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Conference Chair


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, multitalented, 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 Conference Event Director, 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.

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 Event Director.
  • Develop the vision for and assist in enforcing the annual conference tagline, visual identify and brand.
  • Participate in marketing efforts promoting the ACM SIGGRAPH annual conference.
  • Review and approve media deployments and assist in guiding communications.
  • Work with and seek to implement elements of overall Conference Advisory and Executive Committee strategic growth initiatives for the ACM/SIGGRAPH experience.

Managerial Responsibilities

  • Responsible for building and leading a team of volunteer chairs for all of the content areas. Work with the volunteer committee to determine the vision of the conference identify and reach out to emerging areas of technology and methodology, oversee content of conference as a whole, and help plan the on-site presentation of content.
  • Work with other Conference Chairs and the Event Director in recruiting future Conference Chairs.
  • Approve or deny requests for curated content that comes to the conference after the submission deadlines.
  • Ability to faithfully resolve and prioritize conflicting requests in a way that is in the best interest of the organization and the conference.

Fiscal Responsibilities

  • Work with the Event Director to prepare preliminary and final conference budgets.
  • Present budget in separate meetings first to the CAG for approval, and then to the EC for final approval. Adjust budget and assumptions based on direction received from these groups.
  • Work with Event Director 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 Event Director to negotiate and approve single-year contracts.
  • Work with other members of the CAG and the EC to prepare Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and evaluate bids from potential contractors.

Policies and Procedures

  • Contribute to the development of SIGGRAPH conference policies and procedures.
  • Carry out procedures and assist in managing committee compliance.
  • Participate on Curation Committee for year you are Conference Chair to approve/deny requests that come after the submission deadlines.


  • 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.


  • 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 Event Director.
  • Attend all conference committee meetings and CAG meetings.  It is encouraged that participation in EC meetings as invited, but not required.


Conference Chairs are visionaries, leaders, and managers. The following lists 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 in areas of professional interest to the SIGGRAPH community. Familiarity with the SIGGRAPH conference (ideally a previous committee member chairing a Program).
  • 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. This position requires work during the day, after hours and over the weekend.
  • 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 and willing 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.

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. While discussions of the candidates are kept strictly confidential among the CAG, application and data collected on the candidate may be shared with the EC. 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.

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 the Organization website. 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: Collect application information from candidates.

Individuals and Co-Chair teams who have expressed an interest in the Conference Chair position are requested to submit the following information to the Event Director 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 longterm inter-professional 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 event-dir@siggraph.org.

All applications must be received by September 20, 2019.

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

The CAG will evaluate the collected information using the qualifications listed above. Primary candidates will be identified and formally interviewed by the CAG at their October meeting. 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 per day.
  • Video and phone conferences: .1-3 hours per day.
  • Prepare and review documents: .25-.5 hour per day.
  • Other CAG Business: 2-5 hours per month


  • Committee Meetings: Starting the calendar year after selection,the Chair will be expected to attend:

Two Years Prior

  • Conference Advisory Group Meetings- January, May and October
  • N-1 Committee Meetings- February Kickoff, October Program Plan
  • Executive Committee Meetings- February or March/Conference/October or November, as requested by EC and as available by candidate
  • Conference: July/August

One Year Prior

  • Conference Advisory Group Meetings- January, May and October
  • N Committee Meetings- February Kickoff, October Program Plan
  • N-1 Committee Meetings- April Logistics, June Logistics, Sept/Oct Wrapup
  • Executive Committee Meetings- February or March/Conference/October or November, as requested by EC and as available by candidate.
  • Conference July/August

Conference Year

  • Conference Advisory Group Meetings- January, May and October
  • N Committee Meetings- April Logistics, June Logistics, Sept/Oct Wrapup
  • Executive Committee Meetings- February or March/Conference/October or November, as requested by EC and as available by candidate Conference July/August

Post Conference Year

  • Conference Advisory Group Meeting- January
  • Normal length of CAG/Committee Meeting trips: Thursday pm or Friday arrivals-Sunday am departures (12-14 hour days)
  • Normal length of conference trip: Thursday prior - Friday following (12-16 hour days)
Revised: February 2019