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Seminar Invitation Templates document sample

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									                    SEMINAR GUIDE 2013

             SEMINAR GUIDE

Version                  Changes                Date of release
 1.00                  Initial version             4/10/2007
 2.00     After Programme Management seminars     24/01/2008
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                                             SEMINAR GUIDE 2013

                                               TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.      INTRODUCTION...................................................................................3
     1.1.      What is a Seminar?..................................................................................................... 3
2.      STEP-BY-STEP GUIDANCE .....................................................................4
     2.1.      STEP ONE: Initiating the seminar ............................................................................. 4
     2.2.      STEP TWO: Organising the seminar ......................................................................... 4
3.      REPORTING AND EVALUATION ..............................................................9
4.      TEMPLATES.........................................................................................9
5.      FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ........................................................ 10
     5.1.    Is the number of delegates per participating country in a seminar limited? ............ 10
     5.2.    Can delegates from other (than customs or tax) national administrations or bodies
     participate in a Seminar? ...................................................................................................... 10
     5.3.    Can experts participate in a Seminar? ...................................................................... 10
     5.4.    What is a suitable venue for a seminar? ................................................................... 11
     5.5.    What interpretation is available at a programme seminar? ...................................... 11
     5.6.    How many interpretation booths are needed ? ......................................................... 12
     5.7.    What can be financed from the amount foreseen for organisational costs?............. 12
     5.8.    What cannot be financed from the amount foreseen for organisational costs?........ 12
     5.9.    What determines the duration of a seminar? ............................................................ 13
     5.10.      What is the length of a working day at a seminar? .............................................. 13
     5.11.      What questions may need to be dealt with during the preparation meeting for a
     seminar? 13
     5.12.      How is the secretarial work organised during the seminar?................................. 17
     5.13.      How and when will delegates receive the seminar documents ? ......................... 17

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                             SEMINAR GUIDE 2013


    1.1. What is a Seminar?

    A seminar is one of the tools of the Fiscalis 20131 and Customs 20132
    programmes. A seminar (including forum / conference) is a one-off
    event providing an opportunity to bring the administrations of all
    Participating Countries together to examine specific topics.

    It can:

        provide a vehicle to exchange information and share knowledge,
        specialisation and experience of other countries;

        establish a basis for best common practice and develop guidance;

        provide improved understanding of procedures and legislation both
        amongst administrations and with economic operators;

        help to launch new initiatives.

    Seminars generally consist of an event with a number of plenary
    sessions and workshops. The aim is to hear the different views of all
    Participating Countries and to agree on how to proceed in the future.
    Participants will therefore need an appropriate level of subject
    expertise and active knowledge of at least one of the languages for
    which interpretation is provided.

1   Article 8 of Decision No 1482/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the
    Council of 11 December 2007 establishing a Community programme to improve
    the operation of taxation systems in the internal market (Fiscalis 2013), OJ L 330,
    15.12.2007, p.1.
2   Article 9 of Decision No 624/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the
    Council of 23 May 2007 establishing an action programme for customs in the
    Community (Customs 2013). OJ L 154, 14.06.2007, p. 25.

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                      SEMINAR GUIDE 2013


  Several steps need to be followed in view of the launching and
  organisation of a seminar. They are described below in detail.

  2.1. STEP ONE: Initiating the seminar

  A seminar can be initiated by a Participating Country or by the
  Commission by submitting a proposal to the CPMT. The proposal
  procedure for programme actions is described in the Management
  Guide of the programmes.

  For organisational reasons, proposals for seminars need to be launched
  ideally 6 months before the event.

  2.2. STEP TWO: Organising the seminar

  As soon as the proposal is approved by the CPMT, the Commission and
  the host administration can start the preparation of the seminar as
  described in the following steps.

  Each approved seminar is identified by a unique financial code:
  CSM/### under Customs 2013 and FSM/### under Fiscalis.

  Determining the date and venue

  Date and venue for a seminar are determined in agreement with the
  Commission's business unit, the CPMT and the proposed hosting

  When looking for a suitable location, the National Programme
  Coordinator takes into account the rules and procedures on public
  procurement as described in the Financial Guide, as well as a number
  of organisational requirements.

  Preparatory meetings

  One or more preparatory meetings are organised to discuss content
  and practical details. Representatives from the business units of both
  the Commission and the host country, any other subject experts
  required and the National Programme Coordinator of the host
  administration and the CPMT attend these meetings. The CPMT issues
  an invitation for each preparatory meeting.

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Key documents for a seminar

The seminar invitation is issued via CIRCA and contains a draft
agenda as well as information on objectives, expected results, profile of
the participants, date and venue, hotel costs, reimbursement,
registration form, etc (see template).

The host administration does not hire interpreters; these are provided
by the Commission Interpretation Service (SCIC). It provides however
the technical equipment for the interpretation. In order to receive SCIC
approval of this equipment, the National Programme Coordinator must
send the completed technical questionnaire (see template) within
the deadline set by SCIC. This questionnaire should include a plan of
the meeting room with indication of the interpretation booths.

Background and working documents are issued via CIRCA before
the seminar, in English, French and German language versions where
available. Presentations are uploaded on CIRCA after the seminar.

Each day of the seminar, all participants need to sign an attendance
list in order to ensure their reimbursement.

Participants also receive an evaluation form to be completed at the
end of the event.

Check-list of tasks

The following list gives an indicative overview of the different tasks and
responsibilities of all stakeholders in hosting and organising a
programme seminar after the approval of the seminar proposal. The
suggested timing does not take account of possible holiday periods in

The actors are:

   Business unit in the host administration (HBU);

   National Programme Coordinator of the host administration (NPC);

   Business unit within the Commission (CBU);

   Commission Programme Management Team (CPMT).

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                     Task                                              Actor
1.    Submit the proposal to the CPMT           Start – 6 months     NPC or CBU
2.    Approve the proposal and inform
                                                Start – 5 months     CPMT
      the initiator
3.    Contact CBU and CPMT to set a
                                                Start – 4 months     HBU + NPC
      date for a preparatory meeting.
4.    Issue invitation preparatory                                   CBU +
                                                Start – 4 months
      meeting via CIRCA                                              CPMT
5.    Collect price offers for
      accommodation and conference              Start – 4 months     NPC
      rooms (See Financial Guide 3.4.3)
6.    Check the interpretation
      equipment available at the
      conference rooms. Collect price
                                                Start – 4 months     NPC
      offers if equipment has to be
      rented elsewhere (See Financial
      Guide 3.4.3)
7.    Exchange views on the seminar
                                                Start – 4 months     CBU + HBU
8.    Select a hotel and an equipment
      provider on the basis of the offers       Start – 3 months     NPC
9.                                                                   HBU + NPC
      Attend preparatory meeting                Start – 3 months     + CBU +
10.   Draft a first version of the seminar
                                                Start – 2,5 months   CBU
11.   Complete seminar invitation
      including practical details (address,     Start – 2,5 months   HBU + NPC
      prices, transport details)
12.   Launch official request for
      interpretation within the                 Start – 2,5 months   CPMT
13.   Complete and issue final seminar
                                                Start – 2 months     CPMT
      invitation (via CIRCA)
14.   Issue personal invitations to
                                                Start – 2 months     CBU
      "contributors" and "experts"
15.   Prepare working documents and
      provide translations into 3               Start – 2 months     CBU
      languages where possible

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16.   Complete and send the technical
                                                Start – 7 weeks       NPC (+
      questionnaire for interpretation
      equipment and a plan of the               (deadline !)          provider )
      meeting room to the Commission

17.   Appoint one person responsible for
      technical issues (microphones,
      projection, IT, …) during the
                                                Start – 1 month       NPC
      seminar. This person should be
      able to communicate in either EN
      or FR.
18.   Appoint a team that will fulfil
      secretarial tasks during the
      seminar. At least one person of the       Start – 1 month       HBU + NPC
      team should be able to
      communicate in either EN or FR.
19.   Collect and process the application
      forms (including those from
      Commission delegates and                  Deadline set in the
      interpreters).                            invitation
      The Commission may send
      reminders on request.
20.   Assign chairman, speakers, and
      chairmen and rapporteurs for the          Start – 1 month       CBU + HBU
      workshops, …
21.   Compose the working groups (on
      the basis of linguistic preferences,      Start – 1 month       HBU + CBU
      chosen workshops, …)
22.   Publish working documents (via
      CIRCA) (in 3 language versions if         Start – 1 month       CPMT
23.   Check if names, flight numbers
      and other details of all participants     Start – 2 weeks       NPC
      are known.
24.   Collect electronic copies of all the
      presentations and send them to            Start – 2 weeks       CBU + HBU
      the CBU and CPMT
25.   Send an electronic copy of all
      documents and presentations to            Start – 1 week        CBU
      the interpreters.
26.   Check hotel reservations in
      relation to final number of               Start – 1 week        NPC
27.   Check transport arrangements              Start – 1 week        NPC
      from the airport to the hotel (if

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                          SEMINAR GUIDE 2013

28.   Check conference facilities
      (conference room and workshop
      rooms) for seating, presentation
      equipment, microphones,                   Start – 1 week    NPC
      interpretation booths, air
      conditioning, refreshments and so
29.   Make paper copies of all
      documents and presentations for           Start – 1 week    HBU + NPC
      the interpreters (obligatory).
30.   Make copies of documents and
      presentations for participants            Start – 1 week    HBU + NPC
31.   Print attendance lists for each day
      and copy evaluation forms (as sent        Start – 1 week    NPC
      to NPC by the CPMT)

32.   Organise pre-meeting with
                                                                  HBU + NPU
      chairmen, rapporteurs and                 Start – 1 day
                                                                  + CBU
33.   Organise the registration of the
                                                Start – 1 day     NPC
      participants (+ name badges)
34.   Organise the signing of the               Each day of the
      attendance list by all participants       seminar !
35.   Check transport arrangements
      from the hotel to the airport (if         End – 1 day       NPC
36.   Distribute and collect evaluation
                                                End               NPC
37.   Hand over the ORIGINALS of
      signed attendance lists and
                                                End               NPC
      completed evaluation forms to a
      Commission delegate.

38.   Collect and pay invoices for
      organisational costs from the
                                                /                 NPC
      programme budget advances held
      in the national administration.
39.   Draft the report of the seminar.          End + 1 month     HBU + CBU
40.   Provide translations (EN-FR-DE) of
                                                /                 CBU
      the report if possible
41.   Publish the seminar report on             /                 CBU +

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                      SEMINAR GUIDE 2013

     CIRCA                                                CPMT


  After each seminar, a report needs to be drafted, containing the main
  results and conclusions plus possibly a copy of presentations. The
  report is drafted either by the host administration or by the
  Commission based on prior agreement between the parties. The report
  is uploaded on CIRCA.

  Evaluation forms must be completed by all participants at the end of
  the seminar. The completed forms are processed by the Commission
  and the results are used for the general programme evaluation.


  The following templates are available on CIRCA:

    Proposal form

    Invitation to a preparatory meeting

    Technical questionnaire for SCIC, including technical standards to be

    Seminar Invitation

    Attendance list

    Seminar evaluation form

    Seating order of participating countries

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  5.1. Is the number of delegates per participating country in a
       seminar limited?

  Generally, 2 or 3 delegates per country are invited. Depending on the
  subject, it may be decided to exceptionally invite only 1 or more than 3
  per country.

  It may also be decided that national officials making a presentation at
  the seminar, can be reimbursed in addition to the normal delegation. In
  this case, they receive a separate invitation.

  5.2. Can delegates from other (than customs or tax) national
       administrations or bodies participate in a Seminar?

  Sometimes the topic covered by the seminar touches upon the
  competencies of different national administrations or services. In such
  cases, the requested delegate profiles may require participation of
  officials from other government departments or delegates from
  companies dealing with outsourced services.

  These participants are considered to be part of the PC's delegation and
  it is therefore for the National Programme Coordinator to arrange their
  reimbursement from the programme advances held in the national
  administration, under the same rules and conditions as their own

  5.3. Can experts participate in a Seminar?

  Yes, experts (from trade, third countries, international organisations,
  etc.) can be invited to a seminar under the programme budget, where
  this is necessary in order to reach the seminar objectives. They will
  always receive a personal invitation from the Commission. They will be
  reimbursed by the Commission directly.

  Number and profile of these experts should be mentioned in the
  seminar proposal.

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5.4. What is a suitable venue for a seminar?

In order to avoid additional transport, it is advisable to select a hotel
which has a conference room and working rooms as required and which
can at the same time accommodate all participants.

Seminar facilities would include:

   one Conference room to be used for the plenary sessions and for the
   multi-lingual working group (setting in a U-shape if the number of
   participants allows for it);

   a table for the chairmen (host country + the Commission);

   2/4 smaller rooms for workshops depending on the number of

   a small room or area for the secretariat.

When selecting a seminar venue, the following is to be taken into

   the price of the hotel should take account of the maximum
   organisational costs available for the seminar (as decided by the
   CPMT) and of the ceiling for reimbursement of hotel

   the conference room should offer enough space for the number of
   delegates to be invited and for the interpretation booths.

   enough workshop rooms should be available, offering the space
   required for the size of the groups.

   interpretation booths must be positioned in such a way that
   interpreters have a full view over the room and the screens (no
   pillars !) and that interpreters can see each other.

   a properly functioning air-conditioning should be available if the
   climate requires this.

   the conference environment should not be noisy and should provide
   a good working atmosphere.

5.5. What interpretation is available at a programme seminar?

Interpretation is normally provided into English, French and German
plus the language of the host country, where this is different.

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For some subjects, the Commission and the host administration may
decide that not all of these languages are needed or even that the
seminar can be held in English only.

Interpretation is only provided in the plenary room. Where workshops
are organised within the seminar, the plenary room will also be used
for the multi-lingual working group. Any other groups will have to work
in one language (generally in English).

Interpretation during a seminar can only be provided by the
Commission’s Interpretation Services (SCIC). The late return of the
SCIC technical questionnaire by the NPC and/or not respecting the
booths sizes and the technical standards for the equipment may
jeopardise the granting of interpretation.

The completed questionnaire needs to be sent to SCIC - Mr. Hespel,
with   a   copy    to  or    taxud- as appropriate.

5.6. How many interpretation booths are needed ?

One interpretation booth is needed for each language into which
interpretation is provided. Thus, there will generally be 3 or 4 booths.

These booths need to be placed in the meeting room in such a way that
all interpreters have an undisturbed view over the room (no pillars !)
and that they can see their colleagues in the other booths. SCIC
requires a plan of the plenary room indicating the position of the
booths, before approving the technical equipment.

5.7. What can be financed from the amount foreseen for
     organisational costs?

Organisational costs cover expenses to be paid by the host country for
costs related to the organisation of the seminar such as hiring of
conference and working rooms, interpretation booths and equipment,
other technical equipment, refreshments during the meeting, floral
arrangements, organised transport, as well as all kinds of office costs
like photocopying, paper, pens and badges.

It is advisable to include a small contingency sum in the contract for
the seminar organisation, in order to cover unexpected extra costs.

5.8. What cannot be financed from the amount foreseen for
     organisational costs?

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Accommodation costs need to be paid individually by every participant.

Interpreters are hired and paid directly by the Commission.

Social events and transport organised to reach the venue of these
events cannot be financed under the organisational costs. They need to
be      covered       from      the      host's      national   budget.
For optional sight seeing visits, etc. a contribution may be asked from
the participants. This should be mentioned in the invitation.

5.9. What determines the duration of a seminar?

The duration of a seminar will be determined in function of the
objectives to be reached. In general seminars last 2 to 3 days.

5.10. What is the length of a working day at a seminar?

A normal working day at a seminar starts around 9:00 and ends
between 17:00 and 18:00.

In order to comply with SCIC rules, the working day must respect the
following timetable: maximum 4 hours in the morning, minimum 1 ½
hour for lunch and maximum 10 hours per day (including the lunch

Please note that for interpretation in Luxembourg there are different
rules for working hours.

Where social events and sight seeing visits are organised, these must
be planned either outside the normal working hours (in the evening) or
after the end of the seminar.

5.11. What questions may need to be dealt with during the
      preparation meeting for a seminar?

  Draft Agenda

The draft agenda is elaborated at the preparatory meeting. It specifies
the seminar content, the exact duration, the planned presentations and
speakers, the sequence of plenary sessions, workshops and possible
site visits, etc.


If it is foreseen to have a number of workshops, on what basis will the
groups be composed? What is the maximum number of persons in each
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How many workshops/groups will be operating simultaneously? The
number of conference rooms required will be determined by the answer
to this question.

If workshops run simultaneously, which one will use the interpretation
facilities in the plenary room?


Presentations need to be drafted in one of the seminar working
languages. Whereas translations cannot be made available, hand-outs
should preferably be made in English.

  Plan of the meeting rooms

     What is the shape of the plenary room (U-shape, academic,
     other) ?

     Who will sit at the Chairman's table ?

     Where will screen(s) be installed ?

     Where can the interpretation booths be installed ?

     In the plenary room, delegations are seated in the official EU
     seating order, i.e. in alphabetical order or the country names in
     their own national language (see template)

  Technical equipment :

     overhead screen and projector

     computer with MS PowerPoint and Internet connection

     access to photocopying, fax and e-mail

     one or more lap-top computers for the Commission participants
     and/or reporters to enable them to take "on the spot" notes
     during the workshops (if requested)

     flipcharts for the workshop

  Interpretation equipment :

     interpretation booths (see SCIC Technical Questionnaire for the
     technical specifications)

     1 booth per language = minimum 3 (EN, FR, DE + host language
     if different)

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loudspeakers, amplifier, mixing unit etc.

headphones/receivers for each participant + interpreters

table mounted microphones: one for every 2 or 3 participants

one wireless tie-microphone for people making presentations

hire, installation (and removal), insurance and transportation of
the equipment

technical assistance : a technician should be available to solve
technical problems with the interpretation equipment at any time
during the seminar

Contact SCIC in case of questions about the interpretation
equipment (Mr. Didier HESPEL – see SCIC form)

Planning deadlines and distribution of tasks

   The check-list of tasks under 2.2.4 can be used as a guidance.

   When does the hotel need the confirmation of room
   reservations for the delegates? Interpreters may not be able
   to meet this deadline, because they are assigned at a later
   stage. The host should therefore keep a pre-reservation for
   the maximum number of interpreters until about two weeks
   before the event.

   When should the final invitation be issued ? When shall the
   invitations fro experts be issued ?

   What is the deadline for the SCIC questionnaire ?

   When should the working documents be issued ?

   When should the presentations be ready ?

   When does the host need the documents which need to be
   printed ?


   How will participants get to the hotel from the airport (public
   transport or will transport be provided)?

   Does the host intend to offer a welcome drink on the evening
   before the seminar?
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   How will the registration of delegates be organised?

   Should a presentation kit be presented to each participant?

   What Fiscalis 2013 or Customs 2013 promotional items are
   needed for distribution at the seminar? These are provided by
   the CPMT upon request by the host National Programme


   What menus are available for lunches? Buffets are best and
   easiest to manage. It is advisable to ensure at least one
   vegetarian menu to cover the possibility of religious or health
   motivated dietary restrictions. Fruit juice and water should
   also be available.

   Does the host administration intend to offer a dinner or
   another social event (not obligatory!)? Can a vegetarian menu
   be provided there as well?

Coffee breaks / refreshments :

   one in the morning, one in the afternoon

   coffee, tea, water, fruit juice, biscuits and cakes

   refreshments during the day : water for the conference room
   and working rooms

High level participation

   Will a Commissioner or a Minister open and/or close the
   Seminar ?

   Are there any special arrangements that need to be made for
   such participants?

   Are any of them expected to stay for the duration of the

   What transport arrangements are being made to ferry these
   high level participants to and from the conference centre?


   Should security arrangements be considered for the event?

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        What are the consequences of such security arrangements for
        the organisation of the event? How will participants be able to
        identify themselves at the hotel?

        When would the security agents need to have the final
        participants list?

5.12. How is the secretarial work organised during the seminar?

The host administration assigns a secretarial team, which will be
available throughout the seminar.

5.13. How and when will delegates receive the seminar
      documents ?

The invitation and documents are published to the national Programme
Co-ordinators via the CIRCA Interest Group for the relevant
programme. These Co-ordinators are responsible for distributing the
documents to their delegates.

Delegates are expected to bring paper copies of the documents to the
seminar. Printed copies of the documents will not be available on the
spot. Hand-outs of presentations will on the contrary be provided at the
seminar. The presentations are published on CIRCA after the seminar
has taken place.

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