 people are also available in the same building.

5. Exhibit space close to the plenary session room with power,
   phone lines, adequate air conditioning, and security.  Requirements
   will vary, but it might be reasonable to plan for 8-10 publishers
   and 10-15 system exhibitors, occupying about 2000 square feet
   (10 x 10 booth size).  Having separate spaces for each exhibitor
   would facilitate scheduling, but clustering is possible if space
   is limited.  Vendors like Symbolics, DEC, Xerox, and Sun might
   be prevailed upon to provide hardware which can be shared by the
   exhibitors.  This is for demos.

For exhibits involving computer demos, we suggest the 4th floor, two
levels down from the main entrance.  This floor offers several
suitable rooms and ample open space, with adequate power outlets,
phone outlets, network connections, movable furniture and air
conditioning.  The rooms can be locked at night.  Together, the rooms
have the required capacity.  N.B. telephone lines will have to be
leased for the duration of the conference; Internet via the university
network will be free. (demo session) (demo or seminar room)

5A. Book exhibit space close to plenary session, registration desk, and
    coffee breaks. This is somewhat critical. The book exhibitors pay to
    attend and want to get maximum attendance. If it is right by the
    breaks then they'll get an audience.

The large main hall, directly in front of the three main auditoriums
and directly adjoining the cafeteria, offers suitable space for
registration as well as book exhibits.  Overflow space is available in
an immediately adjoining hall (Borgg=E5rd). (book display)

6. Two rooms for student paper sessions holding about 100 people,
   although the plenary session room could be used for one of them.

No problem (see 4).

7. Possible space for poster sessions.

The best place for posters would be the open space on the 4th floor,
next to the rooms where the exhibit with computer demos is planned
(see 5). (poster session)

8. Possible need for rooms holding 50-100 before the conference
   for SIG-sponsored or other workshops.

No problem (see 4).

9. Registration space close to auditorium with telephone line access and
   that can be locked up so that registration materials do not have to
   be moved. This can also be handled by making sure that there are
   enough hired people to move the registration materials into a locked
   room every night. OR, hire security guards. All of these have been
   done. I think critical, as in book exhibits, to be near refreshments
   and central meeting area for breaks. This facilitates business iwth
   the ACL. Need a large amount of space for tables. I'll get number
   of tables from Priscilla.

The large main entrance hall (see also 4) right next to the cafeteria
and the main auditoriums is very suitable as a registration area.
Telephone lines can be leased, mobile telephones can cheaply be rented
from the University.  From the registration desk in the open hall,
valueable registration materials can easily be moved to secure
adjoining rooms at night. (registration area)

10. Refreshment area close to auditorium, registration, exhibits, and

A modern capacious lunchroom/cafeteria with a great view over the
fjord is available for refreshments and meals.  This cafeteria is in
the same building, adjoining the main entrance hall. (cafetaria with view) (lunch in cafetaria)

11. Convenient housing and eating places in reasonable proximity to the
    conference site with lower cost accommodations for students and
    attendees with limited budgets. We estimate that 30-50% of the
    attendees will request such facilities.

The conference site is situated at only 5 to 10 minutes walking
distance from the main hotels and restaurants in the city centre.
Regular hotels are as expensive as in any other major European cities.
Due to the attractiveness of Bergen for tourists in summer, a number
of rooms must be ordered well in advance, preferably before Sep. 1.
Some cheap hotels ("pensjonater") are available in the immediate
vicinity of the conference site.  Student housing in dormitories
(Fantoft studentby) is also available, but requires a 15 mins. bus
ride (at 4 ECU one way).  The city center offers many eating places in
all price classes.

12. Catering and banquet facilities.

Lunches (and dinners, if desired) can be arranged at the cafeteria.
Due to the unique location of Bergen, many special reception and
banquet sites can be considered close to the conference site,
including a historic site (e.g. H=E5konshallen), a mountain top
(Fl=F8yen), or a boat to the fjords. (H=E5konshallen) (banquet at H=E5konshallen) (reception in Grieghallen)

13. Reasonably convenient transportation access to the area in which the
    conference is being held.

The city offers adequate bus transport, but the conference site is so
close to the city centre that most participants can simply move on
foot.  Regular bus lines are provided to the airport and to student
dormitories. (Bergen map)

14. Network communication links.

The university network is available in the building and can be used
without cost.

15. Location with regard to previous and subsequent meetings to ensure
    some geographical distribution over time.  EACL-97 will be held in
    Spain, EACL-95 was held in Ireland, EACL-93 in Holland, EACL-91 in
    Berlin and EACL-89 in England.

No country in Scandinavia has hosted EACL so far.

16. Availability of facilities in Easter/Spring time frame; consideration
    of quarter or semester break schedule may be relevant.

The recommended time for booking the conference facilities is from
June 8 until the end of June or later.  The Easter holidays are not
recommended since all local personnel will be skiing or fishing.

17. Proximity to related meetings that can serve to encourage attendance;
    usually only of incidental interest.

No related meetings are known.  Attendance can somewhat be encouraged
by the fact that Bergen is an especially attractive tourist goal,
offering the mountains, the sea, and a historic city centre:

Visits to the fjords can be arranged.

Koenraad de Smedt, June 20, 1997.