- Check for overlength and violation of double-blind submission
immediately after deadline, to avoid the unpleasant decision as to
whether to reject papers on formal violations at the TPC meeting, after
review effort has been expended.
- Try to discover out-of-area submissions as soon as possible.
- Keep a master time (spread) sheet that contains for each room slot:
and each time slot:
- Room number, session title and number of participants;
- Power strips?
- White boards?
All local arrangement personnel, including the general chair, should
have a copy of this document.
- Special A/V needs, such as DVD player;
- Food and status (caterer, when ordered, by whom);
- Room monitor (incl. cell phone number, if used)?
- During on-line registration, record food choices and preferences
(kosher, vegetarian, ...).
- People will pay with all kinds of monetary instruments, including
wire transfer and money orders. For wire transfers, make sure that the
attendee adds the necessary transfer fees as they are sometimes
subtracted from the amount.
- Staff registration desk with lots of help during the peak
registration period. Plan on about one staff person for every 30-50
- Do you want to provide an attendee list with affiliation and email
- Consider setting up a mailing list for the duration of the
conference only, to announce last-minute changes or provide restaurant
- Every attendee, including those with payment problems or other
issues, should get an envelope, possibly specially marked or of a
different color. The registration chair then deals only with those
- Keep stack of extra conference programs as attendees will lose
- Make sure that the alphabet range for each registration line is
- You can use colored dots on the name badge for admission to special
events such as tutorials, workshops, banquets and the like. Place the
same dot on the door sign and use the same color code on the program so
that the student volunteer and attendee can see where they are supposed
(and not supposed) to be.
- Provide networked terminals so that people can easily register
- Print badges on cardstock and provide lanyards.
- Offer instructions on hailing a cab, so that attendees don't get
into gypsy cabs by accident. Not everyone will be familiar with local
- Provide maps with restaurants and other establishments (Kinko's,
- Provide local information (department newsletter, brochure).
- Provide instructions for using wireless network.
- Offer telephone number to leave messages at, possibly at the
- Keep special generic press passes, e.g., in a different color, given
to attendees with press credentials.
- Provide a continuous supply of (hot) coffee and ice water in the
back of the room, not just during the breaks.
- Provide healthy alternatives, such as fruit or yoghurt, not just
cookies or bagels.
- Label any food items that contain nuts, peanuts or other common,
non-obvious allergens. Generally, labeling food for buffets is a nice
gesture, as participants may observe dietary restrictions such as avoiding
meat, shell fish or pork.
- Consider serving ice cream during one break.
- Who is going to clean up after each break?
- If the social event or banquet is not within walking distance,
provide bus transportation.
- Plan on at least one volunteer for each parallel session, plus one
"floater" that covers if a volunteer does not show up.
- A single person should be in charge of volunteers, preferably not
the local arrangements chair.
- Typically, student volunteers work one day of the conference.
- Volunteers should wear some kind of T-shirt or be otherwise easily
- It is helpful if volunteers have walkie-talkies so that they can
easily get in touch with the registration desk.
- Upload all presentations to a single laptop or PC. Quickly test that
all presentations work, e.g., that parts of the presentation are not cut off
or that fonts are missing. For example, Mac PowerPoint presentations
seem to include GIF files in ways that requires QuickTime.
- Check audio for laptop presentations.
- Use Helix/Real for streaming events. Capture slides using
VGA-to-FireWire converter, such as the Canopus unit. Make sure that you
can handle the likely number of attendees.
- Check whether any presenters will be remote, e.g., through a
conference bridge. (We have used a SIP conference bridge, with a soft
client on the presenter PC.) Test audio levels and echo before-hand.
- Provide at least one, preferably two, handheld microphones for
- Designate a volunteer "runner" that takes the audience microphone to
the person asking a question.
- Check all microphone levels, including audio levels in the back of
the room when the lavalier microphone is clipped to shirt.
- Keep spare batteries for wireless microphones on hand.
- Provide a remote control for slides, so that presenters do not have
to stand right next to the laptop.
- Provide a count-down timer for each presentation, so that speakers
can see how much time they have left. Countdown
TimeLeft (Windows), or hardware,
such as Ultrak Jumbo countdown timer T-2 or Robic SC-502. A Radio Shack
timer may also suffice. EDAS
ACM ideas for conferences
- Upload presentations at least day before presentation (student
volunteer), instead of people fiddling with laptop connections. Test all
presentations. If laptops need to be connected, do it during the Q&A
period, to avoid dead time. You may want to provide a video switch, so
that presenters can quickly change between the conference laptop and a
- Senior members of the community (e.g., TPC members) should keep
track of speaker time, as students will lack the authority to yank a
senior faculty off the stage when he drones on. Provide some kind of
visual indication of time remaining, such as large printed sheets or a
- Each room should have a sign with listing of events for the
- Put directional signs near elevators and entrances; consider adding
pointers to rest rooms.
- Work with campus to install signs on wooden posts.
- Provide power strips for meeting rooms, particularly for TPC meeting
- Whiteboard pens.
- Provide laser pointer.
by Henning Schulzrinne