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Conference Chair

Overview

The annual SIGGRAPH conference and its year-around initiatives provide unique crossroads for a diverse community of researchers, developers, creators, educators, and practitioners. Our continuing mission is to be the premier annual conference on theory and practice of computer graphics and interactive techniques, inspiring progress through education, excellence, and interaction. The SIGGRAPH Conference Chair has a rare opportunity to inspire and lead a highly energized, multi-talented, and deeply committed team of volunteers and professional service contractors in delivering the world's greatest conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques.

SIGGRAPH Conference Chairs work in close conjunction with the Chief Staff Executive (CSE), Conference Advisory Group (CAG), ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee (EC), professional service contractors, and volunteer conference committee to create and implement the conference. A Conference Chair/s role normally begins two years before their conference and continues until the January after their conference. In addition to managing the conference logistics for their year, the Conference Chairs serve in an advisory capacity to the ACM SIGGRAPH organization and other conference years surrounding as a member of the CAG.

NEW for 2017! SIGGRAPH encourages Conference Chair as well as Conference Co-Chair applications where either one OR two individuals apply for the position. Conference Co-Chairs may find this new application procedure desirable as Co-Chair expertise, experience, and interests can allow for shared leadership of the conference planning. Please note that the two individuals interested in sharing this exciting role must submit their application jointly.


Specific Responsibilities

The following list is a "high-level" view of the specific responsibilities associated with serving as a Conference Chair. The list is organized under general categories of responsibility.

Strategic Vision

  • Provide leadership for and participate in strategic and long-range planning for the SIGGRAPH conferences. Implement the strategic plan in partnership with the CSE.

Managerial Responsibilities

  • Responsible for recruiting and managing volunteer chairs for all of the content areas of the SIGGRAPH 2017 conference.
  • Work with the volunteer committee to develop technical focus, determine the vision of the conference, oversee the content of conference collateral, and help plan the on-site presentation of content. Work with other Conference Chairs and the CSE in recruiting future Conference Chairs.

Fiscal Responsibilities

  • Work with the CSE to prepare preliminary and final conference budgets.
  • Work with CSE to prepare and review financial reports for the CAG, EC, and ACM throughout conference planning cycle.
  • Authorize volunteer travel and operating expenses.
  • Work closely with the CSE to negotiate and approve single-year contracts.

Policies and Procedures

  • Contribute to the development of SIGGRAPH conference policies and procedures.
  • Carry out procedures and assist in managing committee compliance.

Communication

  • Report regularly to the EC, CAG, and ACM regarding all conference activities.
  • Facilitate and participate in timely communication with the committee to provide direction and solve problems.
  • Represent the SIGGRAPH conference to other organizations, the media, and the public-at-large.

Meetings

  • Responsible for planning and scheduling all conference committee meetings to maximize efficient use of resources including people, time, and money.

  • Chair all conference meetings with the CSE.
  • Attend all conference committee meetings, CAG meetings, EC meetings, and any other meetings as appropriate.

Qualifications

Conference Chairs are visionaries, leaders, and managers. The following list of qualifications represent the "ideal" candidate. It is not mandatory that individuals meet every qualification to be eligible for the position of Chair.

  • SIGGRAPH Conference Chairs must hold current membership with both ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH throughout the duration of their conference planning cycle.
  • Conversant with computer graphics industry issues.
  • Familiarity with the SIGGRAPH conference (ideally a previous committee member).
  • Connected to an established network of individuals within the computer graphics and/or interactive community.
  • Strong, demonstrated, effective management expertise (able to articulate their own management style); able to manage a diverse group of people with varying needs, goals, and assumptions about their SIGGRAPH involvement.
  • Able and willing to devote the necessary amount of time to do the job; have solid support from both their employer and family.
  • Able to make a three-year commitment to managing the conference and actively participating as a member of the CAG.
  • Demonstrates ability to negotiate, speak publicly, and lead meetings.
  • Flexible, diplomatic sense of humor.
  • Able to communicate a clear vision.
  • Is a strategist, able to chart clear directions, offer creative solutions, develop action plans, and respond to changing conditions and opportunities.
  • Able to motivate people and set expectations; able to build a team of people.
  • Aware of their own limitations.
  • Have their own set of clear criteria for success and failure; able to regularly assess their status and make mid-course corrections.
  • Able to articulate clear job descriptions for volunteers.
  • Able to effectively delegate work.
  • Able to surface and resolve conflict comfortably.
  • Is politically savvy, having an awareness of both internal and external politics of the organization.
  • Able to allow others space for leadership and decision-making, resulting in a balance of power, control, and leadership between professional service contractors and volunteers
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Application and Selection Process

The CAG is responsible for identifying and recommending Conference Chairs to the EC for approval. It is important to note that this is an open process to which anyone can apply. However, all information concerning who applies, data collected, and all discussions of candidates are kept strictly confidential. The selection process is accomplished in three phases:

Phase 1: Identify and encourage potential Chair and Co-Chair candidates.

Phase 2: Collect application information from candidates.

Phase 3: Evaluate candidates and recommend Conference Chair/s to EC for approval.

Phase 1: Identification of Candidates

In May, three years prior to the conference year, the CAG posts an open call for volunteers for Conference Chairs in both SIGGRAPHITTI and on its web site. In addition, the CAG discusses and identifies potential candidates to encourage them to apply. Potential candidates are identified from previous committee lists, personal knowledge, and recommendations. All individuals who express an interest are encouraged to apply and discuss the Conference Chair responsibilities with CAG members at the conference.

Phase 2: Applications

Individuals and Co-Chair teams who have expressed an interest in the Conference Chair position are requested to submit the following information to the CSE for dissemination:

1) Current resume/s including relevant SIGGRAPH and related experience

2) Statement of interest to include the following: A self evaluation discussing each point listed in the Conference Chair qualifications. Reasons they would like to serve in this position. What they would like to accomplish as Chair. Co-Chairs should provide additional information as to why their joint application would be beneficial to the conference. Please be sure to describe prior professional relationships among the proposed Co-Chairs, and elaborate on how the two will effectively tackle the common challenges associated with long-term interprofessional collaborations.

3) Any other information they would like to provide.

4) A list of references. Applications or questions about the application process should be submitted electronically to chief-staff-exec@siggraph.org no later than 3 September 2014.

Regular mail should be sent to:

Christine Hilgert, SIGGRAPH Chief Staff Executive
Meeting Expectations

3525 Piedmont Road NE #300
Atlanta, GA 30305

Phase 3: Evaluation and Selection

The CAG will evaluate the collected information using the qualifications listed above. Primary candidates will be identified and formally interviewed by the CAG and EC or its designated group. Based on the evaluation and interviews, the CAG will identify a recommended Chair and submit it to the EC for approval within two weeks. All candidates will receive timely feedback on the status of their application as soon as possible.



Time Commitment

The role of Conference Chair is a major professional commitment lasting three years which requires an understanding of the amount of time required to adequately perform the many tasks involved. It is also important for the Conference Chair's employer and family to understand the commitment and express their willingness to support this endeavor. The Conference Chair must be reachable within a reasonable amount of time for time-critical decisions during normal business hours. If the Conference Chair is in a position involving frequent or extended travel, they must have access to regular email and be reachable by phone. Although the exact amount of time varies significantly by individual and the current point-of-time in the conference planning cycle, the following guidelines of activities and average time requirements can be used as an estimate:

Daily (seven days a week)

  • Read and respond to conference email traffic: approximately 2 hours.
  • Handle and return phone calls: .5-1 hour.
  • Prepare and review documents: .25-.5 hour.
  • Total average daily time (not necessarily during business hours): 3 hours.

Trips

  • Average number of trips: 1.25 per month (15 trips per year).
  • Normal days of trip: Thursday or Friday pm - Sunday pm.
  • Time commitment during trip: 12-14 hours per day.
  • Conference Week (three-years out, two-years out, one-year out, conference year, conference year +1).
  • Normal length of conference trip: Thursday prior - Saturday following.
  • Time commitment during conference: 12-16 hours per day.