If you intend to fly straight into the region, use Manchester or Liverpool airport.
Where do I find accommodation?
I'm sure you are concerned to book accommodation as soon as possible. Chester is not a huge place and I don't think there is anything available on campus. Looking for bed and breakfast rather than a hotel might increase your options. Try here or here for a range of accommodation.
If you can't find anything in Chester, you might try looking for accommodation elsewhere in the region. I'll be commuting in by train from Manchester that morning, which takes about an hour, so it is possible if you are willing to face a really early start! It might also be possible to commute in from Liverpool, or a station even nearer to Chester. You would simply have to catch a short cab ride once you get to Chester station. Check here or here for train times and tickets.
Must speakers register for the symposium or pay any fees?
The event is free, but speakers and others must register to attend. You should register here.
Is lunch included?
Unfortunately there are no meals included as this is a free event. However, there will be a café on site.
Are we reading our papers in some order? Chronological by alphabetical order, perhaps? Or are there paper sessions that you've devised for us?
To accommodate everyone on the day we'll have multiple streams of papers (except the keynote). I'm aiming to group similar subjects and avoid any clashes of topic. Unfortunately I probably won't be able to supply a schedule until the day itself, as I will have to arrange session chairs, etc. It will probably be a page in length without any abstracts, so you should have a good look at the abstracts online now and decide on an ideal list of papers you especially want to see. If you miss people on the day, there is no harm in asking them for a printed version of their paper.
How long is each presentation?
Each paper will be twenty minutes long with a further ten minutes for questions from the audience. Please rehearse your paper so that we stay strictly to length as the schedule will be so tight there will not be room for over-running.
What about the audio-visual requirements for my paper?
Our rooms are quite well equipped and I hope we can meet them. Please put any PowerPoints, etc, on a USB stick as this is quicker than booting up and hooking up you laptop. It also avoids connectivity issues.
Will there be wifi available?
We aim to provide that but cannot guarantee it. If we can provide it, I will distribute the password on the day.
Will there be any social activities on Friday night?
My own inclination with Friday night activities is to encourage them, but also to let them happen informally and spontaneously. While people from the region might be going home to see their families, there are bound to be some national and international attendees ready for a night out in Chester. If I try to organize restaurant reservations people can drop out, etc. It is very likely that some of us will be retiring to a local ale house after the event and probably going on for a meal. I always find that the most fun part of these events as people are no longer under the stress of presenting their papers.