Report on IEA 2012 – 18th World Congress on Ergonomics
which took place in Recife, Brazil from 12 to 16 February 2012.
Dear IEA 2012 delegates,
We are writing to let you have the report on IEA 2012 - 18th World Congress on Ergonomics. We decided to send this report only now because we were waiting for all the activities related to the Congress to be finalized in order to present a complete report to participants. These activities have now been brought to an end with the legal closure of the IEA 2012 Organizing Committee Association, a non-profit making body created to organize IEA 2012.
With a view to giving high value to the transparency that has always guided the actions of the IEA 2012 Organizing Committee, we present below the report on the organization of the event.
1. On the numbers of the event
The congress was held from 12 to 16 February 2012, the week before Carnival. 1158 people took part in the congress, including delegates, speakers, the organizing committee, student volunteers and exhibitors. 813 papers in 65 sessions, 190 posters and 24 Company Case Studies were presented.
2. On the logistic activities prior to the event
2.1 On attracting and defining the date of the event
At a meeting held on July 9, 2006, in the city of Maastricht, the Netherlands, the nomination of the city of Recife - Brazil to host IEA 2012 was approved. At a meeting held on October 30, 2006, attended by the then President and the then Secretary of IEA, Profs. Pierre Falzon and Pascale Carayon, and by Prof. Marcelo Macedo Soares and Lia Buarque, after giving thought to several suggestions, it was decided that IEA 2012 would take place in the week before Carnival, in 2012, and this decision was approved by consensus by those present.
2.2 On defining the venue for the event
A contract with the Convention Center of Pernambuco was entered into and a down payment of R$ 10,000.00 (US$ 4,838.58; US$1 = R$ 2.066) made. This venue was chosen as it is the only venue in the state of Pernambuco capable of hosting an event with more than 1,200 people.
2.3 On defining the secretariat of the event
The company PMais Eventos was hired to provide the secretariat and give all necessary logistical support to holding the event. This choice was due to the fact of the company having been working for more than ten years in mounting Ergonomics congresses in Brazil.
2.4 On creating the IEA 2012 Organizing Committee Association
During the meeting we had with the Organizers of the 2006 IEA Congress, in Holland, the model for organizing that event was presented to us. At that time, a non-profit making Association was created to organize the event, bearing in mind that six years would elapse between being awarded the event and its taking place. In this period several boards would come and go in the directorate of the national body, which might well have caused discontinuities in the actions needed to mount the congress. We decided to adopt this same model in order to mount the IEA Congress in 2012.
3. Scientific activities
3.1 On choosing the publisher responsible for publishing the proceedings
During 2009 several publishers of international repute were consulted and invited to send proposals for the publication of the proceedings of IEA 2012, these publishers including Elsevier, Taylor & Francis and others. In the analysis by the IEA 2012 Scientific Committee, the proposal from IOS Press was chosen which, besides guaranteeing the lowest price, would also guarantee that the proceedings of the congress would be published in a special issue of Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation and would scientific indexing including a DOI number and be accessible at no charge on the publisher's homepage (http://iospress.metapress.com/content/ q66420837m77). This is the first time the proceedings of the IEA have been published as an article in a scientific journal with a DOI number and we believe this to be a major legacy of this event: the title of the issue is IEA 2012: 18th World Congress on Ergonomics - Designing a sustainable future, Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, Volume 41, Supplement 1/2012, IOS Press, ISSN: 1051-9815 (Print) 1875-9270 (Online).
3.2 On the submission of scientific papers
All papers were submitted and evaluated using the homepage of the event (www.iea2012.org). The process of evaluating the articles was conducted by IEA Technical Committees. This meant that the thematic areas of the congress reflected the areas of the IEA Technical Committees, such that the coordinator of each one received the articles of their respective areas, sent them to the reviewers belonging to that committee and uploaded the marks on the online system. Despite being an excellent proposal, this process had some problems due to some technical groups not having given the expected response. We recommend that this process be revised for future IEA congresses.
3.3 On the choice of speakers at the event
IEA 2012 received 13 keynote speakers: Barbara Silverstein, United States; Elias Apud, Chile; Francisco Rebelo, Portugal; Frida Fischer, Brazil; Georg [UTF-8?]Kr瓣mer, Germany; Jan Dul, Netherlands; Kapila Jayaratne, Sri Lanka; Kazutaka Kogi , Japan; Kenji Kurakata, Japan; Kurt Landau, Germany; Najmedin Meshkati, United States; Waldemar Karwowski, USA; and William Marras, USA. The choice of speakers was made by the IEA Board and recommended to the Organizing Committee of the congress. Articles referring to the talks were published by the journal Human Factors, edition November 2012, 55 (6). The choice of this scientific journal was the responsibility of the IEA Board.
3.4 On the congress program
The conference began on Sunday (12 February 2012). On this day there was the opening session (18:30-22:30) and workshops throughout the day. Due to the fact of the congress being held in a city with immense tourist attractions and in the week before Carnival, the Organizing Committee decided to follow the same programming model adopted at Ergonomics congresses in Brazil held in the Northeast region of Brazil: parallel sessions, posters, symposia and company case studies took place from Monday thru Thursday from 1pm to 6pm. The keynote talks were always from 6-7pm. The workshops, special sessions and meetings of associations and scientific groups were held in the morning (8:30am-12:45pm). We believe that this model worked perfectly and fully met the scientific aspects, and those of leisure and entertainment at the event.
We draw attention to the inclusion of sessions of Company Case Studies, which was coordinated by Prof. Ruud Pikaar, from Holland, to whom we are grateful. For the first time in the history of IEA conferences, there was an interval during scientific presentations, so that companies from around the world could present the state of the art and practice of ergonomics in their activities. There was also a space for companies to be able to exchange experiences, interact and learn about Ergonomic methods and techniques applied in the corporate world. We recommend that the sessions of Company Case Studies be definitively incorporated into the calendar of future IEA congresses.
3.5 On the participation of student volunteers
We had more than 25 student volunteers at this event: the famous orange shirts. They all received a complimentary registration fee and the congress material. The aim of this participation was so that students could have contact with colleagues, researchers and teachers from various universities around the world. At this event we created a program called "Adopt a foreign student." This program aimed to have local students receive students from outside the city of Recife. Student visitors could stay at the home of local students and, thus, there would be an opportunity to exchange experiences and network. We can state that the commitment, involvement and enthusiasm of the students was one of the highlights of this event. We are very grateful to everyone and hope to have planted the seed of interest in ergonomic research in the heart of future ergonomists.
4. On the logistics of the event
As presented in section 2.2 above, the Congress was held at the Convention Center of Pernambuco. In mid-October 2011 we were informed, via the Secretariat of the Congress, that the Government of the State of Pernambuco would carry out general refurbishment in the Palace of the Government and so the headquarters of the State Government would be transferred to the Convention Center, the venue where we would organize our event, as of January 2012. This caught us completely by surprise and it made no difference when we stated that we had already paid, including a tax for occupying the site. The administration of the Convention Center remained adamant. We attempted to find another venue in the State of Pernambuco to hold the event, but as previously stated, there is simply no such venue. Given this, we had four alternatives: a) cancel the event, b) postpone the event, c) transfer to another city or e) adapt the existing infrastructure. On analysis by the Organizing Committee, together with the secretariat of the event, the fourth option was chosen: to adapt existing infrastructure to the needs of the event. The justification for this choice was based on the number of people who, to that point, had already registered for the Congress, some of whom had already paid for their hotel and air tickets, and the contracts already signed with various suppliers which, if broken, would certainly have incurred huge financial losses due to fines and rescinding the contracts.
5. On the financial aspects
On January 12, 2012 we sent an email to all IEA 2012 participants, who had by then registered, communicating the serious financial situation of the congress. At that moment, we had 744 people registered for the event, we had contacted 34 companies to obtain financial support and had received a response from only 10 of them, with much lower values of sponsorship ��than we had imagined. Traditional Sponsors of Ergonomics events in Brazil had not confirmed their participation. At that moment, we informed those who had by then registered that we had decided to suspend the cocktail of the opening session of the event, the congress party/ dinner and transportation.
Fortunately, at the last moment, we had sponsors who ensured the restoration of the services suspended and we also moved from being in the red to a positive position. The congress had R$ 139.913,20 (US$ 67,721.78) profit. On July 11, 2012 the congress secretariat deposit the value of R$ 88.063,20 (US$ 42,624.97) to ABERG0 – the Brazilian Association of Ergonomics bank account in order to be pass to IEA (this value was referred to seed money and captation fee). ABERGO was entitle to the value of R$ 51,580.00 (US$ 24,966.12), which refers to reimbursement of R$ 10,000.00 (US$ 4,838.58) for the advance payment for the Convention Center which the Association had provided and remaining referring to the congress profit. All amounts cited herein can be verified in the Financial Report Spreadsheet, sent on July 10, 2012 to the IEA Board. Copies of all invoices and checks issued are in our possession. These figures made us extremely happy because we got out of a situation in which the event was about to be canceled to that of making a surplus.
6. The death of Professor Anamaria de Moraes
On the morning of July 16, 2012 we had the news of the death of our dear friend Anamaria de Moraes, at the hotel in Recife in which she was staying during the congress. Anamaria was one of the most renowned researchers in Ergonomics in Brazil, the founder of the Brazilian Ergonomics Association who dedicated more than 30 years to Ergonomics in Brazil and worldwide. Anamaria actively participated in IEA 2012, and died on the last day of the event. She was passionate about Ergonomics and was the first IEA Fellow in Latin America. Anamaria once confessed to me that she would die happy if she died at an Ergonomics congress. I never thought she would take this so seriously.
We, the Organizing Committee of IEA 2012, dedicate this congress to the memory of our beloved friend, colleague, and eternal teacher.
Recife, 15 November 2012
Marcelo Marcio Soares
Coordinator of IEA 2012
Scientific Coordinator of IEA 2012
Lia Buarque de Macedo Guimaraes
Coordinator of the Technical Committee
Laura Bezerra Martins