Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many conferences were held online starting in late March 2020, and several of us helped with the fully virtual offering of SPLASH 2020. By mid-2021, however, vaccination was widespread and effective at preventing COVID infection and severe disease, and it became feasible to consider in-person attendance at conferences. Polls of authors and the larger community indicated strong interest in holding an in-person version of SPLASH. Still, as of October 2021 the US had not relaxed its travel restrictions on people from large parts of the world, and even beyond that some people would not be able to travel to SPLASH. We therefore decided to offer SPLASH as a Hybrid conference in October 2021, offering both in-person and virtual attendance options. We were also excited about piloting a hybrid conference, because there are many longer-term benefits if we can run them well, including supporting both in-person networking and accessibility for attendees who can only attend remotely. We knew doing so would be hard, but we also hoped to learn valuable lessons. SPLASH 2021 turned out to be an interesting case study as the first major post-COVID PL conference to go hybrid, and one of the earliest across the ACM as well.
The SIGPLAN Climate Committee was active 2016-2020. Its members look back on the committee’s goals and achievements, and ahead at what is still to do.
Can virtual conferences be better than physical conferences? I will discuss what SIGPLAN is doing to make virtual conferences the best they can be, what SIGPLAN is doing on inclusion, and what ACM is planning for the future of publications and Gold Open Access
Online conferences are the new normal. Here’s how to make them shine.
How should ACM address its contribution to climate change? After two years of discussions and study, the SIGPLAN Climate Committee proposes that (1) all ACM conferences should publicly *account* for the CO2e emitted as a result of putting them on; and that (2) ACM should put a *price* on carbon in conference budgets, to create incentive for organizers to reduce their footprints.