Conference Handbook

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Basic Timetable

The generic timetable for organizing the conference, from which a specific one can be built.

T-36 months

[ACL VP] Issue Call for Bids

  • [ACL VP] liaise with ACL Exec for general parameters of time and place
  • [ACL VP] contact likely candidates for local chair about responding to the bid

T-24 months

[ACL Exec] Accept preliminary call and select main candidates

  • [ACL Exec] Bids will identify many key positions (local chair, sponsorship

chair, etc.) and make suggestions for general chair.

T-16? months

[ACL Exec and principal bidder] Accept bid

  • [ACL Exec and principal bidder] identify all key organizers
  • [ACL Exec and principal bidder] establish email aliases
  • [ACL Exec and principal bidder] provide access to conference organizing website

[ACL Exec] General Chair (see criteria-for-general-chair)

[ACL Exec] Program Chairs (see Program chair duties)

[ACL Exec] Student Workshop chair (see Workshop chair duties)

[Bidder] Local Arrangements Chair (see Local arrangements chair duties)

[Bidder] Tutorial Chair (and) Workshop Chair (see Tutorial chair duties and Workshop chair duties)

[Bidder] Exhibits Coordinator (see Exhibits chair duties)

[Bidder] Demo Chair (see Demo chair duties)

[Bidder] Sponsorship Chair (see Sponsorship chair duties)

[Bidder] Publicity Chair, possibly (see Publicity chair duties)

T-13? months:

[General and local chair] Finalize location and dates (see local-arrangements-chair)

  • [General and local chair] finalize exact dates (confirm with ACL Exec)
  • [General and local chair] sign contract(s) with venue (for meetings and accommodations)
  • [General and local chair] pay any deposits due (contact ACL Exec)

[Local Chair] Finalize Local Arrangements Committee

[Local Chair] assemble Local Arrangements Committee

  • [Local Chair] one or two people who would be able to take over in case something happens to the local chair
  • [Local Chair] one or two admin-level people
  • [Local Chair] someone dedicated to audiovisual (AV) and space management
  • [Local Chair] (possibly) webmaster (see webmaster)
  • [Local Chair] collect preliminary local info (describe meeting place and accommodations, travel info, visas, weather, etc.)

[General and sponsorship chairs] (see Sponsorship chair duties) Create Sponsorship Committee

  • [General and sponsorship chairs] estimate budget needs (see Example budgets)
  • [General and sponsorship chairs] assemble committee, mainly corporate insiders of likely sponsors
  • [General and sponsorship chairs] approach corporations to get placed on budget for next year

[General, program, local, and publicity chairs] Create and issue initial conference announcement

  • [General, program, local, and publicity chairs] include theme, general outlines, location and dates, pointers to details, organizer contact info
  • [General, program, local, and publicity chairs] publicize widely (see Publicity chair duties)

[General and local chairs; webmaster] Establish website

  • [General and local chairs; webmaster] include general conference announcement
  • [General and local chairs; webmaster] include preliminary local info
  • [General and local chairs; webmaster] include stubs for calls for papers, etc.

T-12? months

[General and local chairs; Priscilla] Create and disseminate Call for Participation

  • [General and local chairs; Priscilla] set approx. registration deadlines and costs
  • [General and local chairs; Priscilla] design conference logo for program, posters, etc.
  • [General and local chairs; Priscilla] create call for participation
  • [General and local chairs; Priscilla] design posters and fliers with Call for Participation
  • [General and local chairs; Priscilla] print and distribute them (web, email, hardcopy, posters, etc.)

[General, program, local, and publicity chairs] Create and disseminate Call for Papers (see Sample conference paper calls)

[General, program, local, and publicity chairs] create Call for Papers:

  • [General, program, local, and publicity chairs] determine general conference theme(s)
  • [General, program, local, and publicity chairs] if possible, identify some invited speakers
  • [General, program, local, and publicity chairs] set dates of submission, notification, and final copies (T-7 / T-5 / T-3)
  • [General, program, local, and publicity chairs] set format requirements for papers
  • [General, program, local, and publicity chairs] distribute Call for Papers (see publicity chair):
  • [General, program, local, and publicity chairs] on Web / newsgroups / mailing lists
  • [General, program, local, and publicity chairs] provide to ACL (Priscilla and Finite String), AAAI Magazine, IEEE, etc.
  • [General, program, local, and publicity chairs] provide to SIGs, SIGIR, Speech, NLGen, AMTA, and other related communities

T-13? to T-4 months

[Sponsorship committee] Apply for funding

  • [Sponsorship committee] create and submit grant proposals to AAAI, NSF, etc.
  • [Sponsorship committee] contact companies for donations to sponsor reception, banquet, etc. (Initial contact T-13, while budgets are still being set for the next year; maintain intermittent contact; then final requests at T-3)

T-11? months

[Program chairs] Assemble program committee

  • [Program chairs] determine program committee structure and review process
  • [Program chairs] establish major topic areas and likely submission distribution
  • [Program chairs] invite appropriate reviewers (confirm first with ACL Exec)?people from research, development, commerce, users, government-funders, etc.
  • [Program chairs] ensure proportional representation of gender, seniority, origin, etc.

[Tutorial, workshop, student, demo, and program chairs] Solicit tutorials, workshops, and demos

T-9 months

[Tutorial, workshop, program chairs] Select tutorials and workshops

  • [Tutorial, workshop, program chairs] select tutorials, taking into account coverage and recent past tutorials (contact Exec)
  • [Tutorial, workshop, program chairs] select workshops (contact Exec; see ACL-policy-worksp-support)
  • [Tutorial, workshop, program chairs] liaise with local chair for space needs and scheduling
  • [Tutorial, workshop, program chairs] issue instructions to tutorial teachers and workshop chairs about printed material, agenda/time management, payments, fees, etc.
  • [Tutorial, workshop, program chairs] update webpages
  • [Tutorial, workshop, program chairs] liaise with Priscilla for registration form

[Workshop and student chairs] Issue workshop calls for papers (see Sample workshop calls for papers)

  • [Workshop and student chairs] liaise with local chair for space needs and scheduling
  • [Workshop and student chairs] liaise with general chair about printed material, agenda/time management, payments, fees, etc.
  • [Workshop and student chairs] liaise with sponsorship chair for funding applications
  • [Workshop and student chairs] create and disseminate Call for Workshop Papers (see workshop-calls-for-papers and student-calls-for-papers)
  • [Workshop and student chairs] update webpages
  • [Workshop and student chairs] liaise with Priscilla for registration form

[Exhibits chair] Locate and sign up exhibitors

  • [Exhibits chair] approach CL corporation exhibitors
  • [Exhibits chair] approach book publisher exhibitors (unless this is done by Priscilla?)
  • [Exhibits chair] sign them up

T-8 months

[Program and sponsorship chair] Update financial picture

  • [Program and sponsorship chair] update budget
  • [Program and sponsorship chair] project financial needs and make plans to meet them

T-7 months

[Program chairs] Accept and distribute submitted papers

  • [Program chairs] create review form and reviewer instructions
  • [Program chairs] accept submitted papers
  • [Program chairs] assign to reviewers
  • [Program chairs] send out for review

[Program, workshop, sponsorship chairs] Finalize invited speakers, panelists, etc.

  • [Program, workshop, sponsorship chairs] create basic plan of speakers and panels
  • [Program, workshop, sponsorship chairs] invite speakers
  • [Program, workshop, sponsorship chairs] reissue Conference Announcement: Web, newsgroups, mailing lists, ACL (Priscilla and Finite String), AAAI Magazine, SIGIR, Speech, NLGen, AMTA, and other related communities
  • [Program, workshop, sponsorship chairs] update webpages

[Local chair] Confirm venues

  • [Local chair] confirm arrangements with meeting venue: rooms, spaces, lunches, etc.
  • [Local chair] confirm arrangements with accommodation venue: rooms

[Local chair] Arrange conference social program

  • [Local chair] confirm arrangements with banquet and other social event providers
  • [Local chair] arrange reception
  • [Local chair] arrange banquet: location, cost, transport, etc.
  • [Local chair] plan outing, for open evening?
  • [Local chair] plan anything special? Spouses’ events? Outings?
  • [Local chair] update webpages
  • [Local chair] liaise with Priscilla for registration form

T-7 to T-5 months

[Sponsorship committee] Apply for corporate funding

  • [Sponsorship committee] approach/confirm companies for grants and donations

T-6 months:

[Workshop and student chairs] Process workshop submissions

  • [Workshop and student chairs] accept submissions
  • [Workshop and student chairs] review them
  • [Workshop and student chairs] send accept/reject letters

[Demo chair] Call for demos

[Program chairs] Find Proceedings printers

  • [Demo chair] specify proceedings format and ask for quotes
  • [Demo chair] select printer and binder
  • [Demo chair] plan to ensure timely delivery . If the proceedings are not printed in the host country, allow an extra 6—8 weeks for customs

[General chair] Update website

  • [General chair] contact all chairs to collect their info for the website
  • [General chair] liaise with Priscilla for registration form

[Priscilla, general, program, and local chairs] Create and issue registration form

  • [Priscilla, general, program, and local chairs] create form, with input from all relevant people
  • [Priscilla, general, program, and local chairs] send out by email and hardcopy
  • [Priscilla, general, program, and local chairs] post on web

[Local Chair] Plan registration process

  • [Local Chair] report to ACL Exec:
  • [Local Chair] update on conference registration
  • [Local Chair] update on venue (meeting and accommodation)bookings
  • [Local Chair] plan on-site process, staff needs, etc.
  • [Local Chair] organize conference bag or other gimmicks; liaise with sponsorship chair for corporate logos

T-5 months

[Program chairs] Process reviewed papers and create program

  • [Program chairs] accept reviews
  • [Program chairs] decide on paper selection
  • [Program chairs] create program, more or less (remember time for ACL members’ meeting, banquet, reception, outings if any, etc.); liaise with Local chair
  • [Program chairs] send out accept and reject letters with reviews
  • [Program chairs] update conference announcement and redistribute
  • [Program chairs] update webpages

T-4 months

[General, program, workshop, tutorial, exhibits chairs] Collect Proceedings descriptions

  • [General, program, workshop, tutorial, exhibits chairs] collect from tutorial teachers, workshop organizers, exhibitors, etc. short descriptions, for proceedings
  • [General, program, workshop, tutorial, exhibits chairs] provide them to webmaster and general and program chairs

[Exhibits chair] Set up exhibit

  • [Exhibits chair] locate exhibit company for pipe-and-drape stands, signage, etc.
  • [Exhibits chair] buy insurance, if needed
  • [Exhibits chair] liaise with exhibitors, local committee, and venue about display needs
  • [Exhibits chair] work with program and sponsorship chairs on exhibitor fees

[Demo chair] Arrange demos

  • [Demo chair] select demos
  • [Demo chair] work with selected demo-ers for AV needs
  • [Demo chair] liaise with local chair for AV needs
  • [Demo chair] liaise with program chairs for scheduling and proceedings
  • [Demo chair] update webpages

T-3 months

[Program and sponsorship chairs] Update financial picture

  • [Program and sponsorship chairs] update budget
  • [Program and sponsorship chairs] project needs
  • [Program and sponsorship chairs] seriously go after corporate sponsors, now that logos are being put onto signs, publications, and toys

[Local chair] Confirm local events

  • [Local chair] confirm meeting venue: rooms, spaces, lunches, etc.
  • [Local chair] confirm accommodations
  • [Local chair] confirm social events: banquet, reception, entertainment, outings, etc.

[Program, tutorial, workshop, demo, student, exhibits chairs] Confirm invitees

  • [Program, tutorial, workshop, demo, student, exhibits chairs] confirm attendance of invited speakers and panelists
  • [Program, tutorial, workshop, demo, student, exhibits chairs] confirm attendance of paper and demo presenters
  • [Program, tutorial, workshop, demo, student, exhibits chairs] confirm tutorials and workshops
  • [Program, tutorial, workshop, demo, student, exhibits chairs] confirm exhibitors

[Exhibits chair] Finalize exhibit spaces=

  • [Exhibits chair] finalize payments of all exhibitors
  • [Exhibits chair] complete design of exhibition space(s)
  • [Exhibits chair] complete arrangements with pipe and drape rentals, etc.

[Local chair] Set up demo AV equipment

  • [Local chair] determine AV requirements of demo and paper presenters and other speakers
  • [Local chair] link up with venue

[Publicity chair and Priscilla]

  • [Publicity chair and Priscilla] send out registration form again
  • [Publicity chair and Priscilla] contact local authorities, as relevant

[General, program, tutorial, workshop, demo, exhibit, sponsorship, student chairs] Receive final papers and create Proceedings

  • [General, program, tutorial, workshop, demo, exhibit, sponsorship, student chairs] accept final camera-ready papers
  • [General, program, tutorial, workshop, demo, exhibit, sponsorship, student chairs] create Proceedings (main volume and any accompanying ones):
  • [General, program, tutorial, workshop, demo, exhibit, sponsorship, student chairs] front matter: title page, ToC, foreword(s), list of authors, etc.
  • [General, program, tutorial, workshop, demo, exhibit, sponsorship, student chairs] body (xerox page numbers onto submitted final papers)
  • [General, program, tutorial, workshop, demo, exhibit, sponsorship, student chairs] covers
  • [General, program, tutorial, workshop, demo, exhibit, sponsorship, student chairs] send to printers and binders
  • [General, program, tutorial, workshop, demo, exhibit, sponsorship, student chairs] update webpages as needed

[Tutorial, workshop, and student chairs] Create tutorial and workshop material

  • [Tutorial, workshop, and student chairs] arrange for printing of tutorial and workshop materials (see workshop proceedings format)
  • [Tutorial, workshop, and student chairs] collect material from presenters
  • [Tutorial, workshop, and student chairs] create books/proceedings

T-2 month

[Program chairs] Assign session chairs

  • [Program chairs] send out instructions to session chairs and speakers about time and place, as well as time management for the talks

[Local chair] Finalize on-site admin

  • [Local chair] assemble team of assistants for registration, gophering, etc.

[General, program, tutorial, workshop, student, exhibit, local chairs] Create conference registration material

  • [General, program, tutorial, workshop, student, exhibit, local chairs] create program to be included in conference registration package
  • [General, program, tutorial, workshop, student, exhibit, local chairs] gather all other material, incl. freebies

[Priscilla, local, and sponsorship chairs] Give registration update

  • [Priscilla, local, and sponsorship chairs] update ACL Exec on conference registration, venue and accommodation bookings, financial status
  • [Priscilla, local, and sponsorship chairs] update webpages, especially local and travel conditions (check the travel instructions, local weather, medical and political conditions, etc.)

T-1 month

[General and publicity chairs] Perform local outreach

  • [General and publicity chairs] start local advertising
  • [General and publicity chairs] contact press, TV, etc.

[Program, tutorial, workshop, student, exhibit, demo chairs] Finalize all Proceedings and tutorial material

  • [Program, tutorial, workshop, student, exhibit, demo chairs] collect and check proceedings (papers, students and other workshops, demos, etc.)
  • [Program, tutorial, workshop, student, exhibit, demo chairs] collect and check final tutorial materials

[Local chair] Finalize demo AV equipment

  • [Local chair] finalize AV requirements of demo-ers

[Priscilla, local and sponsorship chairs] Give registration update

  • [Priscilla, local and sponsorship chairs] update ACL Exec on conference registration, hotel and dorm bookings, financial status

[Local chair] Finalize registration package

  • [Local chair] assemble all materials into registration packets: local maps, local events, conference program, freebies, etc.

Author: Eduard Hovy, 1998, from timetables of previous AMTA conferences Updates: Eduard Hovy, from AAAI conference schedule and notes by Marie Meteer.

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