2012Q3 Reports: Office Manager
Priscilla Rasmussen 25 June 2012
ACL Business Office Report
My plan of hiring Pat Kirby on an as-needed basis throughout the year seems to be working well., She works primarily at conference times (almost full-time when she would be needed most) and at other high-volume times. When (or if) our current arrangement is no longer working, I will search for a more permanent arrangement with someone else but, with the ebb and flow of office work requiring more than one person, finding someone who is flexible is difficult.
Otherwise, the office is chugging along nicely.
Publications and Royalties:
With our ongoing arrangement of Curran Associates now handling print-on-demand of our publications, I receive few requests for publications in the office. In all of 2011, there were only 10 orders that I filled and 8 orders so far in 2012.
We have received royalties from Curran Associates for the last quarter of 2011 and first quarter of 2012 in the amount of $1,045.05. Copyright Clearance Center also sent a check for $1,266.81 for the period ending December 31, 2011. MIT Press Journals’ royalty year ends March 31, 2012 and their statement claims we earned less than $50 so this smaller amount will be credited to our account for next year.
Having surpassed 2100 members each of the past few years and with 2012 having conferences in all three of our world regions, I would have expected our membership to be 200-400 higher than the 1608 current members. Of course, there will be more resulting from ACL 2012 and some will continue to dribble in throughout the rest of the year. I also have to get the EACL 2012 members-from-registrations list, the (much smaller) INLG 2012 membership from that recently held conference and add in any SIGdial 2012 memberships. But, I still am a bit concerned that we may not quite make the 2000 mark this year and am surprised by this. Please see Membership spreadsheets for January-to-June 2012 details on countries represented and statistics.
The new Membership Portal is now working better, with Josh having added additional scripts which allow me to search and download information needed for reports. The searching mechanism is not ideal for my purposes but I understand my needs are only a fraction of all users’ search requirements so we deal with this inconvenience. The problem continues, though, that a lot of members are not updating and correcting their information in the Portal and many seem to have never visited their record at all. Pat and I are doing our best to keep the membership information updated and as correct as we can. It is unfortunate that membership records are not being properly updated by the members themselves as was originally envisioned.
I am not so sure the postcard mailing (in addition to emails to the membership) had the desired effect. Possibly a handful of members were notified by the postcards rather than through emails because of bad email addresses. But, the 120+ postcards that were returned as undeliverable cost us almost $75 in postage and were coming back to us, one by one, up until about two months ago.
My one recommendation is that we really do need to set a membership cut-off date for those who will be eligible to vote. Possibly, we ought to send emails to recently lapsed members telling them they have until September 1st to renew their membership if they want to participate in the ACL elections. This notice should also be sent out to the current members to be sure there are no complaints that someone did not know of the deadline. This deadline would make the voting process more uniform for all and relieve both Drago and me of adding late renewals and coordinating to be sure we captured everyone.
EACL 2012, in Avignon, was a success but I do not have specific numbers to report to you at this time.
The office also provided advice and support to Barbara Di Eugenio who organized the INLG 2012 in Utica.
While paper submissions were down for NAACL HLT 2012 in Montreal, our final body count of attendees was 706 at part or all of the meeting. Of these, 472 were paying main conference attendees. Another 52 were volunteers, SRW students, sponsors, exhibitors, and guests/organizers. There were also 181 people only attending tutorials, the *SEM co-located conference, or workshops. This was the first ACL-related conference that had close to 40% of the total attendees *not* attending the main conference. If this becomes a trend of some conferences becoming dominated by workshops and co-located conferences, the increased registration fees we currently charge for workshops without main conference are more than justified. Workshops are becoming more and more mini-conferences, complete with poster sessions (13 workshop and *SEM poster sessions took place during the two workshop days in Montreal). It seems everyone enjoyed the conference quite a lot. And, given it was my first time as Local Arrangements Chair, I found it more satisfying and more challenging but, overall, very good to feel truly a part of the conference team.
The planning for ACL 2012, to be held at Jeju, South Korea, July 8-13, 2012 is moving along well. It looks like we will have between 900 and 1000 total attendees…Late registration has just closed, giving the current total of 822 participants. Of these, 137 are attending only workshops or SIGdial or EMNLP/CoNLL and six are complimentary or sponsors. Another 35-45 are volunteers or SRW student attendees who have not registered yet and are not included in my totals.
The Office is providing advice and an advance to the SIGdial 2012 organizers in Seoul and to the co-located EMNLP/CoNLL 2012 conference in Jeju. SIGdial numbers roughly 65-70 registrants and EMNLP/CoNLL is about 300 registrants.
ACL 2013 will be in Sofia, Bulgaria. Graeme has signed the venue contract with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), where Svetla Koeva will be our Local Arrangements Chair. She will be in Jeju if anyone wants to meet her. BAS has already signed the contract with the National Palace of Congress (NPC, the conference venue) after Graeme and I made adjustments and approved of it. I plan to work very closely with Svetla and am sure this will be an interesting and exciting conference.
NAACL HLT 2013 was decided to be held in Atlanta, GA, at the Westin Peachtree, June 9-14. Having completed the site visit, I can say that, while the Westin is in the downtown commercial area, there are wonderful restaurants and clubs within a few blocks walk and the MARTA line is less than half a block away. And, the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) has been definitely decided to be in Atlanta the week immediately following NAACL (June 15-21). I hope that there can be some cross-event planning to take advantage of this positive co-location. I am pleased to say I will again serve as Local Arrangements Chair for NAACL as well a providing a bridge to ICML as its Treasurer.
ACL 2012 currently has sponsorships totaling $38,646.76; EACL 2012 received sponsorships totaling € 5,372.88 through the Office; and, NAACL 2012 received sponsorships totaling $30,304.84. To date, Baidu has committed to being a Platinum Level sponsor, with certain concessions, for ACL 2012. Nuance was a Platinum Sponsor for NAACL 2012, and Google was Gold Sponsor for both ACL and NAACL this year. IBM made a generous contribution toward the NAACL Student Lunch in addition to their “standard” IBM Best Student Paper awards at both ACL and NAACL. And, Microsoft continues to be generous in supporting ACL and NAACL. I am also pleased to report that this year, we had more 3-pack sponsorships (for a somewhat reduced rate, they support all three events) than ever before with 5 companies opting for 3-packs and two other companies supported two of the three conferences. Baidu, Google, Microsoft, IBM and AT&T, among others, also provided support to SIGdial (well over $6000) and EMNLP/CoNLL ($11,750).
The new plan of appointing a Sponsorship Committee with two representatives from each regional world area (Asia, North/South America and Europe/Africa) and having an overall Chair (currently Haifeng Wang) is working very well. While it is usually quite difficult to get sponsorships from world areas not hosting the conference, this year, we seem to be more successful.
The area Sponsorship Chairs are working diligently to help make our conferences successful and it is a pleasure working with them. And, many thanks to all sponsors who help to make our conferences and workshops successful!