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. 
  • 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
    • Completed W9 Tax Form
  • 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


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.  


Shipping

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 services
  • E-pub conversion

A link to a list of our preferred vendors can be found at the link to the right of this page.