Sunday, June 06, 2010

Conference Attendance : How to Keep it Strong?

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...


Gilbert said...

SIGGRAPH seems to be held in Los Angeles every other year. I don't know all the reasons involved, (I've heard that we get a discount on the conference center) but the attendance (due to industry) is usually reliably higher every year it's in LA. I don't know what lesson there is to take away there, but at least it's another data point.

Anonymous said...

Really curious what the attendance at SIGCOMM will look like this year (New Delhi in August).

I'm taking a pass...and, anecdotally, a number of peers who normally attend are as well. Geographic diversity is indeed overrated. And bad for the environment to boot (I bet the average distance traveled to this SIGCOMM will be one of the highest).

Anonymous said...

@last anonymous.. there is no place more far away from USA than India :) (approx 12hrs time difference)

Geoff Knauth said...

My wife does biblical archaeology and goes to a joint SBL/ASOR conference (1e4 scholars) every November. She liked the following locations: Boston, Atlanta, New Orleans, Toronto. Apparently Nashville and Orlando were not so nice. She missed Chicago but wanted to go.