1. Bidding for the Conference Organisation
The ACP Executive Committee (EC) holds the annual International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming (CP). If you are interested in organising a future CP conference, then you need to make a proposal to the Conference Coordinator of the EC (firstname.lastname@example.org). A proposal consists of volunteering to be Conference Chairs (CC) of the conference and to be responsible for the budget and local arrangements in the proposed city. The CCs of a CP conference are scientifically acknowledged people in the constraint programming community. A single person can be CC, but the workload is usually best distributed over several people.
The proposal should follow the guidelines described in the "Guide for Proposers" in the appendix of this document. The EC will select one from the proposals submitted.
The EC will independently select a Programme Chair (PC) for the conference to be responsible for the technical programme.
2. Responsibilities of the Conference Chairs (CC)
The CCs are in charge of the international visibility of the conference. Any action of the CC that could increase such a visibility is encouraged by the ACP EC. In addition, the CCs are in charge of all the items that are necessary for a smooth running of the conference. In particular, the responsibilities of the CC include the following ones. Most of them should be carried on by consulting with the PC:
Preparation and management of the conference budget, local arrangements, social events, sponsorships, etc. A preliminary budget should be presented to the ACP EC as early as possible, but no later than 10 months before the conference, with an indication of the break-even point.
Providing enough rooms during the whole week to host the technical programme, the workshops, the doctoral programme, the general assembly, and ACP EC meetings. One room of 200 to 250 seats (for plenary sessions and the general assembly) and two of 100 to 150 seats (for parallel sessions and tutorials) fit the usual needs for the technical programme. Moreover, the workshops usually need about six rooms of about 40 seats for one day, the doctoral programme needs one room of about 50 seats for one day, and the ACP EC needs a room for ten people available on the fly two or three times during the conference.
Advertising the conference, including the preparation of the web site, the poster and its distribution, the distribution of the call for papers (prepared by the PC), and the publication of the final programme.
Providing accommodation information on the web page of the conference with enough variety to fit all budgets.
Organising (not necessarily free) low-budget accommodation for students participating to the Doctoral Programme.
Incorporating in the budget all other items that are expected to be part of the conference budget: tea breaks, travel expenses of all invited speakers (in consultation with the PC), cost of the support to the Doctoral Programme (in consultation with the DPC), etc. Invited speakers and participants to the Doctoral Programme get free registration to the conference.
Accounting for all the monies.
More generally, remaining in close contact with the PC to try and accommodate as much as possible extra requirements needed by the scientific programme. To help in this respect, the CC will be included in the mailing list of the Programme Committee and will be invited to any Programme Committee meeting that may take place.
3. Responsibilities of the Programme Chair (PC)
The PC is selected by the ACP EC at least 12 months before the conference. The responsibilities of the PC include:
Building a Programme Committee. The PC will give consideration to all issues of balance of representation (gender, subfield, geography, etc) when selecting chairs, programme committee members, and invited speakers. Of course, scientific and technical excellence are overriding considerations.
Building the call for papers, selecting a Workshop Chair (WC), a Tutorial Chair (TC), and at least one Doctoral Programme Chair (DPC). The PC will chair any Programme Committee meeting that may take place, which determines the technical content of the conference.
Being in contact with the CC for asking in advance any special requirement expected for the technical programme. The CC will be added to the mailing list of the Programme Committee and will be invited to any Programme Committee meeting that may take place.
The PC is the editor of the proceedings. This involves contacting the current publisher to get the approval for the publication of the proceedings, to set the date for when the final papers must be sent to the publisher, to set the price of the proceedings and their shipping, to estimate (in consultation with the CC) the number and form of proceedings to order, and to arrange for the proceedings to be sent to the conference site.
Selecting a student paper and at least one paper that will receive best-paper awards.
We recommend the PC to proceed in his preparation according to the following schedule:
- 14 months: Prepare a preliminary Programme Committee. Upon request, the ACP EC can give advice on this preparation.
- 13 months: Select a Workshop Chair, a Tutorial Chair, and at least one Doctoral Programme Chair.
- 12 months: Finalise the Programme Committee.
- 11 months: Send the first call for papers to the CC for distribution.
- 10 months: In consultation with the Programme Committee, select the invited speakers.
- 7 to 5 months: Deadline for submissions. Whenever possible, particular care will be taken not to be in competition with other big events with a significant overlap with CP in their scientific topics.
- 5 to 4 months: Notification of acceptance/rejection.
- 3 months: Deadline for final versions of accepted papers.
4. Budget Policy
The presence of sponsors is very important to allow a sound budget with reasonable registration fees, in addition to creating a collaborative environment between academia and industry. Therefore, the ACP EC strongly encourages the CC to look for sponsors, both local and international. The sponsors have their name and logo on the conference web page and all other conference material (poster, brochure, proceedings, etc).
Surplus and Deficit
The ACP EC is the holder of the conference, and as such, gets the profit or incurs the loss. No sponsor can claim any part of the surplus, unless otherwise agreed before the conference with the ACP EC.
The CC should draw up a projected budget with the main lines of the planned conference budget, and present it to the ACP EC for agreement. Only then can the CC take decisions that will involve the conference organisation. The conference budget should be designed to break even at a pessimistic estimate of attendance, while maintaining reasonable conference fees. The idea is that the conference should be profitable. The conference is indeed the major source of income for the ACP EC and these monies are needed to make advances for future conferences, support student participation, organise summer schools, etc.
After the budget is approved by the ACP EC, the EC, upon request of the CC, can provide funds in advance to cover payments related to the conference. This loan - seed money - will be returned as soon as the conference has enough money to do so.
The conference budget should include the cost for buying and shipping the proceedings. The CC should contact the publisher directly, and handle payment.
The CC will make explicit in the budget the items "Travel aid for invited speakers" and "Doctoral Programme". Support from sponsors specifically devoted to those items will not be used for other expenses.
In case it would be decided to collocate CP with another conference, the budgets will be kept separate. Precise rules on the sharing of the expenses and profit will be stated in advance, with the approval of the ACP EC and the other partner.
After the conference, once all the accounting has been completed, the CC must provide the ACP EC Treasurer (email@example.com) with a detailed breakdown of the final accounts. Moreover, the CC must make sure that all invoices, cheques, and other records of income and expenditure are kept and can be produced if required by the ACP EC. The final accounts must be provided within six months after the end of the conference. The benefit and the seed money are due to the ACP EC at the same date. In case the conference has led to a loss, the amount of money returned by the CC is the seed money minus the amount of the loss.
Appendix: Guide for Proposers
We recall that the International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming is the premier annual event of the inter-disciplinary community of constraint programming. The list of past meetings goes back to 1995. Meetings are usually held in September or October, and attract around 200 participants.
Every year, proposals are solicited by the ACP EC to organise the CP conference. An informal and brief plain-text email message containing relevant details should be sent to the Conference Coordinator of the ACP EC (firstname.lastname@example.org). Proposals should address in brief all the following items:
- Possible dates
- Local organisers and brief description of previous experience organising similar events
- Conference facilities and hotels (with URLs if available)
- Availability of student accommodation
- Possible social events
- Preliminary budget and financial considerations (e.g. local sponsorship, cost of the conference facilities)
- Travel information
- Support of local and national organisations
- Collocated events that might be held alongside the conference
- Any other information that might be of relevance
The final decision will be made by the ACP EC, which also selects the Programme Chair for each year.