2011Q3 Reports: Local Arrangements Committee

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The Local Arrangements Committee, with significant input from Priscilla Rasmussen, has been working for two plus years on the preparations for the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (ACL-HLT 2011) in Portland, Oregon, June 19-24, 2011. We have reached all the milestones listed in the ACL Conference Handbook. Here is a list of the most important tasks performed by the Local Arrangements Committee or its Chair. Key individuals other than local arrangements chair and Priscilla Rasmussen are noted next to tasks that they spearheaded.

  • Design conference logo and other conference materials (Luciana Lanza-Roark)
  • Design, set up and maintain conference web site, including both conference information and other practical information, e.g., travel info, visas, etc. (Nate Bodenstab)
  • Appoint Exhibits Chair (Peter Heeman) and Local Sponsorship Chair (Richard Sproat)
  • Book and confirm conference venue
  • Book and confirm locations for additional parallel sessions, poster session, and banquet
  • Obtained monetary sponsorship in the amount of $10,000 from local organizations: CSLU (OHSU), DMICE (OHSU), PNNL, viaLanguage (Sproat)
  • Innovative sponsorship of products from local vendors: Beer donation from Widmer Breweries; Discount coupons for Public Domain coffee for attendees (Sproat)
  • Book and confirm catering, A/V and internet for all events at the conference
  • Arrange for very reasonable student housing options
  • Book accommodations and provide online service to participants on the website
  • Arrange conference social program: reception, banquet, including catering, entertainment, music, etc. (Zak Shafran)
  • Arrange additional collocated meetings (ACL exec, Exec++ dinner, debriefing, NAACL board meeting, CL editorial board meeting, etc.)
  • Make a detailed budget for local costs (and income)
  • Plan registration process and provide link to ACL's online registration website
  • Design and order conference bags
  • Liaise with sponsorship chairs for corporate logos to appear on the conference website, on banners/rollups and powerpoints, on conference bags, on covers of proceedings, and in conference handbook
  • Work out allocation of rooms, poster boards, etc. for all conference sessions, workshops, tutorials, etc.
  • Liaise with workshop organizers to work out special requirements (poster sessions, lunches, etc.)
  • Organize spaces for exhibits and demonstrations
  • Arrange the printing of tutorial notes (Aaron Dunlop)
  • Organize signage on conference site (Meg Mitchell)
  • Select student volunteers and set up schedule for their work during the conference (Christian Monson)
  • Coordinate with Program Chairs and Publications Chairs to make sure that conference program is consistent in proceedings, on the web and in the handbook
  • Produce the conference handbook, including practical information, conference schedule and abstracts
  • Collect all material for conference bags (proceedings, sponsorship material, local maps, etc.)
  • Work out detailed day-by-day schedule for entire local committee and volunteers (Christian Monson)
  • Organize contacting and checking-in students for dormitory rooms (Mahsa Yarmohammadi and Masoud Rouhizadeh)

Less than two weeks before the conference, all tasks are on track and there are no outstanding problems to report from the Local Arrangements Committee. Pre-conference registration is greater than 1000, which puts the conference on track to be the largest ACL ever in North America, and possibly the largest ACL to date. Hence, we are confident that this will be a successful meeting both scientifically and financially.