Guidelines for Organisation of an International Carbohydrate Symposium

Pre-symposium planning Numbers
Opening Ceremony and Session Post-symposium
Closing Ceremony General
Technical Program

Pre-Symposium Planning

  1. The best times for symposia seem to be in July. Times before mid-June are not good for Europeans, neither are times in August. Times after mid-August (including September) or in the first half of May are not good for many North Americans. Times before 1 May or after 30 September would probably limit attendance by many, particularly students, and those who combine the symposium with a holiday.
  2. The contact details, in particular the email addresses, of all delegates attending the previous symposium should be obtained from the previous chairperson.
  3. The first circular should be available and distributed at the previous symposium. The details contained in the first circular should then be posted on the ICO web site and, eventually, on the symposium web site.
  4. A second circular, if deemed necessary, is mailed at least 8-9 months in advance of the symposium. Alternatively, all of the relevant information is again posted on the ICO and symposium web sites. In particular, the names of the plenary lecturers and the recipient of the Roy L. Whistler Award should be included (contact with the immediate past-president, who chairs the selection committee, needs to be maintained; the past-president arranges for international publicity for the award).
  5. The web sites and any second circular should contain the statement “IUPAC sponsorship implies that entry visas will be granted to all bona fide scientists provided that application is made not less than three months in advance”. If a visa is not granted (by six weeks in advance), the IUPAC Secretariat should be notified without delay.
  6. All publications shall use English as the primary language. The official language of the symposium will be English.
  7. IUPAC sponsorship should be requested before the first circular is printed so that IUPAC and IUBMB sanction can be stated. In fact, the farther in advance IUPAC sponsorship is requested (four years is desirable, if possible), the less likely it will be that the dates will conflict with those of other organic symposia. 8. IUBMB sponsorship is automatic but funds must be requested by the ICO representative to IUBMB. Again, the earlier the dates can be fixed and recorded with the IUBMB, the less likely it will be that conflicts will occur.
  8. The symposium budget should include a sum (US$1000) to be used to pay the expenses incurred by the Secretary of the ICO. This money will be deposited in a restricted account under the control and management of the U.S. Advisory Committee for International Carbohydrate Symposia, Inc. The National Representative of the U.S.A. is to be contacted for the method of transferring the $1000 to the restricted account. Funds will be withdrawn from the account and paid to appropriate vendors by the National Representative of the U.S.A. upon receipt of a request from the ICO Secretary.
  9. The format of the symposium (both the scientific and social programs) is decided by the organizers. The organization may be adapted to the particular facilities, customs, etc. of the hosts.
  10. It is necessary that a range of accommodations be provided, from inexpensive accommodations for students, to better hotel accommodations.
  11. Opportunities for participants to be together, for example, for meals or poster/social afternoons or evenings, and to interact with one another, should be maximized to the extent facilities permit. Housing in a single, primary location, for example, is preferred.
  12. Announcement of the ICO meeting is made by the secretary at least 12 weeks (if possible) in advance of the symposium (the agenda may be sent at a later date). It is traditional to hold the meeting on Sunday afternoon and to follow it with a dinner for ICO members and accompanying persons, but this should be arranged so that ICO members can also attend the opening reception, which they should do.
  13. Some way for participants to contact one another through a message centre is desirable.

Opening Ceremony and Session

  1. The ICO president (the National Representative of the country holding the previous symposium) officially opens the symposium. Introduction of ICO members is desirable so that attendees will know to whom to direct comments and suggestions.
  2. A short time should be set aside for the ICO president/secretary to report any actions taken at the ICO meeting. This time is to be used only if there are actions that need to be reported.
  3. The ICO president introduces the National Representative of the host country, who in turn introduces the ICS organizer (if a different person).
  4. The ICS organizer conducts any opening ceremony.
  5. The ICO president presides over the opening session, which is the Whistler Award Lecture. In the introduction of the award recipient, the president should explain the significance of the award, including the US$10 000 prize, which makes it one of the world’s major awards, and describe the accomplishments of past recipients.
  6. The program book should contain a description of the award and a listing of past award recipients.
  7. The actual award (plaque and cheque) is presented before/following the lecture, by the ICO president.
  8. A photographer should be present to record the award presentation

Closing Ceremony

  1. The closing ceremony should include an invitation from the next host to attend the subsequent symposium.
  2. The symposium is closed, as it is opened, by the ICO president.

Technical Program

  1. In choosing plenary lecturers, invited speakers, paper presenters, and session chairs, emphasis should be on the (a) international character of the symposium, (b) quality of work, (c) ability to lecture in English, and (d) the broad scope of carbohydrate research.
  2. Generally, plenary lecturers and invited speakers should be chosen from those who have not given such lectures in the preceding symposium. It should be emphasized that these are international symposia and so any one country should not be over-represented in the choice of speakers.
  3. The meeting program book should include (a) a listing of the national representatives and other ICO members, and (b) information about the Whistler Award, including how nominations are to be made. A chronology of previous symposia may be included.
  4. All papers given orally in concurrent sessions (that is, other then plenary and invited lectures) should also be presented as posters.
  5. Effort should be made to emphasize the breadth of glycoscience (synthetic organic chemistry, chemical and physical structural and analytical methods, practical and industrial applications, theoretical aspects, biochemistry and glycobiology). Efforts should be made to prevent distortion towards any one sub-discipline. The goal is to allow those in one sub-discipline to learn from those in others as well as their own.
  6. Parallel sessions should be minimized (three appear to work well) and arranged so as to minimize potential conflicts in the interests of attendees.
  7. If possible, posters should be left up for the entire week of the symposium. Posters should be located as close to the site of the lectures as possible. Viewing of posters should be divided into several short sessions, with a portion of the posters in each sub-discipline being presented to each session, so that authors have an opportunity to circulate and talk to other persons presenting posters. In short, because a large part of the information is presented in poster form, effort should be made to make them accessible and beneficial to all participants.
  8. Information to submitters of papers as to whether their paper has been selected for an oral presentation (poster also required) or a poster presentation only should be clear and sent out well in advance of the symposium.
  9. Instructions for the preparation of posters should be clear and included in the symposium information. Personnel should be available to assist with the attachment of poster material to the boards.


Experience would indicate that attendees will number 600-800 scientists and 50-100 accompanying persons.


  1. Contact details (email addresses) are passed along to the next organizer.
  2. General financial data should be shared with upcoming organizers.


  1. The ICO logo should be printed on all symposium publications. Use of an additional local logo is encouraged.
  2. ICO members should be listed in the final meeting program.
  3. A description of the Roy L. Whistler International Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry and listing of award recipients should appear in the final meeting program.

Symposium Guidelines DOC
Symposium Guidelines PDF
Symposium Host Application DOC
Symposium Host Application PDF