International Fluency Association (IFA)

The IFA was founded in 1989 to promote international liaison in the area of fluency disorders and to promote the understanding of these disorders. International Congresses are organised every three years in venues selected from around the world. In 1994, the Congress was held in Munich, Germany; San Francisco, USA in 1997; Nyborg, Denmark in 2000; Montreal, Canada in 2003; Dublin, Ireland in 2006; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2009; Tours, France in 2012, Portugal in 2015, and Hiroshima, Japan, 2018.

How is the location for a Congress decided?
Currently, Congresses are organized to take place every three years. Decisions regarding the site of the Congress are made by the IFA Executive Board, considering views of the membership body, gathered via electronic voting of full IFA members. 

Who is eligible to bid?
Bids for the Congress will be welcomed from: a country’s professional organization representing professionals in the area of fluency disorders; local organizations in the area of speech pathology; or a combination of such organizations. It is important that the team bidding to host the Congress includes a background in the area of speech and language pathology or disorders of fluency. Experience in hosting international conferences / meetings is an advantage. Backing from a professional organization in hosting international conferences may be helpful in some locations, but is not a prerequisite for making a bid. Bids will be considered more positively if they have documented the supportive backing of city’s council, and/or a local Chamber of Commerce or tourist organization.

The IFA is an international organization and, as such, consideration will be given to a variety of geographical locations for different Congresses. In this way, the international reach of the association is reflected through the Congress venues and attendance from delegates living on different continents is promoted. English is the language used at all IFA congresses.

Procedures involved in making a proposal to host the World Congress.

  • Notification to bid: A team wishing to bid to host a World Congress should notify, in writing, the IFA President and President-Elect at least three months before the previous Congress is held (i.e. the Congress held 3 years before the one the team hopes to host).
  • Portfolio submission: The bidding team prepares a portfolio presenting the host country’s bid and sends to the IFA President and President-Elect. The deadline for portfolio submissions will be 3 months before the previous Congress. Guidelines for portfolio format are in Appendix A. If a large number of bids are received, the IFA Executive Board will agree a shortlist of a maximum of 3 bids.
  • IFA acknowledgement: The organization or group making the bid (known from here on as ‘the bidding team’) will be informed of the timing and organization of the voting and ballot procedure, and advised regarding promotional opportunities (e.g. a presentation during the final session of the previous Congress and information about their bid to be available on the IFA website as relevant prior to voting).
  • Presentation at Congress: Shortlisted bidding teams will be invited to give a 10-minute presentation to the IFA membership during the closing ceremony of the prior conference (in person or via video link) and to present information about their proposal, including information about the geographic location and conference venue (see Appendix B for guidelines for presentation format). This format must be followed and the 10-minute time limit for each presentation adhered to.
  • Bid and budget review: After the presentation at the prior conference, but before the electronic ballot procedure is opened for IFA member voting, relevant members of the IFA Executive Board will examine the proposed budgets and determine whether proposed bids are feasible. If a highly unrealistic budget has been submitted and no amendments can be made, a bid may need to be withdrawn prior to the start of voting by the IFA membership.
  • Electronic ballot: The voting procedure will take place electronically, for a fixed period following the presentation of bids. PowerPoint presentations will be uploaded to the IFA website to enable the IFA membership to view them. 
  • Decision announcement: Following the voting process and subsequent decision-making, the venue for the next World Congress will be announced on the IFA website and the President-Elect will notify shortlisted bidding teams by email regarding the status of their bids

The IFA President and President-Elect will liaise with the successful bidding team to create a Congress Organization Team. This will include members of the IFA’s Meetings and Conferences Committee, members of the successful bidding team, and other relevant individuals. The Chair of the Organization Team will provide written reports (including regular finance updates) to the IFA Executive Board (bi-)monthly and engage in shared decision-making with the IFA Board regarding congress planning. All financial aspects of conference planning must be discussed with the Board prior to committing IFA funds; the Board has the final decision regarding all financial aspects of the Congress. 

The Congress program should focus on stuttering research and knowledge sharing to deepen our understanding of stuttering. Additional events, such as the opening ceremony, social events (e.g., gala dinner), the award ceremony, the IFA General Meeting, the presentation of future bids and the closing ceremony are also included in the program at the discretion of the Organization Team and the IFA Board.


The cost of the Congress is underwritten by the IFA. The Chair of the Organization Team, IFA President and IFA Treasurer, in collaboration with the IFA Board, are jointly responsible for the budget of the Congress and budgets and financial matters will be under the governance of the IFA Executive Board. Any and all profits of the Congress will go to the IFA. Any losses generated will be the responsibility of the IFA unless an alternative arrangement has been agreed by the parties involved. The intent of the Congresses is to make money. All practical steps should be taken to ensure that no losses are generated, as the IFA is a non-profit organization and has limited funds.

Appendix A

Bidding Portfolio format.
Bids should be submitted as a PDF file. Submitted bids which do not follow the guidelines set here will not be considered, as deviation from the guidelines means it is not possible to draw comparisons between all bids received. Please ensure bids submitted include the following information:

  • A clear description of:
    • The proposed Congress site / convention center with information about room capacities for Congress events. The site should have facilities to offer at least: one room for plenary sessions for up to 650 people, 1-2 rooms for 200 each, 2 rooms for 100 each and two rooms for 50 each, poster session space, exhibition space, break/lunch facilities.
    • Availability of suitable accommodation for delegates with easy access to the Congress site.
    • Information regarding facilities and attractions near to the Congress site.
    • Travel information (including information about visa requirements, the nearest international airport and public transport links to the site).
  • Information regarding the team bidding for the Congress (including names, contact information, and relevant experience) with information about links to any national or local associations who will be involved in hosting the proposed Congress. Letters of support for the bid from relevant bodies can also be included. The bidding team must include a minimum of four people who can dedicate time to actively plan and run the Congress in liaison with the Meeting and Conferences Committee Optional information regarding suggested theme/s for the Congress, for consideration by the IFA.
  • Any other attractions associated with the proposed site, ideas for additional activities (outings to areas of local interest etc.), and proposed venues for key events such as a gala dinner.
  • A table showing proposed budgetary information must be included with the bid. Costings should be based on a 3- to 4-day conference and given in both the local currency and US dollars or Euros with inclusion of the following:

a) Cost of conference facilities (venue hire, audio-visual aids etc.)
b) Catering costs (allowing for two tea breaks and one lunch break per person per day)
c) Hotel costs to delegates
d) Approximate cost to travel to venue from international airport
e) Cost of accommodation for speakers
f) Other anticipated costs, specific to the location e.g. is VAT payable, will translation be required and if so, what are the likely costs? It should be noted the language of the Congress will be English. Any additional information to support the bid.

Appendix B

Presentation requirements
A PowerPoint presentation should be used to accompany a 10-minute presentation (timings will be strictly monitored), with a slide to show each of the following points.

Introductory slide

  • Brief information to introduce the bidding team and host city
  • Information to promote the host city / team

Basic information

  • Proposed dates of the Congress
  • Brief outline of team/s involved in bidding for Congress
  • Brief description of proposed venue (city as a minimum, but to include hotel / 
    university / conference center planned to host Congress if known)


  • Location of Congress
  • Accessibility of the proposed host city (airlines / public transport links etc. 
                information about distances from airports to venue)
  • Information about distance from accommodation to Congress venue


  • Suggested venues for possible events (opening ceremony / gala dinner etc.)
  • Potential additional activities (local interest outings etc.)

Brief budgetary information (to be given in both the local currency and US dollars or Euros)

  • Approximate costs for room hire and catering
  • Hotel costs to delegates
  • Approximate cost to venue from international airport
  • Estimated fee to individual delegates for each category used for registration at 
           the last Congress
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