TMRF Guidelines

SECTION I: EVENT INFORMATION

Full Title of Sponsored Conference

Provide the acronym followed by a colon, and the the full name of the conference/symposium/workshop.  Check for consistency with any trademarked names that may exist or with names used for previous events.  Good examples of full conference titles are:

  • 20xx ACM SIGMOD/PODS Conference
  • 22nd ACM KDD Conference on Knowledge, Discovery and Data Mining
  • ACM SIGCOMM 20xx 

Dates of the Conference

The dates are very important.  Please check ACM's conference calendar to avoid conflicts with other ACM meetings/conferences.  

Length of the Conference

Indicate the total number of days the program will be held.  This should include any pre/post tutorials or workshops.  

Conference Facility/Hotel

List the hotel and/or venue that is under consideration, if known.  

Location of Conference

The location usually has considerable impact on the success of the conference.  The chosen location should be convenient, with lodging nearby and access to transportation.  Also consider the availability of local support, weather, and recreation.  

Meeting Type

The ACM considers that the term "conference" generally implies a technical meeting in which expected attendance will exceed 300 attendees; the term "symposium", 100-300, and "workshop", fewer than 100. Conferences and symposia usually publish proceedings.

Frequency

Indicate the frequency of the meeting.  Most conference are annual events, however be sure confirm this with the sponsoring SIG Leaders.

List of Sponsors and Co-Sponsors

List all ACM/SIG and non-ACM/SIG sponsors and co-sponsors along with their sponsoring percentage.  The overall sponsoring percentage must equal 100%.  Listed sponsors should have made a firm committment, and a joint sponsorship agreement with ACM must be on file. Include contact information for each non-ACM/SIG sponsor.  

Listing of Cooperating Organizations

List all ACM and non-ACM cooperating organizations and sub-units. If an ACM Sub-unit is seeking cooperation (i.e. borrowing the name) from another organization, there are normally formal procedures for doing so. The Conference Chair must obtain formal written approval before using the name of any organization in conference promotions.

Outline of Topics

The proposed topics will assist the approvers in deciding whether or not the conference is appropriate for their constituency.  This outline will help you to publicize the conference in the technical community, so be as specific and focused as possible.

Anticipated Audience

Provide the job types, areas of interest, and locations of your attendees.  This information can be sued to indentify additional publications appropriate for listing the conference announcement.  

Solicitation of Papers

For conferences soliciting technical papers, please provide the scope, subject matter, and paper length limitations here. 

Selection of Papers

All SIGs require that papers contain original contributions to computing literature incorporating substantial new information not previously published.  Each conference or SIG must establish it's own criteria of acceptable quality.  All papers should be reviewed by at least two anonymous reviewers before final acceptance.  

Tutorials and Workshops

Indicate if tutorials or workshops will be given during the conference, as well as the number of days (including any half-days).  Tutorials and workshops are usually an additional fee and sometimes more heavily attended by a local audience seeking training opportunities.  

Number of Proceedings Pages

Provide the number of anticipated total proceedings pages.

Maximum Number of Papers

Provide the maximum number of papers to be accepted for the conference.  When deciding, considering the the amount of time available for the technical program, if there are multi-tracks, the amount of meeting space available, and the cost of proceedings production.  

Maximum Number of Pages Per Paper

Provide the maximum number of pages for each paper.  Consider production and distribution costs.  The maximum number of papers multiplied by the maximum number of papers should not exceed the total number of proceedings pages anticipated.

Publishing

All conference proceedings are published by ACM.

Copyright

The proceedings are valuable asset of ACM.  Therefore, ACM will not approve a conference for sponsorship or co-sponsorship if the proceedings are to by copyrighted or published by another organization.  For some jointly sponsored conferences, we do have agreements in place that state the proceedings copyright is to alternate between the two organizations in a prescribed manner.  ACM requires copyright transfer for all papers appearing in the proceedings.  Special permission must be given by the ACM Publications Board for relinquishing proceedings copyright.  

Proceedings as a SIG Newsletter

If the committee plans to issue the proceedings as a SIG newsletter, the SIG Chair's approval must be given.  If the proceedings have been distributed as a newsletter for previous conferneces, please consider this precedent, as the SIG members might expect this as a membership benefit.  

Recording of Technical Sessions/Video and Audio

Electronic recording and/or reproduction for commercial purposes, in whole or in part, of any technical sessions, tutorials, or other presentations at an ACM sponsored or co-sponsored conference, is strictly prohibited, without prior written consent by ACM and the presenter.  If the committee plans to capture technical sessions and conference presentations, please contact your Conference Operations Liaison for further guidance.  

Conference Evaluation

A post-conference survey is a valuable resource for future conferences.  In addition to determining the value of the current technical program, you should also seek opinions on other conference activities including social events and the effectiveness of promotions.  ACM's registration provider, Cvent, has a built-in survey function.  For committees not using Cvent, ACM has a Survey Monkey account.  Please contact your Conference Operations Liaison for information.   

Meeting Commmittee Information

Identify here the main technical organizational positions.  If during the course of conference planning the committee changes, please let your Conference Liaison know, so we can keep the records up to date. 


SECTION II: MEETING BUDGET

Meeting Revenue Detail

Registration Income

Registration counts should be estimated conservatively, as it is better to estimate too low than too high.  You should base your estimates on the prior year's actual registration numbers, unless you know for sure of specific factors that might change the registration numbers (meeting location, co-located events, etc).

We suggest that conferences offer a discount for early registration.  We suggest the early registration deadline be approximately one month before the conference, and substantial enough to make it worthwhile for the registrant.  

Attendance should be estimated by category: Member registration rates (excluding student rates) should be approximately 25% lower than the fees for non-ACM/SIG Members. Conferences of two or more days should consider offering one-day registrations. Most conferences offer the following: 1. ACM and SIG Member rate, 2. Non ACM and SIG Member rate, 3. Student Rate.  Non-members are the highest rate, followed by ACM and SIG Members, with Student rates being the lowest. 

*Once registration is published online, registration rates cannot change.    

if complimentary registration is provided, please keep in mind how this will affect your income. We suggest providing free registration with discretion and include in the budget.  

Special Functions

Income from special functions, which is not included in the registration fee, should be based on the estimated price of tickets and the number you expect to sell.  Tickets should be priced at cost + 20% to cover any minimum guarantees (required number of guests) and complimentary tickets.  Most caterers will require a minimum guarantee several days in advance.  It is better to budget conservatively as it usually easier to increase an order than decrease it.  

Tutorials/Workshops

The registration fees suggested under "Registration Income" should apply to any tutorials or workshops as well.

Exhibits Program

The rate charged for exhibitors should cover all costs associated with tht exhibit and should provide some financial contribution to the conference.

Sponsorship

Committees should restrict their solicitations to organizations with by-products or services of interest to the conferences attendees.  Please only include confirmed sponsorships in the budget.   

Meeting Expense Detail

Graphic Design

Any anticipated conference program or website design expenses should be included here. Please keep in mind that the hiring for such services requires and independent contract. Please inform your Conference Operations Liaison prior to hiring for these services.

Printing

If the committee plans to prints programs, the expense should be included here.  If you would like to use ACM's services and need an estimate, please contact your Conference Operations Liasion for information. 

Advertisements

Any advertising in promotional materials, including ACM journals, should be budgeted here.

Committee Expenses

This category is for general conference committee related expenses.  This includes committee meals, meetings, and travel.  Office supplies and small package shipping are also part of this category.  If you plan to reward any committee members for their hard work with a gift, please budget it here. Acceptable items include a plaque, certificate or modest gift.  Gifts in the form of cash (gift cards) are not permitted. 

Registration Expenses

If the conference has 300 + attendees, the committee may want to consider using a registration management service.  For smaller events, registration is usually handled for no charge by volunteers.  Please contact your Conference Operations Liaison to obtain quotes.  Badges, lanyards, ribbons, and any necessary event tickets can be purchased from office supply stores and printed at no-cost through Cvent.  ACM also has a suggested vendor that will produce badges for a reasonable fee.  Please see our vendor list for more details.  The commitee usually supplies their own laptop and printer to use for onsite registration. However, if you think you may need to rent any of these onsite,  please include the anticipated costs here.

Meeting Room Rental

Hotel meeting spaces are generally complimentary, based on a sleeping room and food and beverage minimum.  However, convention centers and universities tend to charge a fee. Charges for meeting space can also depend on the conference location.  Conferences held outside the US tend to have a fee for meeting space.    

Signage

Electronic signage on hotel reader boards is generally available for no-cost.  Check with your onsite contact to find out what type of signage is offered on site.  Expenses for any signs that need to be produced should be included here.

Audio Visual

AV needs are based on the conference agenda as well as the specific space the meeting will take place in.  For most ACM conferences an overhead projector, laptop, and screen are needed, as well as audio (microphones)/podium setup, power supply.   Rates are usually by the day.  Please check with the hotel regarding av service, most have a preferred vendor. Convention Centers in particular may use an exclusive vendor.   It is not uncommon for a hotel to charge a small fee for using an av company that is not their preferred vendor.  ACM can assist you with obtaining competitive quotes from audio visual service providers our volunteers have worked with.  Please contact your Conference Operations Liaison.  

WIFI

The Conference Bandwidth Estimator is a helpful tool to help you determine how much bandwidth your conference needs.  

Conference Food and Beverage

The most reliable source of cost estiimates will be the Catering Manager at the facility where you are planning to hold your event.  Even if you have not finalized the site, if you know generally which city you will be in, then you can estimate your food and beverage from the city's hotel menus.  If you have finalized your site, check menus, taxes, and service charges with your catering manager.  

The budget will automatically calculate a service fee and tax based on the current rates for food and beverage.  This formula can be adjusted based on the conference location.  

For more information on food and beverage planning, here is a link to a helpful guide.  

Proceedings

The cost for proceedings is dependent on the biproduct (printed, electronic, or other media), shipping, as well as the level of service required.  If the committee plans to use the ACM service, please contact griscti@acm.org for a quote.  If the committee is using an independent vendor, please review our requirements here.      

Speaker Honoraria

If you will be providing your keynote or other special speaker with a modest honorarium, please include the amount here.  

Speaker Travel/Hotel/Subsistence

It is common for a speaker to have their sleeping accomodations, registration, and travel paid for.  Please refer to ACM's volunteer travel policy for budgeting and policies.

Program Committee Expenses

Refer to the section on Committee Expenses.

Workshop/Tutorial Presenters

If you will be providing your workshop/tutorial presenter with a modest honorarium, please include the amount here.  

Student Travel Grants

Please include here any travel grants that will be paid from the conference budget.  If any of the sponsoring-SIGs are providing travel grant funds, they do not need to be included here, as they will be paid from the SIG budget.    

Exhibits

Please included any anticipated expenses for exhibit space, storage, decorators, signs, and management of the exhibit area.  Any fees for the production of a prospectus (brochure that outines the opportunities and fees available to exhibitors) should be included here.    

Financial Activities

Conferences based in the US are required to utilize an ACM in-house account to handle conference finances.  There is no charge to use an ACM account and the account is setup automatically.

Credit Card Transaction Fees

CVENT (and other registration services) charge a transaction fee for processing credit card payments. The percentages is based on the current rate charged by their bank.  

For CVENT, the credit card processing fees are from the ACM Merchant Account and not related to CVENT. In fact, using CVENTS's merchant account would lead to higher cc processing fees. ACM utilizes MerchantE Solutions and PayPal to process approximately 85% of our conferences credit card activities. These rates are always being re-negotiated based on industry standards and our volume of business. 

Information on the current negotiated discount rates for the individual credit card companies are available from your Conference Operations Liaison.  However, all cards that have rewards attached to them come with associated fees that add various % increases to each transaction. This varies significantly each month depending on the type of cards individuals use. As fewer and fewer individuals use standard debit and credit cards to pay for items and increasingly rely on rewards cards, the credit card processing fees we see average at higher rates. The current average is used in your TMRF for budgeting purposes.  However, conferences are only paying fees that reflect the actual fees we are paying each month.

Audit Review

Conference with a budget of over $500,000 are required to be audited.  The audit is performed by a company hired by ACM.  Please email paf_tmrf@acm.org for an estimate on how much to budget for this.     

Conference Management

If  the committee will be hiring an outside service to help manage their logistics, the amount should be included here. 

Allocation

Each SIG pays for the services that ACM provides.  These services include but are not limited to: insurance, legal representation, tax-exempt status, maintaining membership, staff services, copyright processing, and other general operating expenses.  The allocation is considered as the cost of doing business as part of the ACM organization.  Each SIG is assessed a fee based on their total annual expenses including conferences. The SIGs pass the fee onto their sponsored and co-sponsored events through the allocation/overhead fee line item in the budget in order to cover their annual assessment.  The allocation is calculated at 16% of the conference expenses.

Should a committee wish to request an exception to this policy, they will need to contact the sponsoring SIG(s) directly with their request.     

VAT Service Fee

ACM makes use of several VAT advisory companies to give advice on VAT obligations and complete all the VAT paperwork including filing after the conference has taken place. The conference will be responsible for covering their fee.  Please email paf_tmrf@acm.org for a quote.

Co-Sponsor Administrative Fees

It is not uncommon for a co-sponsor to require an administrative fee payable to their society.   Keep in mind that when a conference is co-sponsored ACM splits the surplus.   It is the responsibilty of the sponsoring organizations to adjust the surplus to reflect their administrative fee.  

Contingency

15% of the total expenses is budgeted for contingency.  Contingency is important because it is there to cover any unanticipated expenses or potential overages.  If the funds are not spent, they do not appear in the final budget.  

Fixed Expenses

These are costs that need to be covered regardless of the number of attendees.  All expenses except financial and conference food and beverage are considered fixed.  Fixed expenses will also give you an idea of the potential loss in the event of cancellation, since these are normally incurred before a decision to cancel might be considered.   

Variable Expenses

These are costs that can be increased or reduced depending on the number of attendees.  Conference food and beverage and financial activities are all variable.  

Breakeven Analysis

These are costs thich can be increased or reduced depending on the number of attendees.  Conference food and beverage and financial activities are all variable.


SECTION III:  STATEMENT OF UNDERSTANDING AND BUDGET RATIONALE 

Statement of Understanding

The TMRF concludes with a Statement of Understanding, which the individual submitting the TMRF signs on behalf of the conference committee.  The document states the obligations the committee has to ACM and the technical community by organizing the conference. Signing the document acknowledges that the committee will abide by the relevant policies.  This include ACM general conference policies including the ACM Resolution on Sponsorship of International Conferences as well as the Statutes of the International Council of Scientific Unions.

Planning Assumptions

Describe here the basic assumptions you've based your budget on.  These assumptions can include conference history, previous budgets, information from past organizers, as well as discussions with the conference steering committee , SIG Chair, and your ACM Conference Operations Liaison. Referencing past programs can be helpful as well.