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IW3C2 Conference Guide: Version 4.1d

World Wide Web Conference Overview

Information needed to submit a successful bid for a Conference in the Series

1.1 Introduction

The International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee (IW3C2)'s Conference Guide is aimed at organizations who wish to bid to host a Conference in the WWW Conference Series and organizations who have been selected to organize a specific conference in the Series.

The IW3C2 Web site ( gives general information about IW3C2, and some details on the previous conferences in the series are also available.

The World Wide Web Annual Conference (WWW20xx) is the major Conference organized by the International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee (IW3C2) each year. Each Conference in the Conference Series is organized by a Local Conference Organizer (LCO).

Some of the main issues that characterize the Conferences in the series are:

  • Web Focal Point: They provide a forum where the international Web community can get together to discuss the latest Web technologies and applications. Delegates expect a professionally useful and enjoyable experience.
  • W3C Update: The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) uses the Conference Series as a public forum to give an update on its recent technologies and future directions.
  • Industry and Research: It is the unique nature of this conference that it is aimed at the complete web community, from industry to research, or from developers to users and designers. It is the responsibility of the LCO to strike a good balance in the programme between the needs of all communities.
  • Network access: Due to the nature of the conference, it is required to provide high speed, and predominantly wireless Internet access to all delegates and speakers throughout the conference site for the duration of the conference.
  • Education: A major function of each Conference is education. Tutorials, Training Days and activities throughout the Conference core programme are aimed at satisfying this requirement.
  • Finance Generator: IW3C2 maintains the profile and quality of the conference series, which involves significant expenditure. Each Conference provides some funding for activities related to future Conferences via the IW3C2 Franchise Fee, which is levied on each Conference. Based on historical data, we suggest that the conference organizers keep the percentage of free registrations w.r.t. the delegates within 15%. Typically, one free registration is offered to a workshop or a tutorial.

    The Franchise Fee of 85 USD for each paid-up non-student delegate (50% of this figure for students) with a global minimum value of 500 times the individual non-student fee is payable to IW3C2. The fee shall be paid in three installments: 28 days after the early bird registration date, based on the early bird registration numbers, 28 days after the last day of the conference, based on the best available attendance receipts, 14 days after the accounts for the conference have been approved by both parties. The treasurer of IW3C2 will issue receipts to the conference for all sums received. Payment shall be accompanied by a full list of delegates upon which the calculation of the sum due is based. For the first two installments this shall include details of registered delegates from whom payment of the registration fee is awaited. All payments shall be made to the IW3C2 bank account.
  • Surplus: IW3C2 is a non-profit organization. Any surplus (after the Franchise Fee has been paid) from running the Conference is shared between the LCO and IW3C2. The exact percentages of this share should be agreed in advance.
  • English Language: The conference language is English and no translation to other languages is normally provided.
  • Accessibility: The Web provides information to all, and its accessibility is a major issue. Some delegates and speakers will need wheelchair access, which should be of similar quality to the access for other delegates. Service animals, such as guide dogs, need to be accommodated at the Conference and must be allowed into the country where the conference is to be held without major impediments.
  • No-Show Policy for WWW conferences: We expect at least one author of the accepted paper to attend the conference (at least three days) and present the paper at the conference. Presentations by proxy are not allowed unless explicitly approved before the conference by the technical program co-chairs. Authors of the accepted papers who fail to comply this policy will be added to a "No Show List," compiled by the International WWW Conference Committee. The "no-show" papers will be removed from post-conference distribution (online proceedings) and will not be available on ACM. The No Show List will also be made available to future conference organizers, who can reject submissions from these authors in the following year. Exceptions to this policy will be made by the technical program co-chairs of the conference only if there is evidence proving that the no-show occurred because of unanticipated events beyond the author's control, and every option available to the authors to present the paper was exhausted. Authors of no-show papers wishing to appeal the no-show status of their paper must appeal by email to the conference organizers no later than 30 days after the conference occurs and must provide evidence to sufficiently demonstrate that their absence resulted from forces beyond their control. Decisions on appeals will be made based on the supporting evidence provided. Failure to meet the appeals deadline will automatically result in rejection of the appeal.

1.2 Conference Format

The Conference Series evolves from year to year but the overall shape and major components stay the same to ensure a level of consistency and to satisfy the expectations of returning delegates. The Conference consists of:

Core Tracks

The Core Tracks of WWW conference includes Research, Industrial, Poster, Tutorials, and Workshops. The Programme Co-Chairs are responsible for these tracks. Most of these tracks have chairs of their own, but Programme Co-Chairs are on the hook for coordinating.

  • Research and Poster: Refereed research papers at the Conference are of two types. On the one hand, there are oral presentations in parallel sessions throughout the Core Conference days (see below). On the other hand, poster papers are aimed at authors who wish to present late breaking results, work in progress for comment, or where the demonstration of the paper is important.
  • Industrial: These sessions are for invited speakers from industry. We expect the Programme Co-Chairs to work with the Conference Co-Chairs on addressing the local industry.
  • Tutorials: At least one day of tutorials on technical topics, immediately before or during the core conference days. They should satisfy a range of delegates from students to experts providing both education and training. Tutorials are given by invited lecturers and last for one or two half-days each.
  • Workshops Workshops are parallel activities to tutorials before or during the core conference days and possibly after the Conference. Workshops are aimed at peer-to-peer discussion.

W3C Track

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is committed to a full 3-day programme of sessions that outline the progress made in the last year (new Recommendations, their take-up by industry and available tools) as well as an overview of anticipated progress in the next period. W3C appoints a W3C Track chair that is fully responsible for the content of the track. Speakers of W3C Track (one per paper) are awarded a free registration. Note that IW3C2 also has a member responsible for the relations and contacts with W3C.

Developers Track

This usually takes place on the Saturday following the core programme or sometimes runs during the core conference days, and consists of a number of sessions with detailed presentations on the latest developments, implementations, and work in progress. These sessions are primarily aimed at technical developers.

Special Tracks

All other tracks are labeled “Special Tracks,” for example, Special Track on Web Sciences, W4A, or French Web when the Conference took place in French. The Conference Co-Chairs have control of these special tracks and they are encouraged to use them for emerging research directions or emphases of unique opportunity or development of Web technologies and applications at different region. Note that the corresponding proceedings go in the companion volume, and the organizers of special tracks should be explicit about these in any public call for papers to avoid potential confusion. Special tracks should be defined in ways that do not conflict with the core tracks. Calls for these Special Tracks should be approved by the Programme Co-chairs before they are announced to the public and shared with the IW3C2 liaison to the conference as a courtesy.

Core Conference Days

The core conference days include refereed research papers, posters, keynote speakers often in plenary sessions, invited speakers (not necessarily plenary), the W3C Track, corporate and specialists' presentations, and panel sessions. Sometimes tutorials and workshops run also during that days. The local organizers may decide to add additional types of sessions. The Conference Co-Chairs and Programme Co-chairs should work together to devise plenary/invited sessions.


The aim is an exhibition of manufacturer's products in parallel with the technical programme to provide a showcase for the latest hardware and software relevant to the Web. The feasibility of providing this will vary from country to country and not every conference has featured an exhibition of this kind. A book exhibition is appreciated by delegates either as part of the main exhibition or a separate event. Next Conference and IW3C2 are provided with free booths.

Social Programme

This gives delegates the opportunity to talk to each other in convivial surroundings. The main events are a Poster Reception on the Wednesday evening and a Social Event on the Thursday evening. Cost of the Social Events is included in the Conference Fee. During the Conference, coffee breaks should be organized in close proximity to the Poster Displays and the Exhibition.

The traditional breakdown of the main 5-day program into 3 distinct parts (Tutorials and Workshops, Core Technical Program, Developers Day) allows potential delegates to choose which package they require and provides a lower cost initial fee.

Innovations to this structure may be introduced (e.g., by folding the Developers’ Day and/or tutorials into the main core of the conference) but they should be discussed early on with IW3C2 to share any insights or concerns with the LCO.

1.3 Location

IW3C2 moves the Conference Series between the Americas, Europe, and the Asia/Pacific region. Although this is the preferred location rotation scheme, exceptions to this may be considered by IW3C2, depending on the strength and opportunity of the bid. Delegates enjoy visiting new venues and each region has different emphases in commerce, research and development. The local area/country is expected to provide a significant proportion of the delegates so location is a major factor in deciding where future conferences take place.

The conference venue needs facilities for 900 delegates in one plenary room and should support 7 to 10 conference rooms capable of holding 900 split unevenly between the rooms. Purpose built conference/convention centres tend to be expensive. Bidders should explore more cost effective options, such as a hotel, a university, and so on. The basic rules for a good location are:

  • No more than one hour from a city with a major airport;
  • Sufficient reasonably priced accommodation near the venue, preferably within walking distance

1.4 Previous Conferences

Statistics on previous Conferences are available at

2. Applying to Host the WWW20xx Conference

2.1 Local Conference Organizer

WWW20xx is a major Conference with the need for serious commitment of people's time and effort without charge to ensure its success. Large conferences cannot be organized without involvement of professional conference organizers (PCO) and using casual time that may or may not become available. Timescales must be adhered to if success is to be ensured; this entails a commitment of time during the working week. Such commitment is needed from individual's employers. The LCO must be able to provide that commitment and staff. The Contract to run the Conference is made between IW3C2 and the LCO (which needs to be an organization capable of signing such a Contract). Single Organizations as well as Consortia have run past conferences. As long as the team running the Conference is strong enough, IW3C2 has no great preference for either option.

The Conference Co-Chairs are the people delegated to run the Conference as a whole and they are the main agents of the LCO for the Conference Program.

Note: Throughout this document, the term Co-Chairs will be used as IW3C2 has found it beneficial to have two Officers for each post where appropriate, one with good local knowledge and the other with previous experience. It provides some protection against people falling ill or changing jobs.

2.2 Structure of Local Organization

Local Conference Organizer (LCO)

The LCO is the organization responsible for detailed management and execution of administrative functions typically including planning meetings, organizing the Conference web site, computer systems booking facilities, oversight of budget, design, printing, publicity, registration of delegates, accounting, staffing the Conference, provision of network and audio/visual infrastructure, etc. The LCO is strongly advised to sub-contract the functions to a local Professional Conference Organizer as early as possible; bids with PCOs already defined will typically be preferred over bids without PCOs defined.
Local Organizing Committee (LOC)

Established by the LCO, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) is responsible for bringing the programme together once the bid is accepted. The main LOC members must be clearly identified when applying to host the Conference. With help from the IW3C2 and the LCO, the LOC is responsible for the technical content of the programme.

The Conference Co-Chairs and the Programme Co-Chairs are the key posts that must be approved by IW3C2. TheyNote that Programme Co-Chairs are not appointed by the LOC, but the IW3C2 recommends a short list from which the Conference Co-Chairs invite. At the time of being invited to be Programme Co-Chairs, prospective Programme Co-Chairs should be informed that they cannot submit refereed papers.

The Conference Co-Chairs and the Programme Co-Chairs should work together to ensure the technical quality of the Conference. All four posts are virtually full time jobs for several months before the Conference, starting well before the Programme Meeting. The Programme Co-Chairs will also be responsible for the International Programme Committee (IPC) that will peer-review the research paper submissions of the programme and also should appoint a Proceedings Chair early as there are plenty of works to be coordinated between them. Both the LOC and the IPC will normally include members of the previous committee, authors from the previous Conference, and some IW3C2 members who are familiar with the Conference Series, in order to ensure community and continuity. It is at the discretion of the LOC to decide whether the Programme Co-Chairs are only responsible for the peer-reviewed parts of the conference (with the Co-Chairs taking care of the rest of the programme, like keynotes, specialists’ presentations, etc) or whether they are involved with the whole technical programme.

Other key posts are the Developer's Day co-chairs. They are responsible for setting up a technically attractive program for practitioner’s and developers interested in learning about the latest developments in the WWW. In previous conferences, there has been strong participation of W3C members in this activity, and IW3C2 can help in establishing this collaboration.

In the event that the Co-Chairs are not responsible for oversight of the whole programme, it needs to be made clear who is. The Conference Co-Chairs work with the LCO and IW3C2 in finding facilities, exhibitors, and sponsors from the international and local community. Responsibility for specific parts of the programme are usually delegated to one of the Co-Chairs.
Financial Structure

The LCO enters into a contract with the IW3C2 that includes the IW3C2 Franchise Fee as part of the Budget. IW3C2 and the LCO share in any surplus distribution as specified in the Contract. Details can be discussed with the current IW3C2 Chair. Each Conference in the Conference Series needs both international and local sponsorship to achieve a satisfactory cash flow and allow industry to participate fully in the Conference. Local sponsorship is primarily the responsibility of the LCO.

For preparation of the budget, please use the Budget template (2017-01-13 version).

Number and categories of free registrations (Conference co-chairs, PCProgramme co-chairs, plenary speakers, invited speakers, 12 members of IW3C2, 15 speakers of the W3C track, and 3 awardees of the previous Conference) are important information for budgeting.

The following checklist contains useful information about some important tasks and responsibilities for the WWW conference organizers: Conference checklist (PDF | DOC).

2.3 Making an Application

Organizations wishing to host a conference in the Conference Series should contact the IW3C2 Secretariat (contact a-t iw3c2 d_o_t org) and the Bids Liaison (bids a-t iw3c2 d_o_t org). An Application Form is included, and shows the information needed by IW3C2 to reach a decision. This form must be used for applications. The main items are the location, venue facilities and proposal for the Conference co-chairs. (Examples of application) Web versions of proposals to host are required.

As far as possible, the LOC should be proposed at the time of the formal application. (Bearing in mind the need for continuity based on previous years experiences, informal discussion with IW3C2 may well have occurred prior to the formal application.)

The important dates for an application to host a Conference in the year 20xx are:

  • December 20xx-4: Expressions of interest and informal bids to host conference
  • March 20xx-3: Formal Application received
  • April-November 20xx-3: Final competing bids for year 20XX Conference decided
  • January/November 20xx-2: IW3C2 visit to location (linked to an IW3C2 committee meeting if possible)
  • December 20xx-2: signature of the contract

2.4 Possible Conference Dates

The Conference is held during the April/May time frame. There are always other conferences held in that period; please check and avoid major conflicts. Other important dates to avoid are Easter, Mother's Day (USA), Golden Week (Japan), etc.

As soon as the conference dates are decided, it is recommended that the LOC works with IW3C2 liaison to communicate with the steering committees of other neighboring conferences (e.g. WSDM and SIGIR) to better manage the submission of papers to WWW.

3. Additional Selection Criteria

In addition to the descriptions above, the qualitative factors below (in no particular order) have been used to differentiate between competing bids. Submissions should provide information to help gauge these factors:

  • Levels of support evidenced for the bid, ranging from internally at the institution itself all the way up to federal government;
  • Degree of academic participation of members of the bidding team over the years in the WWW conference series, e.g., as authors, PC members and Vice-chairs of tracks. The decision process within the bidding team should ensure that members of the bidding team who have participated in the WWW conference series will see to it that the overall series goals, of which any one conference is only a part, are met;
  • Quality of the venue facilities; travel connectivity to the rest of the world; range of available accommodations (price-wise) near the conference venue;
  • Demonstrated prior experience by members of the bidding team in organizing conferences of similar size and complexity;
  • Well balanced budget with a lower cost of registration to the delegates.
  • Level of financing support already in place or demonstrably ensured covering the period before the conference (i.e., beginning when the bid is accepted), as well as for the overall conference period. This includes financial support both from the institutions involved in the bidding as well as from sponsors already committed to the bid, if present.
  • Expected medium to long term impact of holding the conference at the location, in the local academic community, in local industry and government. In other words, what positive impacts will holding of the conference leave in the local "ecosystem" after it is over?

4. Application Form to Host the International WWW20xx Conference

Please fill in this form in this format. Add any accompanying material, literally or as links, at the bottom.

4.1 Details of Proposed Site

  1. Year of Conference:
  2. Country:
  3. City:
  4. Venue(s) (Please give address):
  5. Have you read the IW3C2 Conference Guide ( ?: (YES/NO)
  6. How Accessible is it for wheelchairs and service animals such as guide dogs
  7. Can all the activities (tutorials. conference, exhibition, etc) be accommodated there? (YES/NO)
  8. Where is the venue located in relation to the city centre airport:
  9. Details of lecture theatres suitable for tutorials (number and capacities, both in theatre and classroom arrangements):
  10. Area available for exhibition (in square feet/metres):

4.2 Accommodation Costs

  1. Summarize accommodation available (number and categories of hotels, number of rooms and approximate room costs, location relative to the conference venue).

4.3 Local Organization

  1. Names of Conference Co-Chairs:
  2. Composition of LOC (as far as possible):
  3. Are the organizers acting on their own behalf? YES/NO
  4. Are the organizers acting on behalf of some other association? YES/NO If YES, give details of the association.
  5. What support will the organizers receive from their institution?
  6. What support will the Conference receive from the local country and/or town or city?
  7. What is the local audience for this conference (both numbers and areas of interest)?
  8. What tracks, invited speakers, or exhibitors might provide local interest?
  9. What do you anticipate in terms of delegate numbers, fees charged for the conference, and expenses for the conference?
  10. Can a budget be obtained locally to run the conference? If so, give details:

4.4 Financial Arrangements

Will any other organization have financial involvement in the conference? If so, give details:

Please discuss the sources of funding and financial models with the current IW3C2 Chair either before or soon after submitting a draft proposal.

4.5 Professional Conference Organizer (PCO)

Please indicate the Professional Conference Organizer involved and the references of the PCO:

4.6 Other Relevant Details

Please include any other details that you feel will support your application.

Send completed application form to the IW3C2 Secretariat ("contact a-t iw3c2 d_o_t org") and the Bids Liaison ("bids a-t iw3c2 d_o_t org").

IW3C2 -- Created: 2007/04/17 -- Last updated: 2016/04/20
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