The SIG Conference Planning Guide serves a resource for the conference organizers. ACM Multimedia Asia is a SIGMM-sponsored conference, such that ACM is taking legal and financial responsibility for the event on behalf of a SIG. Please follow the required practices and policies during conference organization.
PAF. The first thing for the conference organizers is to submit the Preliminary Approval Form (PAF), soon after the appointment. This is normally done by the Lead General Co-Chair or Treasurer, and requires an active ACM membership number. Once approved by the sponsoring SIG leadership, the conference organizers will have the ability to promote the event and begin the site selection process.
The organizer will receive a confirmation email upon successful submission. The PAF will be forwarded to the SIGMM Conference Director or volunteer leadership for their review and endorsement. It can take two weeks for the PAF to be endorsed. Updates can be requested by contacting “email@example.com”.
TMRF. Once the PAF has been endorsed, the conference organizers will receive a link to complete the Technical Meeting Request Form (TMRF) and submit their budget. The TMRF should be submitted no later than 9 months in advance of the conference date. This will give the sponsoring SIG leaders the necessary information to approve sponsorship.
The TMRF form allows the responsible SIG Leadership to evaluate both the technical merit and financial aspects of the event. It is a guide for the organizers to use throughout the planning process, including general information, conference budget and planning assumptions. Once the TMRF is approved, the committee is able to publish registration fees, distribute the advance program, execute non-hotel contracts, and make payments and deposits. The TMRF can be submitted online via the link provided to the organizers or by emailing it to “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
1. Once TMRF is approved, then ACM can start paying bills, booking etc. for the conference. Do not start committing or spending any money until your TMRF is approved.
2. During the organization of the conference, it is expected that the final budget is aligned with the TRMF figures. Requests for substantial changes due to unforeseen events must be submitted to SIG leaders for their approval, in advance.
3. Never employ professional staff without discussing it first with the ACM. Keep in mind is that conferences are primarily organized by volunteers.
Contacts. The ACM headquarters staff can provide assistance on site selection, finances, contract negotiation and general practices in running an ACM event. April Mosqus (email@example.com) is the contact person for program coordination of SIGMM (https://www.acm.org/special-interest-groups/contact-sigs). The conference organizers can also contact the Chairs of the Steering Committee of ACM Multimedia Asia (Tao Mei and Changsheng Xu) for information and procedures in organizing the conference.
Conference Fee Reduction. At the Annual SIGMM Business meeting in Nice, France, 2019, SIGMM announced to implement ways to reduce the conference registration fees for sponsored conferences, including MM Asia. Specifically, SIGMM will subsidize the registration fees for SIGMM members who register using the early-bird rate to the tune of US$100 each attendee. For example, if you have 70 SIGMM member early birds, and reduce the fees that they pay, then SIGMM will contribute $7,000 to your budget. The attendees can point at http://www.sigmm.org/ and follow the link to register SIGMM Membership.
For example, the following shows how IMX conference implemented this new policy:
EARLY REGISTRATION FEES
For the “normal” or the late/last-minute registration fee where there is no SIGMM reduction so you might have something like:
* Note that the above registration amounts are just used to illustrate.
If the organizers also add a note to the registration page that ACM membership can cost as little as $99 or $19 for a student and that SIGMM membership costs $20 or $15 for a student, and they include links to https://www.acm.org/membership/membership-options for ACM membership and to http://sigmm.org/ for SIGMM membership, then if the attendee is a student, he or she can join both ACM and SIGMM for €34 and see his or her registration fee drop from €220 to €100. Likewise, as a professional, the prospective attendees would be incentivized to join ACM for $99 and SIGMM for $20 to see their registration drop from €700 to €500.
Student Travel Grant. SIGMM is forming a SIGMM-wide student travel awards system where SIGMM members who are students and who are first-authors of oral presented papers, will receive a contribution to their travel costs from SIGMM, depending on where they are coming from, and where the conference is. Here’s the link to SIGMM student travel application form : https://acmsigmm.wufoo.com/forms/sigmm-student-travel-application-form/. As soon as conference organizers have the dates for the opening and closing of student applications, they can consult SIGMM Chair or MM Asia Steering Committee Chair to get the link to the form (published in the website).
Diversity and Inclusion. SIGMM now has a chair of diversity and inclusion, Susanne Boll. The conference organizers should consider adding a committee member for your conference who looks after diversity and inclusion and if you do so, then that person can apply to call for further SIGMM funds to support diversity and inclusion, at MM Asia. That could be lunch for female or first-time attendees, support for childcare, or sign language interpretation, etc. The committee member can work with Susanne to make happen. Please see this link for more details of "25 by 25" policy.
Conference Organizing during Global Pandemic. ACM HQ has published a handbook on virtual conferences: https://www.acm.org/virtual-conferences. There is also a useful post on the BLOG@CACM which just published a post entitled The ASPLOS 2020 Online Conference Experience (https://cacm.acm.org/blogs/blog-cacm/243882-the-asplos-2020-online-conference-experience/fulltext), about running that conference virtually. In addition, below is ACM’s official policy on publications which basically says that ACM will be very flexible but strongly encourages conferences to continue to publish proceedings in the ACM DL. If the organizers want to stick to their original submission/publication schedule, then they can or if they want to shift it backwards in time, they can do that also but do make contact with ACM HQ to agree new dates. Check this for more details: ACM Publications Guidance on Conference Publication During COVID-19 Crisis (Issued March 27, 2020).
After the event, the organizers work with ACM HQ to finalize the conference financials. The financial summary sheet includes detailed breakdown of each item of expenditure and income. The following lists a typical example of the sheet.
The conference oranizers are requested to deliver a summary presentation at MMAsia Steering Committee Meeting (during the conference dates), and provide a formal report after the end of the Conference (to be published in the SIGMM website and the SIGMM records).