General (conference) chair duties

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General Chair Duties[edit]

Conference Handbook - General Chair Duties

The General Chair is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the whole conference.

It is the General Chair's prerogative to appoint chairs, subject to confirmation by the ACL Executive Board, and assign tasks to them. (This does not include the Program Chairs or Local Arrangements Chair, who are appointed by the Executive Board.) The chairs that must be appointed include: Tutorial Chair, Workshops Chair, Student Workshop Chair, Demo Chair, Exhibits Chair, Publications Chair, Publicity Chair, and Sponsorship Chair.

The General Chair has the following responsibilities:

  • Identify conference tasks and people responsible for them. This includes helping to select the other chairs: publicity, sponsorship, demos, tutorials, workshops, etc. Candidates should be gathered in consultation with the ACL Exec before they are formally contacted.
  • Build a specific timetable for each organizer, based on the timetable, for the dates of the current conference.
  • Make a site visit to conference site to approve and finalize local arrangements.
  • Work with Local Arrangements Chair to establish registration fees.
  • Work with Program Chairs to create the conference structure (i.e., single track or parallel tracks, workshop and tutorial scheduling, etc.) Later, work with the Program Chairs to construct a conference program (balancing papers, invited talks, business meeting, etc.).
  • Oversee the confernce budget; see budgets. This includes coordinating with the ACL Secretary, Treasurer, and Priscilla Rasmussen on financial and organizational issues.
  • Coordinate and oversee the work of the Program Chairs, the Local Arrangements Chair, and the other chairs. Importantly, this means ensuring that deadlines established in the timetable are met. This also includes helping to select tutorials, accept workshop proposals, identify promising sponsors, seek publicity for the conference, etc.
  • Coordinate all publicity (webpages, fliers, notices, announcements, posters, etc.) and make sure no discrepancies appear.
  • Should there be any co-located meetings and/or conferences, the General Chair is responsible for ensuring coordination of events, programs, speakers, registration fees, etc. Co-location of meetings should be discussed with the ACL Exec in detail before being agreed to.
  • It is the perogative of the General Conference Chair to have a conference newsletter. Although such newsletters have been very informative in the past, it is not required. Examples of past newsletters can be found at newsletters from previous conferences
  • Information about ACL Conference Organization

The conference is supposed to be self-financing (at least); it is one of the two major revenue sources for the ACL, and all profits belong to the ACL. Thus costs (to support invited speakers, conference giveaways freebies, proceedings printing, etc.) must be weighed carefully against potential income from grants and registrations.

Certain steps require approvasl by the ACL Exec or its members; see the ACL policy on Exec involvement. The General Chair must work with the Exec to provide the required information in a timely manner.