Abidjan, 3 June 2021. The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) is calling for bids to host the 6th edition of the World Cocoa Conference (WCC) during the first semester of 2024, (tentatively in April 2024, the exact dates will be communicated later).

The WCC is the world’s premier cocoa gathering, bringing together government officials, the trade and industry, as well as civil society, to discuss and deal with the current issues involved in producing, trading, processing and marketing cocoa and its products, including chocolate. It is held on a biennial basis, having been launched in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in November 2012, before moving to Amsterdam, the Netherlands in June 2014, then to Bávaro, the Dominican Republic in May 2016, and to Berlin, Germany in April 2018. The 5th edition is due to take place in Bali, Indonesia during the second quarter of 2022.

All applicants should draft a submission containing extensive information on the following points. Preference will be given to formal bids from ICCO importing Member countries.

  1. THE CONFERENCE VENUE:

The World Cocoa Conference attracts a high number of participants, representing the whole spectrum of stakeholders in the cocoa value chain: the public sector, the private sector and the civil society.

The four-day Conference in 2024 is expected to attract about 1,300 delegates and will include both plenary and simultaneous multitrack breakout sessions. Thus, the conference venue would have to include at least one auditorium to seat an audience of 1,300 participants and a minimum of three (3) nearby breakout rooms, each having a seating capacity of around 400 participants. Because of the international nature of the Conference, all the meeting rooms should either have to incorporate four (4) soundproofed interpretation booths, or have sufficient space to build these booths within the rooms without affecting seating capacity.

Other additional nearby rooms would also be required, to serve as Organizer/Secretariat office, Executive Director’s office, VIP speaker room, Speaker ready room, Press room, etc. At least six (6) rooms of various sizes would be required for this purpose.

  1. THE EXHIBITION:

An exhibition will be held during the Conference. From past experiences, we expect up to 100 stands of 3 meters × 3 meters (9 square meters). This would require another large room or rooms, close to the main auditorium and breakout rooms but separated from it by at least one soundproofed wall.

  1. CATERING:

Buffet style lunch will be served for all Conference delegates, in a nearby room or rooms with an expandable number of seating places. The same or alternative spaces could be used for Cocoa Breaks, when cocoa, coffee and tea would be offered to delegates mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

  1. GALA DINNER:

A formal Conference Dinner should be held, at an appropriate offsite venue (with transportation provided). We expect an attendance of approximately 600 delegates.

  1. ACCOMMODATION:

A list of potential accommodation should be included in the bid with hotels ranging from three- to five-stars, near the Conference venue. These rooms would be made available to registered participants at discounted rates.

  1. ACCESSIBILITY BY AIR:

As the Conference attracts delegates from many countries, the venue should be located within proximity of an international airport, or at the very least an airport with good connections and accessibility for international flights, especially from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

  1. LOCAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL ASSISTANCE:

It is crucial to have strong evidence of support from government (local, regional or national) and the cocoa sector (trade associations or individual companies). This support could be demonstrated either by a significant financial contribution to the overall Conference budget, a major contribution in kind or by taking responsibility for some of the costs to run the Conference (e.g., rental of the venue, subsidising delegates unable to afford the costs of attending, the Gala Dinner, catering or other major budgeted costs).

  1. BUDGET & COST SHARING

The applicant should commit to contributing 50% of the total budget of the conference (in kind or in cash) and should include a written confirmation of this commitment in the bid. The other half of the budget will be covered by the ICCO. The estimated total cost for the organization of a World Cocoa Conference is about €1.3 million.

  1. PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE ORGANIZER (PCO)

A Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) should be hired to promote, market, sell, administer and manage the Exhibition, the Conference and the Gala Dinner. The costs associated with hiring the PCO are covered by a commission deducted from the sales revenues made by the PCO (from conference registration, sponsorship and exhibition, meeting rooms, sale of the Gala Dinner tickets, etc…).

Applicants have the choice to either select and hire a PCO that must contractually fully collaborate with the ICCO, or recommend a PCO that will have a direct contract with the ICCO. In both cases, the details of the contract will be subject to negotiation.

The ICCO would respectfully ask that applicants address each point 1-9 in their formal presentations. Any other supporting information would be welcome. The deadline for the submission of formal bids to host the World Cocoa Conference is Friday 15 October 2021, 11:59 pm GMT.

Bids should be sent in digital format to Mrs Laetitia ANEY, Sustainable Development Officer, International Cocoa Organization, Laetitia.Aney@icco.org

The International Cocoa Council will consider all formal bids at its 105th regular session and a final decision is expected by June 2022 at the latest.

For further information or enquiries about bidding for the World Cocoa Conference 2024, please contact Mrs Laetitia ANEY, Sustainable Development Officer, International Cocoa Organization; e-mail: Laetitia.Aney@icco.org