Conference Operations

Your Conference Operations Liaison (Your Main HQ Point-of-Contact)

Each liaison manages conferences sponsored by certain SIG’s.  Depending on which SIG is the lead sponsor of your event determines who your Conference Operations Liaison is.  This person will remain your main point of contact for the entire event. 

If you are unsure who your liaison is, please see the link to the right of this page to be directed to a list.

What does the Conference Operations Liaison do for the conference?

Your Conference Operations Liaison will assist you with hotel and convention center management after the site has been selected and the contract has been executed. They will also assist with additional vendor contracts, conference finances and general inquiries or direct you to the appropriate staff person who can assist you. 

Hotel and Convention Center Management

  • Your Conference Operations Liaison will introduce the committee to the convention service manager (CSM) at the hotel
  • They will assist with setting up a master account/direct bill so ACM can pay the hotel/venue post conference. 
  • They will negotiate any amendments to contracts (changes to sleeping room block, meeting rooms, etc.) on behalf of the committee
  • They will also coordinate deposits and final payments (including catering and a/v) with the hotel

Contract Management

  • Your Conference Operations Liaison will assist the organizers with the review and signature of any contracts other than site and hotel.  These include social events, entertainment, a/v, and transportation.  Please note that contracts over $50,000 USD go out for a competitive bid and proposals must be obtained from at least 3 vendors.  If the conference budget exceeds one million, contracts exceeding $250,000 require competitive bid.     
  • All contracts must be reviewed and signed by an ACM representative. Before presenting a contract to your Conference Operations Liaison for signature, it should have the endorsement of the  Chair and/or Treasurer and be included in the conference budget
  • Please allow for adequate contract processing time, which can take 2-3 weeks.   Some events may require approval by ACM’s insurance company.
  • ACM can provide insurance certificates to vendors if necessary.  Requests for insurance certificates should be directed to your Conference Operations Liaison.    
  • Deposits cannot be made until contracts are fully executed.  For conferences in the US, ACM will pay deposits by check.  For conferences outside the US, ACM can pay by wire transfer or check.  Please allow up to two weeks from the date of contract signature for the venue to receive deposit.  Vendors must submit either a W9 or W8 prior to payment here.   
  • Once you make your meeting room arrangements with the hotel, (including av, catering, etc) the hotel will request you to sign “Banquet Event Orders” or BEO’s for short.  These do not have to be sent to your Conference Operations Liaison for signature.  It is fine for the committee to sign off on these orders.  Please carefully check them for accuracy and that they are within the conference budget.  However, if you prefer to have them signed by ACM, we can do so.

What type of social events should we consider for the conference?

Securing a venue to provide “local flavor” to the conference allows attendees to get a sense of the city they’re in.  An appropriate social event may include a dinner at restaurant, catering facility, or museum.  Conference social activities that require a personal liability release waiver should not be considered, as ACM is unable to secure insurance to protect the attendee or the organization. These include theme/amusement/water park outings, duck boats, rappelling activities, extreme driving, alligator/crocodile boat tours, and sporting activities requiring attendee participation.  

Hiring Independent Contractors

  • When the services of an independent contractor are needed (web design, administrative support, etc) it is very important to let your Conference Operations Liaison know so that an independent contractor agreement can be put into place.
  • ACM has standard practices that must be adhered to when hiring an independent contractor:
  • The company/individual whom you would like to hire must have an incorporated business where they provide the services as part of their business.    
  • ACM will require the following information in order to draft an independent contractor agreement:
    • Scope of services that the independent contractor will provide.
    • Desired outcome from services provided
    • Payment terms for compensation
    • Submit completed W9 or W8 
  • Payment to independent contractors is subject to US IRS Miscellaneous Income Tax Reporting (Form 1099)

*Please allow 2-3 weeks for a contract to be drafted and fully executed

Virtual Conferences

  • Looking for Guidance on planning a Virtual or Hybrid Conference? Please contact your Conference Operations liaison for information on platforms, management, planning, and possible budget implications. Please also see the Best Practices for Virtual Conferences which was published by an ACM Presidential Task Force in May 2020.
  • ACM has purchased a number of Zoom licenses to assist conferences holding virtual events.  These licenses are shared among all ACM''s conferences.  Please see our Zoom Meeting Guide for more information on how to leverage these.

How many Zoom licenses may we request? 

Each conference may request up to 5 licenses, which can be utilized as webinars OR meetings for up to 500 people.  Licenses may be requested by contacting your SIG Services Staff Liaison.  It takes ACM up to one week to process requests for Zoom accounts.   

Our conference needs more than 5 licenses.  Can ACM provide more?

If you require more than 5 licenses, ACM can purchase additional zoom licenses on behalf of your event and charge the expense to the conference budget.  
Pricing as of 1/15/2021 is as follows:

  • Each 500 participant license is $200/month
  • Each 1,000 participant license is $500/month
  • Each 3,000 participant license is $1,200/month

Should you find that you don't require a license after you order it from ACM, you will still need to cover the cost.  Please plan accordingly. 

How long may we use the licenses?

All licenses, including those charged to the conference, are available up to 2 weeks prior to and 3 days following the conference.  If you require the licenses for a longer time period, please contact your SIG Services Staff Liaison to discuss options. 

Please remember these are shared licenses and should only be requested based on the time period as outlined above. Returning them to ACM promptly after the event will help other conference organizers.

Providing Childcare at ACM Conferences

For conferences seeking to provide on-site childcare, your ACM liaison can secure pricing and establish a contract with Kiddie Corp, a well-known childcare provider that has been utilized by several ACM conferences.  Costs are based on the age and number of children being cared for. ACM’s experience is with Kiddie Corp, but there are other reputable, insured agencies that can be utilized.  Your Conference Operations Liaison can assist you with obtaining quotes.  Due to the high liability involved with caring for children, the conference should not secure childcare on their own, hire any babysitting service, or utilize student volunteers to take care of children.  Agencies such as Kiddie Corp carry the required insurance as well as the ability to background check their caregivers.    

When should childcare be contracted for?

The decision to offer childcare should be made during the TMRF process and and advertised accordingly on the conference website as well as in the Call for Participation.  This will allow for attendees to plan accordingly far enough in advance.  

Who will pay for childcare?

The conference can pay the full cost of on-site care, subsidize the cost or have costs paid by the parents utilizing the service. Several conferences offset the costs and charge a nominal fee to parents. This leads to fewer cancellations and no-shows.

What is the conference responsible for onsite at the hotel?

Securing a room at the venue based on the number of children that service will be provided for. In addition, the conference is responsible for providing supplies and food and beverage as requested by Kiddie Corp.

Use of Music at Conferences

ACM must comply with music rights management and the requirements of ASCAP and BMI.  If the committee is planning to have any musical performance (live or recorded) at any conference event, please inform your Conference Operations Liaison so ACM can incorporate the payment of any license fees into their annual payment to ASCAP and BMI.  These fees are not passed onto the conference and are paid by ACM HQ.  


All conference related shipments should go directly to the committee members or the conference facility, not ACM.

Conference Calls

Your Conference Operations Liaison can assist with arranging a call-in number for hosting a conference call if necessary. 

ACM Preferred Vendors

ACM has established relationships with various vendors that provide the following services to ACM conferences.  Your Conference Operations Liaison can assist you with obtaining quotes. For services not listed below we suggest checking with your Conference Operations Liaison, as they still might be able to make a recommendation.

  • Conference Management
  • Childcare
  • Onsite Registration Management
  • Video Archival and Webcasting
  • Promotional Items
  • Captioning/accessibility
  • Cart services
  • E-pub conversion

Please click here to see a list of our preferred vendors.       


CARES Program

SIG CARES Committees

CARES Committees were established to provide SIGs a way to support those who experience misconduct at ACM activities. This misconduct may occur either during in-person events or during online activities. The role of CARES Committee members is to lend a sympathetic ear and provide information on how to report the misconduct to ACM for action.

CARES Committee members typically are established members of the community who are present at identified SIG events. They need to be knowledgeable about procedures to be followed as detailed in the following:

  • Information about handling issues related to harassment is available for SIG conference organizers and CARES Committee members. An online volunteer training video offers information about problematic behaviors and handling of onsite problems. All CARES Committee members are responsible for knowing the information in this video and acting in accordance with the guidance provided there.

The above-referenced volunteer training video and the FAQ on Reporting Unacceptable Behavior at ACM Activities provide helpful information on handling event situations. CARES Committee members can help onsite by providing advice on how to approach a situation and providing guidance on reporting it to ACM for investigation. Committee members are available to listen and help anyone who has either experienced or witnessed policy violations at a SIG event. Importantly, CARES Committee members should not attempt to mediate or resolve complaints.

In addition, it is important to be aware that CARES is not intended to replace ACM’s guidelines for reporting incidents. Such reporting remains the responsibility of the individuals who experienced the incident. A CARES committee member may, under exceptional circumstances, report an incident on behalf of the individual who experienced the incident, but the individual remains responsible for corroborating the facts with ACM.

How ACM follows up on reported complaints

All reported complaints are taken seriously by ACM. The complainant will receive an acknowledgment of the filing by ACM Advocate, typically within 24 hours. Complaints will then be considered by the relevant ACM volunteer committee and/or sent to professional investigators. In either case, decisions about the complaint will be made by the relevant ACM volunteer committee as detailed in the enforcement procedures for each policy.

Complaint decisions may result in the issuance of sanctions against the person who committed the misconduct. These sanctions tend to be directed at stopping further harm. Refer to the specific policies and their enforcement procedures to learn about the range of sanctions.

At all times, questions about any of these policies, violations of these policies, or enforcement of these policies should be directed to [email protected]

Other ways CARES Committee members can help

CARES Committee members can help prevent misconduct at ACM events by encouraging Conference Chairs to show the Opening Plenary Slide to reinforce the message about proper conduct at ACM activities.

Some individuals may also ask for help with issues at their own institutions. ACM does not encourage this, but if CARES committee members discuss issues beyond ACM’s purview, it must be made clear that they are doing so as private individuals, not as CARES representatives.


While it may be tempting to go beyond the scope of CARES stated above, ACM can only be legally responsible for duly appointed CARES members who act in accordance with the stated scope of the CARES mission and actions detailed above.

Chairs/Presidents of SIGs that have CARES Committee will be responsible for reporting CARES appointments to ACM. This reporting is a requirement for volunteer indemnification. The names of CARES Committee members will be made publicly available on ACM’s website.