Running a Conference

In 1998, Alistair Moffat and I organised the ACM SIGIR conference, held in Melbourne, Australia. It was the second conference we had run in three years, and built on both our prior experience and the successes (and failure) of previous SIGIR organisers.

These pages summarise our experience in running and managing conferences, including timelines, budgets, to-do lists, and general tips for making a conference a success. These issues are discussed in our report Running a conference (PostScript, PDF).

The details of the SIGIR conference are in the report Running a SIGIR conference (PostScript, PDF). LaTeX source for this document is available on request from Justin Zobel (

There are several other documents that were used or generated in the course of running the conference. We believe that these will be useful as examples for other conferences.

Other conferences have websites of organisational hints, such as VLDB and SIGPLAN.

Return to Justin Zobel's home page.

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