Towards Carfree Cities - Conference Hosting Agreement

Note: This Agreement is to serve as a guideline only. Some of the information contained in it is may not be applicable for other proposals.

This Agreement is dated for reference the xth day of ______, 200x.


World Carfree Network
International Coordination Centre
(registered as World Carfree Network - Czech Republic)
Kratka 26
100 00 Prague 10
Czech Republic
(the "WCN ICC")


(the "Host Organisation")


Background Facts

A. World Carfree Network's predecessor organisation founded the Towards Carfree Cities conference series in 1997. World Carfree Network (the "Network") facilitates the organisation of the annual conference, and chooses the Host Organisation. The WCN ICC is the Network's liaison to the Host Organisation.

B. Pending the signing of this agreement, _____________ has been chosen as the Host Organisation for the Towards Carfree Cities xx conference ("the Conference"), which is to take place in 200x in _____________.

C. As part of its responsibilities to the Network, the WCN ICC wishes to work with the Host Organisation to ensure a smooth, successful conference in _______, subject to the terms of this Agreement.

D. _____________ wishes to fill the role of Host Organisation, serving as the principle organiser of the conference.


In consideration of the mutual promises of the parties to each other in this Agreement, the parties agree with each other as follows:


1.   Division of Work

1.1   The WCN ICC will provide to the Conference organising effort:

a) general information, advice and assistance as needed
b) a Conference Organising Manual (a set of suggestions and a compendium of experience from past conferences, which may be updated annually)
c) files and forms used to organise previous conferences
d) an active contribution to international Conference outreach and promotion (including announcements/advertisements in Network publications, promotion on Worldcarfree.net, announcements sent to Internet discussion lists and to the 500+ organizations listed in the Network's on-line directory)
e) an equal contribution (with the Host Organisation) in developing the Conference programme, via consensus
f) the hosting of the one and only Conference website (including pages for general information, accommodation options, the programme, presentation abstracts, detailed travel information and maps, and registration forms) at www.worldcarfree.net/conference/ (both English and ______ versions)
g) fundraising assistance as needed, according to means, and including a list of funder prospects (funding applications may still need to be submitted under the name of the Host Organisation)
h) between four and six (4-6) full-time Conference staff people during the Conference (this can include volunteers or paid individuals who are not WCN ICC staff), including the payment of their travel to/from the Conference
i) assistance with finding Conference volunteers
j) the running of a WCN Resource Centre (book sales, etc.) table during the Conference
k) the organisation and funding of the World Carfree Network Annual General Meeting (AGM, held immediately after the conference) and related follow-up
l) regular communication with the Host Organisation throughout the Conference organising period

1.2   The Host Organisation will provide to the Conference organising effort:

a) arrangements and confirmations of the Conference venue(s), food/drink caterers, and any other facilities, services and equipment necessary for the smooth functioning of the Conference
b) fundraising to cover all Conference-related expenses (aside from those covered by participants' registration fees and the contribution of the WCN ICC)
c) an equal contribution (with the WCN ICC) in developing the Conference programme, via consensus
d) the production and dissemination of Conference outreach materials
e) the sending of invitations to all invited speakers, and follow-up communication with them, as well as with volunteer speakers (those who offer to make presentations or run workshops themselves)
f) the provision of all relevant information for inclusion in the Conference website (general info, description of venue(s) and directions, international travel options, full details on available accommodation options for various expense levels, registration fees, etc.), as well as a link to the Conference website from _______________
g) the organisation of a Conference closing party (unless both the Host Organisation and the WCN ICC consent to having the WCN ICC organise the party)
h) at least four full-time Conference staff people during the Conference (this can include full-time volunteers)
i) the sending of a monthly Conference update, including any announcements and calls for suggestions, to the World Carfree Network discussion list (carfree_network) in each of the eight months prior to the Conference (communication more often is welcome)
j) regular communication with the WCN ICC throughout the Conference organising period


2.   General Details

2.1 - Title   The Conference title will be "Towards Carfree Cities xx" in the English language. The translation "_______________" will be used for ________ language communication. A subtitle specific to the 200x Conference, and a Spanish translation of "Conference," are to be agreed upon between the Host Organisation and the WCN ICC.

2.2 - Language   English and ______ will be the official Conference languages. Conference content will be presented in both English and ______, and if there are available funds, simultaneous translation will be offered for all participants. If funds should be insufficient, the Host Organisation may seek for less expensive translation alternatives.

2.3 - Location and Dates   The Host Organisation agrees to hold the Conference in _____________, within the calendar year 200x, at a time of year agreed to between the Host Organisation and the WCN ICC. (The WCN ICC is responsible for making sure the approximate conference dates are agreeable to others in the Network.) The agreed-upon month for holding the conference is _______; the specific dates are not finalised but may be _________.

2.4 - Audience   The target audience is broad, including activists, campaigners, planners, local officials, researchers, students, scholars and others - anyone interested in advancing the carfree agenda. The Conference is to be equally inclusive of these types of participants, recognising that the Conference series and the Network have their roots in nonprofit voluntary advocacy.

2.5 - Food/drinks   The Conference is to offer lunch and dinner (mid-day meal and evening meal), as well as tea, coffee, fruit, etc. during breaks, to be arranged by the Host Organisation. Food/drink costs are to be included as part of the Conference registration fees. Vegan (vegetarian non-dairy) food and drinks will be offered. In the registration form, participants will be asked if they have other special dietary needs, and the Host Organisation will pass on this information to the food caterer(s). Only two types of menus will be offered: regular and vegan.

2.6 - Press   Members of the press are to be allowed access to the Conference without paying a fee. This access may be restricted to specific times and places, and/or according to a press accreditation process, as deemed appropriate by the Host Organisation. Members of the press may be asked to pay for meals, but only if they wish to eat at the Conference.

2.7 - AGM   The World Carfree Network 2005 Annual General Meeting (AGM) decided: "If by February 15, 200x, it does not look feasible to hold the 200x AGM with maximum network participation at the Towards Carfree Cities xx conference in ______, the Steering Committee will be advised to choose an alternate location, which may be the network's planned and funded May 200x meeting in the Czech Republic." If the 200x AGM does occur in ______, it will take place immediately following the Conference.


3.   Conference venue(s)

3.1   The Host Organisation agrees to find (a) Conference venue(s) that offer(s) the types of facilities listed and detailed in the Conference Organising Manual (found on the Worldcarfree.net website), while recognising the limitations of its budget.

3.2   The Conference venue will be a full service hotel where a wide range of audience will feel comfortable. This venue will offer enough space for stands, coffee breaks, workshops and lectures. It must be accessible to those with physical disabilities and mobility limitations, with the possibility of minor assistance as needed.

3.3   All Conference venues are to be agreed upon between the Host Organisation and the WCN ICC, prior to the signing of contracts with venue management.


4.   Registration

4.1   Conference registration fees are to be set by the Host Organisation. There are to be two rates: a low-income rate and a standard rate. Early registration discounts may be applied to both rates. The standard rate (without the early registration discount) is not to exceed US$200 including meals for five conference days.

4.2   Neither the WCN ICC Conference staff (the 4-6 people referred to in Section 1.1h), the WCN Steering Committee members (up to 7 people), nor the Host Organisation staff are to pay registration fees for attending the Conference. Should a staff member of either organisation be attending the Conference but not serving as Conference staff, he or she may be asked to pay for his or her own food, drinks and other expenses. The WCN ICC and the Host Organisation are to decide upon such cases in advance, if applicable. No person or group may participate in the Conference without paying the registration fee, unless an exception is agreed upon by both parties.

4.3   The Host Organisation is responsible for offering multiple registration payment options, including bank transfer, on-line secure credit card payment, and cash payment on arrival (accepted currencies may be limited but must be announced). The Host Organisation is to give this information to the WCN ICC, which is then responsible for including it in the Conference website.

4.4   On-line registration forms will be programmed by the WCN ICC to automatically send a copy of each completed registration form to both the WCN ICC and the Host Organisation. The Host Organisation is responsible for communication with those intending to participate in the Conference, including answering queries, providing confirmations of registration, assisting with the payment process, creating a participants' list with contact details (to be made available to all participants), and sending a pre- and post-conference informational e-mail to all registered participants. In all Conference materials, the main contact e-mail address provided for the Conference will be an e-mail address of the Host Organisation, if possible an e-mail address used only for Conference matters.


5.   Accommodation

5.1   Conference participants are not to pay for accommodation as part of the Conference registration fee. Instead, participants are to independently select, reserve and pay for their own accommodation, from a list of options provided by the Host Organisation or from elsewhere. The list is to include at least one option in each "star" category ranging from youth hostels to high-end hotels, if possible with 10% discounts arranged for each option. The list is also to include a description, prices and full contact information for each hotel/hostel.

5.2   The Host Organisation will find inexpensive accommodation (as needed) for the Conference staff referred to in Section 1.1h - if possible at a single location near the conference venue(s). The Host Organisation is to pay for this from the general conference income.


6.   Programme content

6.1   At least 50% of podium presentations must be directly related to "carfree cities." As this may be difficult to judge in some cases, the WCN ICC is responsible for seeking input from the rest of the Network (especially its Steering Committee) if the WCN ICC determines it to be unclear whether the 50% total has been reached. Not counted towards this total are presentations on such topics as congestion charging, sustainable energy, peak oil, climate change, ride-sharing, or any other topic that is not in its essence directly related to carfree cities.

6.2   Programme content from a variety of nations will be sought. Not more than one-third (1/3) of the programme content will be from the host nation (counting both by number of speakers and allotted time). Exempted from this number are excursions and social events held as part of the Conference.

6.3   There will be one public day open free of charge (without meals) to members of the public, or at a fee not to exceed one-half a day's wage at the local minimum. The Host Organisation is free to decide if the general public will also be invited free of charge to some of the Conference's evening social events, although attendance of the Conference closing party may be by invitation only (for example, to those who assisted with the organisation of the Conference). The Host Organisation will take into consideration budget constraints and security issues here.

6.4   No speaker or presenter is to be invited to the Conference, and no activity or event incorporated into the Conference programme, without prior agreement between the Host Organisation and the WCN ICC.


7.   Division of Income

7.1   The Host Organisation is to directly receive Conference participants' registration fees into its accounts. The Host Organisation is authorised to spend these funds, as well as the proceeds of its own Conference fundraising, to cover Conference expenses.

7.2   To help cover its Conference-related expenses, the WCN ICC is to receive from the Host Organisation fifteen percent (15%) of all Conference registration income (participants' registration fees, after taxes have been deducted) coming from non-Latin American and non-Caribbean countries. This payment may be made as a single bank transfer, or another agreed-upon method, within the sixty (60) days following the Conference.

7.3   The WCN ICC is to fundraise to cover its own Conference-related expenses (those necessary to fulfill the duties outlined in Section 1.1), as well as all expenses related to the AGM. Further, the WCN ICC can raise funds during the Conference, through sales of books, t-shirts, and other resources, at a designated table.

7.4   If successful fundraising allows either the Host Organisation or the WCN ICC to contribute toward Conference-related expenses incurred by the other party, this can occur, but only by mutual agreement separate from this Agreement. For example, under such an agreement the Host Organisation could pay for Conference staff expenses of the WCN ICC, or vice versa. (By mutual agreement the Host Organisation may pay for other expenses, but only from money obtained via international funds, not national ones.)


8.   Timeline

8.1   A more detailed timeline is provided, as a guideline, in the Conference Organising Manual. But for purposes of this Agreement, the WCN ICC and the Host Organisation agree as follows:

a) Conference fundraising by both parties is to commence immediately after the signing of this Agreement, and continue until two months prior to the Conference, or later.
b) The Host Organisation is to confirm via written contract all Conference venues no later than five months prior to the Conference.
c) The WCN ICC is to create and upload an initial Conference website no later than eight months prior to the Conference. Material submitted at any time by the Host Organisation for inclusion in the website shall be added to the website by the WCN ICC within ten (10) days of its receiving the material.
d) Communication from either party is to be responded to by the other party within four (4) working days as a matter of practice, and within ten (10) days in cases of special difficulty.
e) The Conference registration period for participants is to be opened no later than five months prior to the Conference.
e) The attendance of at least three keynote speakers is to be confirmed by the Host Organisation no later than five months prior to the Conference.


9.   Liability for Conference Participants

9.1   Neither of the two parties signing this Agreement assumes any responsibility for the actions of any individual or group participating in the conference or related events during their stay in ______. Neither party shall be held responsible for any eventuality that may occur in the city or the country at that time (such as natural disaster, war, attacks, accidents, theft, etc.) The Conference registration form will include a legal release statement to this effect, to be signed or ticked by participants to indicate their understanding and consent.


10.   Decision-Making and Conflict Resolution

10.1   The WCN ICC agrees to provide a Conference Liaison - a staff member designated to communicate with the Host Organisation on all Conference matters. The Host Organisation agrees to provide a main Conference Coordinator - a staff member who is responsible for the Conference, and for communicating with the WCN ICC's Conference Liaison. The Conference Coordinator and the Conference Liaison are to work by consensus.

10.2   Throughout the Conference organising period, the WCN ICC's Conference Liaison should seek input from the rest of the Network (especially its Steering Committee) to inform his/her "macro-level" decision-making. The Host Organisation's Conference Coordinator is responsible for incorporating input from other Host Organisation staff. Decisions deemed minor may be made between the two parties without outside consultation.

10.3   The WCN ICC and the Host Organisation agree that they will attempt to resolve all disputes that may arise between them concerning this Agreement, first by direct contact, including telephone contact, and then, if necessary, through the use of a mutually agreed-upon mediator.


11.   "Plan B"

11.1   Should fundraising and projected registration income be insufficient to hold the Conference as planned, the Host Organisation and the WCN ICC shall mutually decide on a course of action by the date which is ninety (90) days prior to the chosen Conference start date. The WCN ICC is to solicit advice from the rest of the Network (especially its Steering Committee) in such cases. A "Plan B" course of action may include "down-scaling," postponement or cancellation of the Conference.


12.   Termination of Agreement

12.1   Either the WCN ICC or the Host Organisation may terminate this Agreement for the following reasons:

a) if one of the two parties fails to fulfill its obligations under this Agreement, such that the other party feels the continuation of Conference organising is no longer viable;
b) if a conflict between the two parties cannot be resolved by the means outlined in Section 9; or
c) if one of the two parties is subject to a force majeure - an event outside the organisation's control which prevents it from fulfilling the duties outlined in this Agreement. Force majeure events include, but are not limited to war, natural disaster, labour strike and state of emergency.

12.2   In case of termination of this Agreement, the party initiating the termination is to immediately send a formal termination letter to the other party, including an original sent by registered or certified mail.


13.   Separation Clause

13.1   Should any individual provision of this contract prove unworkable or invalid, this will not affect the validity of the contract. The parties agree to replace any unworkable or invalid provision with a provision best matching the original intention.


14.   Santa Clause

14.1   This Agreement expires on 25 December, 200x. All financial transactions under this Agreement are to be made prior to this date. If however payments are still due on or after 25 December, 200x, such payments shall remain due until paid.


15.   Entire Agreement

15.1   This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes any and all prior written or oral agreements or understandings with respect to the Conference. No alteration, modification or waiver of any provision of it shall be valid unless in writing and signed by both parties.


By their signatures below, both the WCN ICC and the Host Organisation indicate that they have read, understand, and agree with all statements contained in this Agreement.


World Carfree Network -
International Coordination Centre
(registered as World Carfree Network - Czech Republic)

Randall Howard Ghent
Authorised Signatory

date / place



Authorised Signatory

date / place



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 This page was last updated 26 September 2005