Around this time of year, I get a number of messages from students: I want to take your class, but there's a conflict with this other class I want to take, what can be done... Sometimes a solution can be worked out, sometimes not. It's not an easy issue to deal with. In Computer Science, we take a look at our own schedule of classes, and try to make sure there aren't any particularly bad time conflicts among our own classes, although inevitably there are some hopefully minor ones. Then we try to look at other big classes in related areas -- try not to have our intro classes the same time as the intro economics, physics, statistics courses, etc. Of course we also try to let them know when our big intro courses are, so they don't reschedule classes into those time slots as well. In the end I think we do a reasonably good job.
That was a long-winded roundabout to where I wanted to get to, which is conference scheduling. It's something that I think is becoming increasingly broken -- at least for theory conferences* -- due to the fact that there is (as far as I know) minimal coordination going on with respect to the calendar, and there's an ever-increasing number of conferences and workshops. The near-overlap of ITCS and SODA is one obvious example. The nearly-overlapping SPAA and PODC deadlines are another.** I'm sure one can come up with hosts of others, and that's excluding the issue of trying to coordinate with other adjacent fields. (For many years, INFOCOM and SODA deadlines, as I recall, were within a couple of days of each other -- and July 4th! Not friendly, especially not family friendly.)
I'm not claiming we want full centralization of conference scheduling. But I do think there should be a lot more of it than we have. A lot of aspects of the conference calendar -- dates, how many conferences we have, where they're located -- don't make a lot of sense to me, and I think that's because they don't make a lot sense. I don't know how we arrange for a body to try to look at where we're at and figure out how to make it globally better. But I wish someone would!
* I haven't noticed this so much for other areas -- in networking, SIGCOMM, INFOCOM, NSDI, IMC, and even Allerton have always seemed reasonably spread out to me, but perhaps I just haven't noticed the problem.
** I've thought SPAA and PODC should have some sort of "merge" for almost 20 years now. You're different communities? Fine. Then arrange a permanent co-location agreement. It would be better for both conferences.