Beijing Planetarium is honored to invite all members of the International Planetarium Society (IPS) to participate in the 22nd IPS Conference, to be held from Monday to Friday, June 23-27, 2014 in Beijing, China. We would like to give you an update and convince you that this will be the event you and all your colleagues should not miss. All the preparations are well underway to welcome you in Beijing.
Beijing, capital of the People’s Republic of China, is the nation’s political, economic, cultural, educational, international trade, and communication center. Located in northern China, the city also serves as the country’s most important transportation hub and port of entry.
Both a tribute to China’s proud history and a gateway to China’s future, it is an international metropolis, home to more than 20 million people from all walks of life. Having succeeded in hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing is ready and looks forward to welcoming and impressing you in the months ahead.
The IPS 2014 Conference, under the theme of "Educating for the Future,” will focus on the significant role of planetariums in future astronomy education. It will showcase the latest advancements in astronomy, planetarium theater management, and technology, while providing an ideal forum for the exchange of ideas on astronomy education and visitor experience.
Hundreds of planetarium professionals around the world will be brought together to exchange ideas on best practices and present new technology. Chinese educational officials and professionals will also be invited to this fantastic gathering devoted to planetarium development and astronomy education.
Located in the northwest of Beijing, Beijing Planetarium is the first large-scale planetarium in China. It will be the main venue for all keynote, poster and parallel sessions, as well as exhibitions and vendor demonstrations.
There will be two areas for exhibitions, both equipped with a high-speed fiber optic network. Area I (1200 square meters by 7 meters in height) is now under construction and will be suitable for various types of exhibits. Area II (400 square meters by 4 meters high), in Building A of Beijing Planetarium, will be available with 3-m by 3-m booths. A team of professional technicians will be ready to render any service that may be needed to facilitate setting-up and dismantling.
Beijing Planetarium includes two dome theaters, a 4D theater, and three classrooms. The ultimate dome theater, Cosmos theater, with 400 seats, can comfortably admit all members for keynote speeches. The 4D theater, the Digital Space dome theater and the three classrooms will be used for poster and parallel sessions.
To satisfy vital needs, the two dome theaters, installed with advanced projection system, and the 4D theater will be ready for presentations by planetarians and vendors. We will take full advantage of the planetarium to hold vendor presentations and some of the parallel sessions. Plenty of planetarium time will be the highlight of this conference.
As the secondary venue, Hotel Nikko New Century Beijing, a 5-minute walk away from Beijing Planetarium, will provide an excellent environment for the opening ceremony and business meetings.
A wide variety of hotel options are available for delegates at IPS 2014. The official conference hotel, Hotel Nikko New Century Beijing, and Xiyuan Hotel, both within a 5-minute walk of all conference venues, offer up to 1,000 rooms of different sizes at different prices. Both are fitted with modern amenities one would expect from a convention hotel.
Hotel Nikko New Century Beijing has four kinds of rooms with prices ranging from CNY560 to CNY1,000. Xiyuan Hotel has four kinds of rooms with prices ranging from CNY580 to CNY850. (As of November 1, 2013, 1 CNY= 0.164 USD and 0.12 EURO.)
Apart from the above two hotels, there are other options, including both economic and luxury hotels.
Beijing Planetarium and the two hotels are located on North & West 2nd Ring Road, only 27 km from Beijing Capital Airport. You can easily reach there either by taxi or subway. Thanks to the well-developed underground transport network in Beijing, it is convenient to go anywhere in downtown from the Beijing Zoo station of Line 4, where Beijing Planetarium and the two hotels are close to.
IPS2014 will be held in June, when the weather in Beijing is the best of the year with moderate temperature (25-32 degrees C), and moderate rainfall creating the best air quality.
All the food and beverages will be provided by five-star hotels with consideration of the different cultural background and food habits of attendees, so as to create a healthy and green IPS 2014.
Conference Programs and Fees
The conference registration fee is US $450, which includes the welcome reception, opening ceremony, keynote speech, vendor demonstrations, exhibit hall access, all sessions, mid-conference tour, a conference satchel and materials, and all breaks and lunches.
You will be served with buffet lunches on June 23-26. On June 27, the last day of the conference, we will host you in the banquet hall of Hotel Nikko New Century Beijing for a luncheon featuring traditional Chinese round tables.
The gala dinner will be held in the evening of June 27, when the century-old Beijing Quanjude Roast Duck will surprise your taste buds and traditional performances will amaze you with their authentic Chinese characteristics. Anyone who would like to attend the dinner needs to pay US $90 which covers the dinner, performances and transportation.
In the afternoon of June 25, IPS 2014 is offering a mid-conference tour. The tour will cover the fee of transportation from Beijing Planetarium and the entry ticket to the scenic spot.
Route 1 is a tour to the Temple of Heaven and Ancient Observatory. During this tour, you will visit the Temple of Heaven, an imperial construction reflecting ancient Chinese astronomical thoughts, and see the oldest astronomical equipment in Ming and Qing Dynasty of China at the Ancient Observatory.
The other routes are the Palace Museum and Beijing Aerospace Town. The Palace Museum is the Chinese imperial palace and one of the greatest palaces in the world, showcasing the luxury of ancient royal life, historical antiques and treasures, while Beijing Aerospace Town is the nerve center of Chinese space flight technology. (This route is subject to change.)
Optional Tours (Pre-Conference Tour / Post-Conference Tour)
You may choose among the three pre-conference or post-conference tours below, which we believe will make your stay in China even better.
Among all the ancient imperial capitals in China, Xi’an is the one that had been capital for the longest time, hosted the most dynasties, and exerted the greatest influence in Chinese history. It is one of the four great ancient capitals in the world, the birthplace of Chinese civilization, the cradle of Chinese nationality, a prominent representative of Chinese culture, and the starting point of the Silk Road.
Along with attractions such as the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi’an Ancient City Wall, the Xi’an tour will take you to museums where you will experience the Yangshao culture, which existed 5,000 years ago, see the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, visit the Yang Mausoleum of the Han Dynasty, and learn about the history of Shaanxi. You will be accommodated in a five-star luxury hotel. The tour will take four days and cost about CNY4,500 per person.
Chengde and Xinglong Station
A visit will be paid to Xinglong Station, one of the National Astronomical Observatories under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Affiliated to the open optics lab of the National Astronomical Observatories, Xinglong Station is an optical astronomy observatory, where fixed stars and galaxies are observed and researched. The station is equipped with such important astronomical instruments as LAMOST and the 2.16-m optical telescope.
In this tour, you will also stand on the best place for astronomical observation—the picturesque Wuling Mountain—and get a personal experience of the largest existing imperial land and imperial temples in China.
Chengde, with its famous Imperial Summer Resort, will give you the royal treatment during your summer stay. The tour will take two days and cost about CNY1,500 per person.
As a Chinese proverb goes, he who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man. Apart from a trip to the Great Wall and the ancient royal mausoleum, this route also includes a tour around the whole city of Beijing and a trip to Bird’s Nest, Water Cube and Wangfujing Snack Street.
You may also go to Hong Kong and Macau for a short stay before the conference. We have contacted the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Macau Science Center and they will provide you with assistance during your trip there. More detailed information will be released soon.
(Attention: a visa would be needed if you enter mainland China from Hong Kong or Macau.)
If you want to extend your stay to the Asian-Pacific region beyond these days, please consider visiting also our friends in Japan. The IPS suggests an optional post-conference tour to Tokyo. Details will be sent out by the IPS as soon as they are available.
Time to Start Planning
We encourage you to begin planning for the conference and consider presenting and actively participating in the sessions. This biennial conference is the highlight of our profession and literally depends upon your participation to make it successful.
It is an opportunity for attendees to exchange ideas, make professional progress, listen to guests’ speeches, meet new colleagues, reconnect with acquaintances, and more importantly, to learn and experience what is going on in the planetariums field throughout the world.
As documents required for visa application are different according to countries and regions, please contact your local Chinese embassies and consulates for information. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need an invitation letter or other official documents to apply for a visa and we will provide it as soon as possible. You can also visit the website of IPS2014 for more information.
There will also be media friends and Chinese educational officials attending the conference. We hope the conference will be a worthy stimulus on astronomy education.
You can make registration for IPS2014 either online or on-site. It is expected that online registration will open in November 2013. Discounts are available for online registration.
We look forward to your presence at IPS 2014 and hope to present a forward-looking conference where we will envision the future of planetariums together.
Visit our conference website at www.ips2014.org [domain name expired] for updated information. We will keep you informed with more details continuously. See you next year in Beijing!