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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 leading-edge theory and practice of computer graphics and interactive techniques, inspiring progress through education, excellence, and interaction. The SIGGRAPH Conference Chair has a unique 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.

The SIGGRAPH Conference Chair is responsible for managing the content of the annual conference. The Chair works in close conjunction with the Chief Staff Executive (CSE), the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee (EC), the contractors, and the volunteers responsible for implementing the details of creating and accomplishing the conference. The Conference Chair for year N normally begins responsibilities at the beginning of year N-3 and continues until the end of year N+1. In addition to managing the conference content for year N, the Chair serves in an advisory capacity to the ACM SIGGRAPH organization and conference years surrounding their year.

 


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

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

Management

  • Responsible for recruiting and managing volunteer chairs for the content areas of the conference, including papers, panels, courses, art show, electronic theater, interactive programs, on-line activities, and publications
  • Work with the volunteer committee chairs to develop technical focus, determine the "look and feel" of the conference, oversee the technical content of printed material, and help plan the on-site presentation of content
  • Work with other conference chairs and the CSE in recruiting future Conference Chairs for approval by the EC

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

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

Management

  • Responsible for recruiting and managing volunteer chairs for the content areas of the conference, including papers, panels, courses, art show, electronic theater, interactive programs, on-line activities, and publications
  • Work with the volunteer committee chairs to develop technical focus, determine the "look and feel" of the conference, oversee the technical content of printed material, and help plan the on-site presentation of content
  • Work with other conference chairs and the CSE in recruiting future Conference Chairs for approval by the EC

Financial

  • Work with the CSE to prepare preliminary and final conference budgets for approval by the EC and ACM
  • 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 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

  • Chair all conference meetings with the CSE
  • Attend all conference committee meetings, Conference Advisory Group (CAG) meetings, EC meetings, and any other meetings as appropriate
  • Responsible for planning and scheduling all conference committee meetings to maximize efficient use of resources including people, time, and money
     

Qualifications

  • The role of Conference Chair is one of visionary, leader, and manager. 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.
  • Conversant with computer graphics industry issues.
  • Strong familiarity with the SIGGRAPH conference (ideally a previous committee member).
  • Connected to an established network of individuals within the computer graphics / 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 four-year commitment to managing the conference.
  • Demonstrated ability to negotiate, speak publicly, and lead a meeting.
  • 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 paid staff (contractors) and volunteers.
     

Application and Selection Process

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

Phase 1: Identify and encourage potential chair candidates

Phase 2: Collect application information from candidates

Phase 3: Evaluate candidates and recommend Chair to EC for approval


Phase 1: Identification of Candidates

In May, four years prior to the conference year, the CAG posts an open Call for Volunteers for the Chair position in both the SIGGRAPH Quarterly and on the web site. In addition, the CAG discusses and identifies potential candidates to encourage their application. 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 Chair responsibilities with CAG members at the conference.

Phase 2: Applications

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

1) Current resume including relevant SIGGRAPH and related experience

2) Statement of interest to include the following:

  • a) A self evaluation against each point listed in the Chair Qualifications
  • b) Why they would like to serve in this position
  • c) What they would like to accomplish as Chair

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 September 3, 2013.

Regular mail should be sent to:

SIGGRAPH Chief Staff Executive
19 Mantua Road
Mount Royal, NJ 08061 U.S.A.

Phase 3: Selection

The CAG will evaluate the collected information using the qualifications listed above. Primary candidates will be identified and formally interviewed by the CAG 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 as soon as possible. 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 3 years which requires an understanding of the amount of time required to adequately perform the many tasks involved. It is also important for the Chair's employer and family to understand the commitment and express their willingness to support the Chair in this endeavor. The Chair must be reachable within a reasonable amount of time for time-critical decisions during normal business hours. If the Chair is in a position involving frequent or extended business trips, 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

  • 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