ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee July 2002 Conference Call

ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee Conference Call
July 10, 2002

Judy Brown
Alain Chesnais
Gudrun Enger
Thierry Frey
Barb Helfer
Masa Inakage
Erica Johnson
Scott Owen
Garry Paxinos
Dino Schweitzer
Stephen Spencer

Werner Hansmann
Jacki Morie

The president called the meeting to order at 5:05 PM Eastern Time

There were two agenda items
1. Panels program waiver
2. Change of approved conference venue for SIGGRAPH 2004

Panels program waiver

The conference requested a one-time waiver by the Executive Committee of the required conference panels program for the SIGGRAPH 2003 conference, for budgetary reasons. Because the Call for Participation for SIGGRAPH 2003 needs to be distributed in two weeks, the decision needs to be made now.

Motion (Owen, Frey) That the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee waive the requirement for the panels program to be part of the conference program for SIGGRAPH 2003.
Approved (5,1,2, opposed: Spencer, abstain: Brown, Helfer)

The conference advisory group felt that significant financial savings would result from eliminating the panels program, and thereby eliminating the need for some expensive rooms and audio-visual equipment. This, combined with cut-backs in the other programs will allow the conference to be one day shorter in 2003. It was stated that there is no intention to cut back on the papers program, although they are exploring options for reducing the expenses in all programs. There will also be a review of this year's panels program, to be conducted by David Ebert, and this information will be available this fall.

There was concern that the organization has a commitment to produce a panels program and that, by granting this waiver, ACM SIGGRAPH is not fulfilling its commitment to the computer graphics community.

It was also noted that the ACM Executive Committee had approved the SIGGRAPH 2002 budget contingent on reviewing the size and scope of the annual SIGGRAPH conference program and budget for future years to be sure it includes the requisite contingency and covers the required administrative fees for ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH.

Change of approved conference venue

Because of the current financial situation, the conference advisory group feels that the SIGGRAPH 2004 conference should be held in Los Angeles rather than Atlanta, although the Atlanta site has already been approved.

Motion (Owen, Enger) To move SIGGRAPH 2004 from Atlanta to Los Angeles.
Approved (8,0,0)

We are experiencing about 25% lower technical registration (includes full conference and conference select registration) than was expected for SIGGRAPH 2002, and businesses are forecasting less travel for professional staff. Because the west coast has a higher concentration of our conference attendee base, it is estimated that we would have approximately 1,000 more technical attendees, as well as higher overall attendance, if the conference were held on the west coast. The number of exhibitors is also down this year, and exhibitors prefer the higher overall attendance figures that we get with the California venues.

This request is for a one-time waiver of the policy to alternate having the conference on the west coast one year and non-west coast on alternate years. Cancellation fees in Atlanta would be approximately $48,000, and the estimated gain could be $1,000,000 in additional revenue.

Los Angeles has expressed a strong desire to host the conference program in 2004. They have dates available in the second week of August and are exploring more preferable dates. Rental for the Convention center in past years has been extremely low ($1), and we hope that will be the case again for 2004.

E-mail and proxy voting

Alain brought up the topic of accepting e-mail votes and proxy votes. There will be some email discussion on this, and this item is to be on the agenda for the July 27th Executive Committee meeting.

Action Item: Alain Chesnais to place e-mail and proxy voting on the agenda for July 27, 2002 Executive Committee Meeting.

The call concluded at 5:41PM