In honor of the STOC business meeting coming up shortly:
STOC, CCC, and EC are all apparently poised to have very strong attendance this year -- from what I understand, greatly improving over previous years. Why?
I suggest two obvious reasons:
1) Location: Cambridge is clearly a great location, with plenty of major universities and research labs nearby, and a major airport readily accessible.
2) Co-location: From what I can tell, having all these conferences in the same place in the same week is helping boost attendance for all of them.
Can we take something away from this for future years (please!)? Having conferences in easily accessible, researcher-rich cities is a good idea. ("Geographic equality" is overrated.) A reasonable amount of co-location (arguably less than a typical FCRC), appropriately managed, is quite desirable. Let's test out these principles over the next several years as we try to arrange our conferences...