Call for bids to host the 3rd edition of the International Symposium on Cocoa Research – Exporting countries

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 19 June 2024. The ICCO Secretariat is pleased to announce the relaunching of the process for the selection of the host country for the 3rd edition of the International Symposium on Cocoa Research (ISCR), to take place during the first half of 2026.

The first edition of the ISCR was held in Lima, Peru in November 2017; and the 2nd edition was held in Montpellier, France in December 2022. The Secretariat invites exporting Members to submit their bids to host this event by 16 August 2024.

This call for bids will also be open to non-Member countries.

Preference will be given to submissions from African or Asian Member countries.


The ICCO International Symposium on Cocoa Research (ISCR) is a 4-day event during which cocoa scientists from different academic disciplines exchange their latest scientific findings and agree on priorities for collective actions. A scientific committee, to be established by the ICCO, will be in charge of the Symposium’s programme and the selection of abstracts under the guidance of the ICCO Secretariat.

Cocoa-exporting countries, preferably from the African or Asian continent, interested in hosting the 3rd ISCR are invited submit their bids to the ICCO Secretariat. Their expression of interest will indicate which of the following items they or their government will fully or partially finance and any other additional points that would enhance their bid to host the Symposium.

The applicant should commit to contribute 50% of the total budget of the symposium and include a written confirmation of this commitment in the bid. The other half of the budget will be covered by the ICCO. Based on the final costs of the 2nd ISCR, the estimated budget is approximately USD500,000. Therefore, applicants should be prepared for a similar financial obligation (see Annex 1).

Convention sector professionals, tour operators and other private companies active in the hospitality and conference sector are kindly requested to provide evidence of the support (financial, and otherwise) of their public authorities.

1. LOCATION. The venue should be in a city with easy access to an international airport.

2. ACCOMMODATION. A number of hotels should be identified with preferential rates negotiated for participants. The hotels should include two to five-star hotels to cater for different budgets for participants.

3. CONFERENCE ROOMS. The main conference room should have a minimum seating capacity of 500 participants. Two additional rooms are needed to hold breakout or parallel sessions. As an alternative, the main conference room could be partitioned into three conference rooms.

4. RESEARCH DISPLAY/EXHIBITION SPACE. A Poster exhibition and another exhibition will take place during the symposium. The symposium venue should have enough space, adjacent to the conference rooms, to allow up to 50 standard 9 square metre exhibition stands.

5. AUDIOVISUAL AND OFFICE EQUIPMENT. AV, IT and office equipment (microphones, projectors, screens, laptops, printers, office supplies, etc.) are required for the three conference rooms.

6. SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETATION. Simultaneous interpretation into English, French and Spanish should be available throughout the symposium in all conference rooms. Relevant interpretation personnel and equipment (headphones and translation booths) are required.

7. SMALL ROOMS. Three small rooms should be available at the conference venue. One room should serve as an office for the ICCO Secretariat and, therefore, be equipped with a number of computers, printers and a good internet connection. The other two should be available to allow for group meetings whenever these are required during the symposium.

8. REGISTRATION BOOTH STANDS AND SIGNAGE. Booths set up in order for participants to register and signage in the symposium venue should be available.

9. STAFF FOR REGISTRATION, HOSTESSES AND RAPPORTEURS. Under the guidance of the ICCO Secretariat, an adequate number of staff to handle symposium registration and to direct delegates at all events throughout the period of the symposium should be available. Rapporteurs should be available to assist the ICCO Secretariat in drafting the reports for each session.

10. CATERING SERVICES. Participants at the symposium will be provided with daily lunch at the symposium venue. In addition, participants will be provided with cocoa drinks, coffee, tea and snacks during breaks. Arrangements should be made within the symposium venue for an appropriate nearby space where participants can have their lunches and cocoa breaks.

11. GALA DINNER. A gala dinner for all participants, to be held either at the symposium venue or at an appropriate offsite venue with transportation provided, should be included in the bid. While participants to the gale dinner will have to pay their participation, bidders are encouraged to fully sponsor the gala dinner.

12. CULTURAL/COCOARELATED EVENTS OR VISITS. Part of the hospitality to be provided by the host could include cultural events to showcase the rich culture of the host country and/or a cocoa/chocolate-related visit.

13. VISA. Assistance to obtain entry visas for symposium participants should be provided. This could include a personal invitation letter from the Host Government to be sent – on request – to participants following registration, information on visa procedures, etc.

The deadline for the ICCO Secretariat to receive a formal bid to host the International Symposium on Cocoa Research is 16 August 2024, 16:00 UTC.

Bids should be sent in digital format to Mr José JIMÉNEZ PUERTA, Economist, International Cocoa Organization,

The International Cocoa Council will consider all formal bids by 4 October 2024 at the latest.

For further information or enquiries about bidding for the 3rd International Symposium on Cocoa Research, please contact Mr José Jiménez Puerta, Economist, International Cocoa Organization; DL: +225 27 22 51 49 60; Mobile: +225 07 78 55 25 10; email: