Conference Management System (COMS)

COMS is a conference managment software, offering a web based solution for managing delegate registration, payment, paper submission, review and the book of abstracts. It is a comprehensive and powerful, yet easy to use sofware for online conference management including event planning and creation of the detailed agenda.

Quick overview of the functionalities of the system

  • Delegate registration, billing and handling of payments
    • The conference registration module supports comprehensive registration form/s, automatic invoicing, the collection of online payments by credit card, bookkeeping, related email communications and data exports.
    • Auxiliary items such as conference dinner, excursions, workshops, etc. can be booked together with the event registration or later. Quotas can be applied.
    • Separate early bird/regular/last minute pricing is possible, discount codes are supported. The upload of supporting documents (student cards, membership cards, etc.) is supported.
    • Although the system keeps track of all transactions, payments are collected directly into the organisers' merchant account - COMS has no access to the funds or bank details of the delegates.
    • COMS interfaces 'out of the box' with some of the most common online payment systems such as PayPal, TransFirst, CM-CIC, Nets Netaxept, Paybox, PayGate, Mercanet, Webaffaires. Other systems are integrated on demand.
  • Abstract and paper submission, review process (open or blind peer review process), paper selection
    • Organisers can configure the abstract submission form to collect any number of data items. Abstract texts, including full formatting, tables and pictures, are created online. Extended abstracts and full-papers can be uploaded in any file format, but it is possible to control acceptable formats.
    • Organisers can configure up to nine numerical criteria for the evaluation of submissions by the reviewers. Textual appraisals and feedback for the submitters can also be collected. Blind reviews are supported.
    • Assigning the reviews to referees can be done manually by the organizers or automatically by the programme. The automatic assignment takes preferences of the reviewers into account, if the bidding process has been used. Conflict detection and resolution is supported. Automatic task assignments can always be modified by manual adjustments.
    • Reviewers work on the reviews online, organisers can track their progress and send them reminders by email.
    • Abstracts can be accepted or declined automatically or manually. The automatic process evaluates submissions based on numerical review criteria and can be adjusted by subsequent manual adjustments.
    • Participants can be accepted to the conference independently of the abstract selection process, or alternatively their selection can be synchronised with the selection of abstracts.
  • Book of abstracts, detailed event planning, conference agenda
    • Submitted abstracts can be styled online and exported individually.
    • Create a pre-formatted version of the book of abstracts, ready for import into third party software. The automatic creation of a title index and the author index are supported.
    • Create the detailed time table for the event, based on available resources (rooms, etc.) and accepted papers, semi-automatically.
    • Create a self-contained version of the event agenda with all abstracts, papers and a powerful search function. The package is suitable to be distributed on a CD-ROM, a USB key or to be hosted on any website.
  • Communication, emails, data exports, collecting feedback after the event
    • The email module can be configured to send automatic emails, bulk emails and email alerts. Filters are supplied to allow the targeting of groups of users when sending bulk emails. Prefilled templates are supplied for the bulk and automatic individual mails. These can be edited and personalised, as the system supports the use of placeholders for key data elements.
    • The registrations, payments, submissions, reviews and results of the selection process can be exported to CSV or Excel for further processing.
    • Uploaded files as well as system generated output can be downloaded individually or in bulk from the FTP server.
    • COMS is available after event completion for the collection of participant feedback. Feedback can be anonymized.

Usage and conditions

  • Usage and payment for the system is on a per-conference basis.
  • An installation can be set up on short notice and will be immediately ready to configure and use.
  • An installation can be set up well in advance at no extra cost, to allow ample time for familiarization, careful configuration and planning; it can stay online for up to a year after the event.
  • Returning customers can ask to have the configuration and the user-accounts of a previous event restored.
  • Support is offered by email and phone during normal office hours (Austrian time).
  • Where necessary, custom modification to the system can be made at very competitive prices.

About the system

  • A hosted system
    The software runs on COMS' servers (located in Germany) and is fully administrated by COMS staff. Delegates and organisers only need Internet access and a web browser in order to use COMS. Organisers do not need IT support or IT skills of their own.
  • Simplicity of use
    COMS is designed to be as non-invasive as possible: it runs equally well on all major browsers, avoids the use of cookies, Flash and other features that may require users to adjust their browser settings.
  • Large conferences
    COMS has been designed to handle large events with thousands of delegates and submissions.
  • Multilanguage support
    COMS installations are ready to use in English, German and French. Any combination of these languages can be used for an event. If more than one language is selected, the system remembers the user's preferred language. It is possible to add another language, including non-European languages, provided a translation is supplied by the organisers.
  • Role based access control (RBAC)
    Access to all features of the system is controlled by a set of permissions which are allocated on the basis of a user's roles at the conference: authors and delegates have no access to the administrative side of the system; conference organisers have access to all administrative tasks and data; reviewers, editors and accountants have access to the tasks and data that are relevant to their role. On request, these permissions can be modified to fit the specific needs of an event, by extending or restricting access to specific tasks.
  • Editing of any text
    All the texts displayed on a COMS installation can be edited by organisers, allowing them to adapt or rephrase any of the headings, explanations and instruction texts.
  • System Reliability
    COMS servers are located at a professional data centre in Germany with 24/7 technical support. In all past years the server uptime was over 99.5% per year.
  • Backups
    Backups are made automatically to a dedicated backup server. On request, backups can be made available on the FTP server for download by organisers who wish to keep their own archival copies.

Try out the system online.

Last updated: 18 January 2017