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Conference Series Handbook and Conference Handbook

Template: Conference Series Handbook

The handbook for a conference series should help guide the steering committee. This can be particularly useful for a new steering committee chair or new member. Such a handbook might include details on the following:

  1. Who we are.
    What is the purpose of this conference series, what is the scope of the series and what is its mission. This text should be reflected in how SIGCHI describes this conference series e.g.
  2. What we do
    What is the nature of this conference series. How often does the conference happen and at what time of year. Does the conference series have a planned geographical range or planned series of regions where it aims to be based and when?
  3. Steering Committee Responsibility and organisation
    The XYZ Steering Committee (SC) is responsible for:
    * promoting and maintaining the XYZ conference as the …. venue for …..  interested in …..
    * ensuring the highest quality of the contents of the event
    * maintaining the relationship with the sponsoring organisation including SIGCHI and  …. (including any reporting requirements)
    * promoting the inclusion of journal papers into the conference program each year (conference specific example)
    * solicitation and selection of hosts or bids to decide where the XYZ conference is to be held
    * selection of chairs as part of bid or otherwise (e.g. general chairs)
    * providing advice to the current and future chairs of the XYZ conference
    * resolving general issues involved with the XYZ conference
    * establishing a scheme for how suitable conference sites and future organisers are selected
    * providing advice to the current and future chairs of the XYZ conference
    * resolving general issues involved with the XYZ conference
    * arranging any conference series award selection processed (e.g. lasting impact award)
    * …
  4. Membership
    How many members does the steering committee have? How are members appointed? What is the duration of membership or how do new members get added to the committee? When or why does membership of the committee terminate?
  5. Current leadership
    Who are the officers in the steering committee e.g. chair, vice-chair, incoming chair, sponsorship chair, secretary, website chair etc.
  6. Leadership roles listed in 5, are described below.
    The Steering Committee chair is responsible for:
    * Being the contact point from and to SIGCHI EC & VP Confs and ensure reporting to SIGCHI
    * Ensuring that the overall responsibilities of the SC are met
    * Coordinating the activities of the committee
    * Identifying and assigning “executive” roles to other members of the committee
    * Conducting the formal voting process when required
    * Chairing a public “town hall” meeting at each conference
    * Chairing a SC meeting at each conference (normally including current and future senior chairs)
    * Help chairs prepare their PAF & TMRF
    * Report to the council of steering committee chairs
    * Support the organisers with previous years information
    * Maintain the historical view of the conference series finances
    * Apply for the SIGCHI Specialised Conferences Development Fund, as required
  7. Steering Committee Meetings
    When and how will the steering committee meet?
  8. Voting (Reaching Consensus)
    How is steering committee voting arranged within this conference series  (majority or 2/3rd majority and on what type of decisions?)
  9. Data
    Where are the login details for the conference series website held? Where are the past TMRF/budgets, closing figures, reports etc. held
  10. Annual conference event
    What is considered core within this conference series and should happen each year (e.g. papers, panels, tutorials, workshops, demos etc). What is expected to happen and what areas of the conference do chairs have the discretion to decide on from year to year (based on space, their vision, budgets etc.)
  11. Conference Leadership
    How are conference leaders decided upon? What role does the steering committee have a say on deciding upon (beyond the general chairs). And how is this achieved.
  12. ACM sponsorship
    Are the Benefits and constraints of ACM sponsorship clearly documented and understood by the steering committee and hence clearly communicated to future chairs (see here for details)
  13. SIGCHI sponsorship
    Are the Benefits and constraints of SIGCHI sponsorship clearly documented and understood by the steering committee and hence clearly communicated to future chairs (see here for details)
  14. External financial sponsorship
    Who are the traditional sponsors of this conference series. What are their emails, contact details and amounts requested in the past
  15. Support for students
    What are traditional supports for students (e.g. NSF etc.)
  16. Town-hall meeting and post-conference questionnaire
    When is the town-hall and what is the format. What is the format of the questionnaire after the conference.
  17. Conference paper awards
    How are paper awards decided upon at this conference series
  18. Technical paper review process.
  19. Conference Series Awards
    e.g. lasting impact award
  20. Conference planning cycle, timeline and general event schedule
  21. Conference venue selection process
    If a conference has an open bidding process, what is the selection process and criteria used to decide on the bids received
  22. Suggested conference bid format
    * Proposed location for the conference
    * how will the conference be organised?
    * programme chair(s) –biography
    * general chair(s) –biography
    * brief statement of chairs’ experience of running conferences
    * who will edit the proceedings
    * commitment to publish the proceedings with ACM
    * what are the initial planned dates
    * a draft program for the conference
    * which sponsors are likely and how will you attract sponsorship
    * any letters of support from local entities offering help
    * brief description of conference venue
    * brief description of conference city and region
    * proposed budget
    * example hotel costs
    * planned registration rates
    * example flight costs from major cities

Template: Conference Handbook

The handbook for a conference should help guide new general chairs might include details on the following:

  1. How to start out (Contacts in the ACM, PAF, TMRF, use of ACM conference planning guide, key contacts, SIGCHI details), setting up a website, domains, securing a conference venue, accessibility, promotion, mailing lists to use etc.)
  2. What is included in a typical conference and what are the traditional social events associated with the conference event
  3. Summary detailed of what the SIGCHI help page covers
  4. Summary of the ACM Conference Planning Guide 
  5. Advice on how to setup a budget (with examples from past budgets)
  6. Organising Committee (standard chairing roles, who does what, how does the program committee work and the paper meeting)
  7. How do the onsite logistics work (e.g. what do the SVs etc help with)
  8. Setting up the paper submission system (e.g. PCS)
  9. Arranging the proceedings process
  10. Setting up the registration system.


We would like to thank the TVX, ICMI, HRI, MobileHCI and UbiComp for their input and help on these handbook outlines.