Confessions of a researchaholic

March 5, 2015

About being a general/conference (co)chair

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:17 pm

Here is my experience of being a general/conference co-chair for I3D, a small but prominent venue in graphics, games, and HCI, in 2015.

What

A general chair is like the head of a conference organizing committee, which consists of other members such as paper/program chair, industry chair, poster/demo chair, publicity chair, local chair, etc.

You start by picking the venue/hotel and committee members (including your co-chair), working with them before/during/after the conference, and making sure everything runs smoothly with nothing falling through the cracks.
Your goal is to maximize attendance satisfaction while staying within the financial budget.

Why

Someone asked me to do this a while back; I like I3D and want to experience conference organization.

How

Picking good people to work with, including hotel managers and committee members, will make your tasks much easier and pleasant.

Learn from the past chairs. Follow what they have done well and improve the rest. Then you should be fine.

The budget is the trickiest part in my experience. The sponsoring organization (e.g. ACM) usually prefers not running into deficit, which unfortunately may appear unavoidable as the incomes (registration fees and corporate donations) do not completely roll in until near the conference start, at which point all major expenses are already decided.
Fortunately things turned out well this year and we ended with a small budget surplus.

I3D logo cake

A photo posted by Li-Yi Wei (@liyiwei) on

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