Congress selection criteria

Our congress takes place every two years. This allows for events of different sizes (eg 2,000 in Cape Town in 2017, 4,500 in Geneva in 2019) and for congress to be hosted in different parts of the world to communicate advances in research, education and practice; facilitate greater international professional networking; build relationships with our member organisations; and develop the global physiotherapy profession.

The process takes 12 months and includes:

  • submission of expressions of interest from individual member organisations
  • exploratory discussions between World Physiotherapy and interested member organisations
  • full bid submissions
  • review and analysis of each submitted bid
  • additional research
  • site visits
  • discussions with member organisations, convention bureau, conference venues
  • final assessment of submitted bids.

Member organisations interested in submitting a bid to host a congress must consider a range of factors around the member organisation, proposed destination, and proposed venue. The list below is not exhaustive but reflects the diversity of factors that need to be considered by member organisations in preparing their bid and by World Physiotherapy when reviewing and assessing bids.  

World Physiotherapy member organisation

Factors relating to a member organisation submitting a bid include:

  • Length of World Physiotherapy membership – member organisations will ideally have been a member of World Physiotherapy for at least four years and have participated in two general meetings
  • Good standing – whether the member organisation is fully paid up with membership subscriptions and compliant with our constitution
  • Size – whether the member organisation has sufficient individual members to be representative of the profession in the country, ideally at least 30% of practising physiotherapists in the country should be members of the World Physiotherapy member organisation
  • Delegates – whether the member organisation can guarantee a minimum number of 400 local delegates
  • International congress participation – whether the member organisation can demonstrate participation at previous international congresses by local members, as delegates and presenters
  • Management – whether the member organisation can demonstrate its cooperation with and understanding of the management arrangements for the congress, supported by a leadership structure of employed or volunteer leaders
  • Host – whether the member organisation can demonstrate its capacity to fulfil its role as host
  • Conflicting events – a commitment from the member organisation not to hold a national congress in the same year or 12 months preceding the World Physiotherapy congress and a willingness to absorb any national/regional meetings within the World Physiotherapy congress
  • Other events – whether there are competing events in the region at that time

Bid applications are only open to countries with a World Physiotherapy member organisation.

The data sources used to assess this include:

  • World Physiotherapy country/territory profile data
  • Delegate data from past World Physiotherapy congresses
  • National member organisation conference analysis reports
  • Member organisations’ websites
  • Letter of support from other member organisations
  • National statistical databases
  • Discussions with local member organisation 
  • Site visits by World Physiotherapy staff

Proposed destination

Factors relating to a proposed destination include:

  • Degree of political and socio-economic stability and issues impacting on peace and security such as:
    • Homicide rates
    • Incarceration
    • Access to weapons
    • Violent demonstrations
    • Violent crime
    • Political instability
    • Human rights (eg the rights of women, workers, indigenous people, LGBTIQ+ people)
    • Perceptions of criminality
    • Political terror
    • Terrorism impact
    • Deaths from internal conflict
    • Internal conflicts fought
    • External conflicts fought
    • Deaths from external conflict
    • Displaced people
    • Neighbouring countries’ relations
  • Accessibility for international delegates and the availability of visa-free access, visa on arrival or preapproved visas for delegates from countries with a World Physiotherapy member organisation
  • Business legislation or regulation, particularly around any need to register a local shelf company
  • Financial legislation relating to currency flows and any restriction on the movement of cash into or out of the country 
  • Corporation and/or Company tax legislation or regulation
  • VAT/GST legislation/regulation/rules and processes
  • Prevailing laws/customs and practices that may impact on congress delegates
  • Evidence of strategies used to ensure a safe environment for visiting delegates at previous international conferences
  • Local currency stability
  • Experience of hosting international events for more than 1,500 delegates, including scientific meetings and trade shows
  • Culturally and geographically distinct from recent World Physiotherapy congress destinations
  • Suitability of the proposed congress venue and infrastructure
  • Availability of local suppliers eg audiovisual, catering, events management
  • Easily accessible for domestic, regional and international flights
  • Accessible public transport with connections between airport(s), venue and downtown
  • Range of accommodation/hotel options within the vicinity (immediate and within 20-minute easy commute) of the proposed congress venue to eliminate and need for a shuttle service
  • Smoke-free policies (eg smoke-free public spaces, restaurants, transport network) in the proposed destination city
  • Incidence of natural disasters and weather anomalies

The data sources used to assess this include:

  • World Bank Political Stability Index
  • GlobalData’s Country Risk Index
  • World Economic Forum - The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 
  • Visions of Humanity Global Peace Index
  • International Congress and Convention Association reports
  • Advice from local tax agents
  • ILGA State-Sponsored Homophobia report
  • Human Rights Watch Report
  • Discussions with local member organisation and business events organisations
  • Site visits by World Physiotherapy staff

Proposed venue

In order to host a World Physiotherapy congress, a venue must:

  • Demonstrate a track record of hosting similar events  
  • Provide evidence of attention to detail and high standards of customer service
  • Be able to accommodate at least 2,000 delegates and, ideally, up to 5,000
  • Offer at least 10 presentation rooms of variable sizes for concurrent use to accommodate the scientific programme
  • Offer additional rooms for offices and logistical support eg speaker ready room (audio visual services)
  • Offer space for a trade exhibition and poster display area
  • Provide all facilities on one site
  • Provide sufficient internet and WiFi capabilities to support delegates using a congress app and social media in sessions
  • Be accessible for persons with disabilities
  • Support a healthy living environment eg through non-smoking policies onsite
  • Support green meetings and sustainable environment policies

The data sources used to assess this include:

  • International Congress and Convention Association reports
  • Tourism reports
  • References from previous conferences
  • Discussions with local member organisations and proposed congress venue
  • Site visits by World Physiotherapy staff