SIGCOMM Planning: Coordinator

SIGCOMM policy issues:

  • Parity:

    SIGCOMM is distinguished by a set of principles which guide workshops and conferences alike:

    • Single class of service

      All conference participants are treated equally; there are no second-class participants. Although there are different registration fees, everyone receives a conference proceedings, partakes of refreshments and meals, etc. equally. This encourages open discourse among all participants.

    • Open on-line proceedings in advance

      All papers presented are available on-line in advance of the meeting. Access does not require ACM or SIGCOMM membership or conference registration. The site does not require any information for access (i.e., no passwords or 'register free for access').

General Conference issues:

  • Meeting room

    Plan for a single presenter and single projector, i.e., typical conference style.

    Rows should allow attendees to come and go without distruption - avoid theater-style seating. Three banks of seats (two 'center' aisles) is useful if possible - it avoids the speaker staring down an empty aisle.

There should be multiple aisles in which microphones can be placed.

The room should have unobstructed views for the entire seating area. We typically use a single projector, and everyone should be able to see the screen as well as the speaker.

  • Break area

    The break area should be adjacent to the presentation room. There should be enough room for refreshments, reasonable mingling space for a singificant fraction of attendees, as well as areas for registration and (if applicable) publisher tables.

    If posters are presented, it is useful to place them in the break area or immediately adjacent.

  • Power

    At least some of the conference seats should have power available. Assume that attendees bring plug adapters but not multi-socket taps.

  • Internet access

    Network access should be provided at the conference venue, though not always inside the presentation room itself.

    Power should be available, as should both wired ethernet and wireless 802.11b access and some terminals capable of web access (command-line access is useful as well, if possible).

    At least one printer should be available if possible.

The room should be lockable to secure the terminals and printer.

NAT'd access should be avoided if possible, for at least some subset of the connections.

Information on other local Internet access - at hotels, coffee shops, etc. - is also useful.

  • Registration

    There are three ways to handle registration, each with particular caveats, noted below.

    Note - regardless of who handles registration, it is critical that a member of the conference executive committee oversee the process. That person should be listed as a contact on the registration web pages, e.g., for questions and help with problems.

    1. yourself (internal to a committee member's organization)
      Be very careful about handling credit card numbers - notably where they are kept and who has access. Keep in mind that a small percentage of registration payments are bogus.
       
    2. ACM-assist
      The ACM no longer handles registration entirely. They can provide a credit-card processing service, which can be used together with 'your own' registration staff, for a fee.The service is NOT real-time; card information is collected in batches and processed by the ACM 'offline'. The fees run from $1/transaction (data FTPd) to $3/transaction (data FAXd).
       
    3. third-party contractor
      A local contractor can be used, with similar fee structures to the ACM (setup plus per-person).

    #2 and #3 reduce liability issues with holding credit card numbers, and often provide their own on-line web forms or form templates.

    #3 is often used outside the U.S., because the ACM is based in the U.S., and often contractors native to the conference site are better equipped to handle VAT and other local tax and currency exchange issues.

  • Preparation room

    A separate room, with an identical projector if possible, as well as presentation materials (spare blank slides, markers, etc.) should be provided for presenters.

  • Food issues

    Keep in mind that your entire attendance will be going for lunch at once. For buffet or lunch-service lines, multiple lines should be utilized.

    As with the meeting area, keep in mind that people will want to come and go at irregular times. Plan a small amount of extra table space to avoid 'spinners' (people who spin around looking for a seat - airline terminology ;-)

  • Presentation advice

    Inform speakers in advance of the schedule, leaving some time for questions (depending on the meeting style).

    Provide suggested guidelines, e.g., number of slides, a sample outline, etc. It is useful to provide "advice for novice speakers" - i.e., minimum font sizes, maximum number of ideas per slide, etc. It is also useful to provide a mentor service to review draft talks (at the speaker's request) if possible.

  • Presentation management

    Provide a visible count-down timer, changing colors or backgrounds at critical intervals (green at the start, yellow at 50%, orange at 20%, red at 10%, and flashing when expired). Any good slide program on a PC or laptop with automatic advance will suffice. Click here for a 20-minute talk sample in Powerpoint.

    Be prepared to stop the speaker in time for questions, esp. if the audience appears ready for such (e.g., gathering at the microphone). Forewarn speakers of this.

    Be prepared to guide/summarize/redirect questions, or to cut-off questions that are talks in of themselves. Advise the presenter to be prepared to do this if required as well. I.e., if a question requires a detailed response and is of marginal interest to the room, take it off-line at the break, and invite the room join you and the questioner then.

Sigcomm-specific Conference issues:

  • Schedule

    Traditionally Wed-Thur-Fri, with tutorials and/or workshops on Mon-Wed, but other formats are being tested (Tues-Thur-Fri in 2003 Karlsruhe Germany, and Tues-Wed-Thur in 2004 Portland, US).

    Reception is best if the evening before the first conference night.

    Banquet is typically the evening of the second conference night, and often follows the Sigcomm business meeting.

    A student dinner sometimes follows the reception. Avoid the two core conference evenings - they interfere with exec. committee events, and having them participate is useful. It is useful to have the student dinner as early as possible, to initiate relationships they can use for the rest of the meeting.

    Outrageous Opinions session should occur later rather than sooner, and should be planned well in advance.

  • Site selection:

    Click here for more info.

  • Student award info
They get: 	- invitation to the award dinner (Mon night) 		their advisor is also invited 	- honorarium 		$500 (split if multiple students are awardees) 	- travel grant 		get receipts for: 		economy advance-booked air travel 		4 nights hotel  4 days per diem 		ground transportation as needed to get to the hotel 	- registration to the conference only 		prepaid or reimbursed; either way works fine 		reimbursed works easier if they've already paid 	- a plaque, coordinatedin 2005 by: 		Elizabeth Grove 		ACM 		1515 Broadway, 17th Floor 		New York, NY 10036 		212-626-0614 		212-302-5826 (fax)

 

  • Business meetings at Sigcomm:

Legend of meetings, with contact points for attendee lists and approximate sizes:

SIG: SIG Exec [SIG Chair, 10]

Conf+1: current SC Exec, next years' SC Exec, SIG Exec [Conf+1 Chair, 20]

PC+1: PC chairs and PC members [PC chair, PC size]

IMC: IMC Exec, SIG Exec [IMC chair, 15]

Asia: Asia Exec, SIG Exec [Asia chair if available, or SIG chair, 15]

ToN: ToN EiC and Editorial Board [ToN EiC, 20]

CCR: CCR EiC and Editorial Board [CCR EiC, 20]

Student: Student registrants, SC Exec, TAC and Exec as possible [Local arrangements chair, ~150]

Award: SC Chair, SC PC Chairs, SIG Exec, SC Awardee, SC Student awardee and advisor [SIG chair, 25]

(banquet): conference banquet

(reception): conference reception

Logistics:
All breakfasts are typically in a reserved room
in the hotel restaurant

All lunches are typically in side-rooms near the conference lunch, serving conference food in a separate area

All dinners are typically off-site in nearby restaurants

Typical schedule (assuming Mon/Fri tutorials and workshops):

  Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri
bkfast     ToN Asia  
lunch   SIG

CCR

PC+1

Conf+1   dinner

(recep)

award

stud (banquet)