Tuesday, June 17, 2008

SoCG 2010: The countdown begins

Ok, so it's a fairly long countdown :).

As mentioned earlier, Valerio Pascucci and I will be co-organizing SoCG 2010 somewhere in the Greater Salt Lake Area, including but not limited to the Great Salt Lake itself, the largest man-made excavation on earth, the best powder on earth, and the home of the (not-quite) fastest growing religion on earth.

I have never done this before, and have been consulting previous organizers for advice, things to do, things not to do, and so on. So I thought it would be interesting to blog about the conference organizing process in real-time, so to speak, with the not-so-humble hope that it might help future organizers as well. Don't expect anything juicy, or controversial ! For that you'll have to catch me in an off-the-record moment. As usual, I'll have a tag devoted solely to posts about the conference if you want to track only these posts.

I should also note that although I might carelessly lapse into the first person singular when talking about the organizing, 'I' should be read as short-hand for 'Valerio and myself', especially if something good happens :). Any bumbling should be assumed to be credited to me alone.

Moving on...

Conferences are like weddings, I am realizing, in that the key things to nail down are the venue, venue, and venue (followed by food, and entertainment). Based on a straw poll of people at the conference, it seemed like either hosting SoCG on campus or at Snowbird have roughly equal support (a downtown hotel was less favorable). So the first order of business is to request bids from both Snowbird and the campus conference services. Once we get these, we can start taking a closer look at the numbers that show up.

Scheduling point: the 2010 World Cup will start around the same time as the conference, as pointed out by Marc van Kreveld. Given the size of our European contingent, this is something we definitely need to worry about. On the other hand, maybe we should have country-themed sessions, with national colors and all :)


  1. Hi Suresh, isn't SoCG too late for skiing? I guess you can't move the conference up to March...

  2. Some advice:

    -Check if you can avoid using conference services? often they add little value and their use might be entirely optional. It really depends on the university, in some places they are very helpful and reasonably priced, in others they fully match hotel prices while doing very little.

    -Ideally you should choose a place where you can easily get an extra room on short notice. Lack of space should not be the deciding factor to have an extra parallel session or not.

  3. James: yes, pity about the ski season, but that's beyond my control. I should mention that snowbird was still open for skiing in June this year, but that's an anomaly I think.

    anon: whether we have parallel sessions or not is under the purview of the program committee. Historically, we've always had at least partial parallelism, so I'm working with the assumption that we need extra rooms.

  4. whether we have parallel sessions or not is under the purview of the program committee.

    I know. I mention this because in certain instances of conferences that shall remain nameless the program committee wanted an extra parallel session but the local organizers couldn't secure an extra room.

    so I'm working with the assumption that we need extra rooms.



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