2009Q1 Reports: ACL 2011

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ACL-2011 Report, January 2009

Ido Dagan

The work for ACL-2011 in the last half year focused on the Call for Bids (CFB). In early June a preliminary announcement of the prospected bidding process was issued, shortly before the ACL conference in Columbus. During the Columbus conference the ACL-2011 Coordinating Committee (CC) met and discussed the structure of the CFB and its supplement documents. Overall, the information provided to bidders was substantially upgraded and expanded, resulting with the following structure:

Call for Bids (CFB) (http://www.aclweb.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=78&Itemid=26) The CFB message was circulated by Priscilla to the mailing lists, and posted to the ACL website. The CFB only highlights the main topics to be addressed in the bid, while directing to the newly introduced Bid Guidelines page on the ACL Wiki (see next) for detailed information. In addition, the CFB lists the main evaluation criteria for the bids and specifies the schedule for the bidding process. The introduction of the Bid Guidelines enabled us to shorten the CFB somewhat while providing much more useful information in the guidelines page.

Bid Guidelines (http://aclweb.org/adminwiki/index.php?title=Bid_Guidelines) This page on the ACL Wiki space provides rather detailed information about the sought bid content. It covers the issues of organization, venue, setting, budget and task planning. A preliminary version of this page was prepared by Steven Bird, based on his experience with the ACL-2010 bids. It was further augmented, with the help of mostly Priscilla Rasmussen and Graeme Hirst. Overall, it is intended to assist bidders in covering all needed information in their bid and to do so in a rather uniform way. We particularly included points that were not addressed properly in earlier bids. The Bid Guidelines includes links to the two spreadsheets described below.

Budget Spreadsheet (http://www.cs.biu.ac.il/~dagan/ACL-2011/budget.xls) A template spreadsheet for specifying the bid’s budget, provided by Graeme Hirst. The spreadsheet includes all relevant budget items, and provides the various types of data and figures to be assumed (e.g. number of participants by type, hall sizes, food). The spreadsheet’s goal is to obtain from bidders budget proposals that are complete, uniform and comparable.

Task List Spreadsheet (http://www.cs.biu.ac.il/~dagan/ACL-2011/tasklist.xls) This spreadsheet was created for the NAACL-2010 bidding process (provided by Owen Rambow), and was made available as is for the ACL-2011 bidders. The spreadsheet specifies many of the tasks involved in hosting a major conference and suggests three alternatives for delegating varying amounts of work to a Professional Conference Organizer and/or to Priscilla Rasmussen. Bidders are asked to specify their choices regarding the amount of work to be delegated. This spreadsheet enables bidders to choose an appropriate level of work that they would like to accommodate, highlighting the option to make the overall task manageable on their side. For the Coordinating Committee, the bidders’ choices and capacity are clarified up front, enabling their proper evaluation and assessment of budgetary implications.


The CFB was posted in mid December. Bidders are expected to notify their intention to submit a bid in mid February, with the preliminary bid submission due in mid March. We are currently soliciting bidders of NAACL-2010 which were not selected to host that event, and are looking for additional suggestions for solicitations.