There is an International Conference held every year in a different European Country.

Upcoming ESTA conferences

ESTA branches who are interested in organising an International ESTA Conference in their country will find important information in the following documents:

Download the guidelines for organising a conference

The object of this paper is to help future organisers of the ESTA International Conference as they make their preparations.

Although some points are almost certainly legal or constitutional requirements, many of the suggestions are just that, suggestions.

Conferences, over many years, have succeeded because they reflected the spirit, both musically and socially, of the host country. It is not the intention of the Guidelines Committee to interfere
with that in any way.

We have divided the ideas in this paper into 3 categories:

IN BOLD are matters that every Conference should act upon, either because it is a legal
requirement (in most countries), or because it is stipulated by the ESTA constitution.

IN STANDARD FONT are things which the guidelines committee strongly recommends.
IN ITALICS are ideas from recent conferences which you might find useful.


  • A conference Committee should be appointed, and one person should be identified
    as the Conference leader.
  • The host nation will take sole responsibility for the financing of the Conference. No
    financial help will be forthcoming from the Central Board.
  • Health and safety concerns must be addressed. There needs to be a risk assessment,
    and it is essential to appoint qualified first aiders. There should be a first aid kit and
    information on local health services.
  • Facilities for disabled people must be provided.
  • Child safeguarding (assuming any children will be present) is essential, as is the
    protection of any vulnerable adults.
    Policy needs to be clear on:
    • Photographs and videos
    • Recordings
    • Background criminal checks for responsible adults
  • Policies and protocols need to be in place, so if an incident occurs, there are clear
    reporting procedures.
  • The host branch is responsible for having insurances in order, think of:
    • Public liability
    • Employer’s liability
    • Event insurance
  • A privacy policy needs to be in place to protect delegates’ and customers’ financial
  • Data protection may be relevant to your country.

All the above should be lodged with Central Board by the time that the Conference is
open for booking. It should be signed off by the Conference Leader. This will protect the
international ESTA brand.

  • The official language of Conferences is English.
  • The duration of the conference is normally three to five days and we recommend that it
    includes a week-end.
  • Preparations for hosting a conference should preferably begin three years in advance.
  • Evaluation reports of previous conferences can be a valuable resource. We recommend
    that previous Conference organisers are contacted and consulted.
  • Advice should be sought from the Central Board, from organisers of previous
    International Conferences or from the Guidelines Working Group.


  • The Delegates’ Meeting, Presidents’ Meeting and (if relevant) performances by
    students short-listed by the ESTA Foundation should have clearly allocated
    schedules on the programme.
    Parallel programmes are usually offered for the
    remaining participants.
  • A minimum of one third of the conference programme should come from ESTA
    branches other than the one hosting the conference.
  • There should be a balance of representation of all four string instruments and possibly
    other bowed string instruments such as viola da gamba.
  • All programme contributions from other branches should be vetted and proposed by that
    National branch (and not by the individuals themselves).
  • At least one masterclass or teaching demonstration by a prominent teacher should be
  • A brochure should be provided, containing:
  • An easy to read timetable with clear places and times
  • Biographies of presenters and performers
  • Programme notes for concerts
  • Information about sponsors and exhibitors
  • A pre-arrival pack should be provided for all attendees, containing:
  • Arrival instructions
  • A map
  • Information about local transport facilities (train/air/car)
  • Relevant local laws and customs
  • The programme should contain some national characteristics of the hosting branch, such
    as teaching methods, choice of music, traditional/folk elements.
  • There should be no repeat presentations from conferences of the previous 3 years.
  • Coffee and tea breaks at appropriate times should be included in the programme.
  • A list of all attendants to the conference with their contact addresses may be provided,
    given that participants agree at the time of application/invitation.
  • Rehearsal time and facilities should be provided for all performers.
  • All lectures should include multi-media, including, especially, music.
  • There could be a short student performance during the early part of the day’s
  • Each day could end with music.
  • The conference could include a grand play-together by all participants of the


  • The name and the logo of ESTA are protected and are subject to copyright.
  • A marketing and publicity strategy should be established in good time, and should
    include website, social media, printed matter and press releases.
  • Drawing in new members is as important as contacting existing ESTA members.
  • Organisers are encouraged to speak to former Conference organisers and exchange
  • It is highly desirable that organisers attend at least one International Conference before
    undertaking to organise a Conference of their own.
  • Day to day social media output should occur before, during and after the Conference.


  • The Conference should be housed in one location, such as a conference centre, a
    Conservatoire or a University Campus.
  • Where sponsors are involved, good facilities must be provided for them:
    • The trade hall should be central, with tea and coffee close by.
    • The principal sponsor should be consulted as to the layout of the Conference
  • It has become standard practice for there to be 2 large halls for presentations and a
    number of smaller rooms for Delegates’, Presidents’ and other meetings, and trade
  • Overhead projectors, wi-fi facilities and screens should be in all rooms, backed up by
    appropriate technical equipment and skilled staff support.
  • Most recent Conferences have provided eating facilities, and accommodation close to
    the Conference centre (if possible under one roof).
  • The members of the Central Board would very much appreciate being accommodated in
    the same place.
  • It has been found useful in recent Conferences for all staff/employees to be dressed in
    an easily identifiable uniform (such as a bright t-shirt).


  • Contributors to the programme (lecturers, performers) sent by an existing ESTA
    are not paid a fee, but do not pay a Conference fee. Their branch of origin
    pays travelling costs, but the host country offers free board and lodging for two
    nights and two days (including meals).
  • If a contributor to the programme comes at the invitation of him/her self or the
    host country, the host branch decides about board, lodging & conference
  • The members of the Central Board do also pay a conference fee.
  • Members of branches who require visas will need to be sent invitations
    immediately after receipt of their applications.
  • The economic situation of poorer countries should be taken onto account in setting a
    Conference fee. Some recent Conferences have offered different rates to different
    countries. Others have offered an “early birds” reduced fee to all, ending at a fixed
    date some time before the Conference; this may also give organisers an early indication
    of likely numbers of attendees.
  • The host branch can draw the attention of the poorer countries to the Solidarity Fund.
  • There should be a variety of accommodation prices, so that students, their escorts and
    members from economically less privileged countries can afford to attend. There should
    be some more elaborate facilities for those who are prepared to pay more.
  • Supplementary fees for an outing may be charged.
  • If an outing or a social event is organised, it should be open to all conference
  • Additional concerts should as far as possible be part of the conference fee.

Updated Nov 7, 2021 by the Working Group Guidelines
(Clarien Zetsma, Jorge Alves, Anke Schlittenhelm)

Download the guidelines for a conference website

Below is designed to simplify and unify the process of conference planning. 

 As the conference website presents a window for its users, it already creates a preview of the conference. The design of the website should be reflected in the design of the printed booklet. Instructions are in bold, recommendations are in italics and tips are in regular font. An upgrade with examples of good practice from past conferences is important. 


On the homepage the following tabs are essential: 

Home | Delegates | Venue | Gallery | Programme | Sponsors& Exhibitors | FAQ | Contact 

It is very practical to hire a conference programme package from one of several web conference providers for one year. Some of them also enable embedding of their service in your web design. 

Tips: with embedded code generate offer these tabs: 

Home | When | Where | Subscribe & Share (Sync to iCal, Outlook, Google) | Dates | Register Now |Download | Talks | Speakers | View-Grid | View-List |Legend | Sponsors and Exhibitors 

For easy scheduling or making a free survey e.g. for string consultations you can use some freeware. 

Tips: for making consultations (Meeting Planner Embedded) 

The logo of the Conference should combine the ESTA logo, year and place of conference 



The organiser of the conference should be presented with a short history with an emphasis on why the conference is organised as it is. 


The theme of the conference should highlight the historical background, vision, goals and priorities. 


The most common shortcuts are suggested. They can be hidden after completion. 

Tips: To ensure a quick search by using the “three-click” method, so the depth of tabs should not exceed three levels. 

  • Venue 
  • Financial support 
  • Accommodation 
  • Schedule 
  • Booking 


Call for Presentations 

Create a request for lecturers and ask for as much information about the lecturer as possible with uniform questions. Do not forget to include the following instructions: 

Please submit your proposal for a presentation from your ESTA branch. Any topics will be considered, though you might like to bear in mind the theme of the conference. 

You can submit a proposal by filling out the attached Call for Presenters 

The deadline for submission is 15. November 20XX and the programme committee will let you know if your proposal has been accepted by 15. December 20XX. 

Create a questionnaire for aggregating all the necessary data. 

Name, Name of ESTA branch to which you belong, Contact telephone (please include national code), Contact email address, Title of proposed presentation, Format of your presentation, Please indicate any dates when you are NOT available, What length time slot would you like? , Abstract, Biography, Photograph, Technical Requirements, 

Tips: Google survey can be embedded in a web conference design. 


Tuition fees are approximate, the organiser decides about the status, form and height. 

Conference Fees

EUR (€) Week Day
After 31.12.20xx Early bird before 31.12.20xx After 31.12.20xx Early bird before 31.12.20xx
non ESTA member ESTA member non ESTA member ESTA member  non ESTA member ESTA member  non ESTA member ESTA member 
Normal  360  300 220 200 90 80 60 55
Reduced* 150 130 120 100 90 80 60 55
Students 150 130 110 90 45 40 40 30

*For members from the following branches: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Volga Region, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tatarstan, Ukraine. 

Booking for Participants 

Create a questionnaire for aggregating all the necessary data. 

You can use this example of Booking for Participants: 

Dear Guest, 

The XXth ESTA International Conference for String Teachers will take place in XXX from the XX.-XX. April 20XX at the (place). 

The deadline: 

Please submit the attached application form. The final date for all subsequent applications is XX. XX. 20XX. Thereafter, web applications will no longer be possible. 

Registration fee: 

The exact amount of payment required will be shown at the end of the application form according to your entered details. 

You can log in only to the entire conference. For daily tickets please see XX. 

Please scroll down… 

The questionnaire can calculate the fee for each participant itself according to the entered data. But you need to collect this data from participants: 

Name and surname, Date of birth, Home address, Contact telephone (please include national code), Contact email address, ESTA member or Presenter on ESTA Conference, Please, select your legal status, Name of ESTA branch to which you belong or enter student status or membership in ESTA Central Board. 

Tips: Google survey can be embedded in a web conference design. Put the deadline for Booking i.e., Booking starts on 15. November 20XX. 

Visa advice 

Schengen Agreement 

With a Schengen visa, you may travel freely throughout the Schengen zone during the validity of your Schengen visa, for the indicated number of days. 

The following countries are members of the Schengen Agreement: 

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 

Tips: general information about the Schengen system: 


Looking for financial support? 

The ESTA Solidarity Fund in Memoriam Elspeth Iliff 



Where and why. Keep in mind three key elements; accessibility, availability and suitability.
Put the built-in item from the google map with all the locations like embedded element.
Tips: City maps embedded in web i.e. google map

The town offers numerous possibilities for cheap accommodation from hotels to hostels.
Tips: Hyperlinks.

Travel Advice 

Travel advice can help make sure you have a trouble-free time while you’re abroad. Read it alongside a good guide book and other resources like social media, online message forums and blog. 

Tips: History, city and country, climate, transport links, currency, specialties. 


The gallery should offer the option of downloading images and time frames by day. 

After the conference, the website should be active with the Gallery tab for at least one year, until the next conference. 

Official photographer 

The Organiser should make a clear agreement with the Official photographer about the free download of images in a specific timeframe. 

Tips: Use of file transfer like 

Tabs by Days 

Sub tabs by Days are practical for a clear overview. 


All-important notices should be written first. For example, Available after 15. December 20XX 

Schedule ( 







Create a precise price list for sponsors in exhibitors and show them what kind of exhibition areas and advertising they will get for this amount. Create a questionnaire for aggregating all the necessary data. 

Name and surname, Name of the of company, Address of the company, Phone, e-mail, Type of business, Special presentation (Yes/No). Exhibitors, Abstract, Biography, Photograph & Logo, Technical Requirements, Web, Sponsorship (Golden, Silver, Bronze). 

Tips: Google survey can be embedded in a web conference design. 

Make a Call for Exhibitors: 

Dear Sir/Madam 

The XXX International String Teachers’ Conference will take place in XXX. 

The Organising Committee would like to highlight all exhibitors equally. All exhibitors can participate also as sponsors. To enable you to make better contact with the participants of the conference, there will be an exhibition space in XXX. In the middle of the hall, the Catering for 

frequent companionship of participants will be organised. Refreshments will be held during all breaks 15 minutes, and twice a day as Special Exhibitors Time: 45-60 minutes at 1 PM in the afternoon at 4.30 PM (30 minute) and minimum one hour before evening concerts. 

We are offering you a rental place. 

If you would like to participate as an exhibitor, please contact XXX and complete the questionnaire. All exhibitors can participate also as sponsors. Sponsors will be specially promoted on web, main catalogue and other promotional material. 

The deadline for applications is XXX. 



Principal Sponsor, like Thomastik-Infeld 

Gold Sponsors, like Pirastro, D’Addario… 

Silver Sponsor 

Bronze Sponsor 


Violin makers 



When should I arrive and depart? 

When can I register for the conference? 

When can I book in …? 

Can I book accommodation for less than the whole conference? 

Can I book accommodation for a friend/partner/spouse who is not attending the conference? 

Where else is there to stay in the City? 

Can I just go to the concerts? 

Can I pay my conference fee now and book my accommodation nearer the time? 

How far apart is the main venue and hotels? 

Is there parking at the main venue? 

Do I need to bring an instrument? 

Will there be Chamber Music playing? 

What else can I see during my stay in Town Centre? 

View a map of Town Centre 


ESTA-Office: Address, mail, telephone, website 

Editorial board Contact Person, mail, telephone, website 

Legal notice: Despite careful control, we assume no liability for the content of external links. We are not responsible for any contents linked or referred to from these pages. 

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