Monday, 26 March 2007

ISMIR Steering Committee and Free Beer

Jeremy suggested that I should get involved in hosting ISMIRs. I'd love to do so, but I don't have the option to do so. (Unfortunately I left Vienna before they got to start organizing ISMIR. And since I'm leaving Japan now, I am not involved in plans that go beyond April.) Anyway, curious as I am I checked the last call for hosting an ISMIR, and found some documents... and now I know why we don't want any additional members on the steering committee! :-)

First I found the call for hosting an ISMIR. Where I found a link to the ISMIR booklet. On page 12 there's finances (a list of the main costs a host should anticipate), on page 13 there's the last item on the list: "Travel/accommodation costs of SC". (SC stands for steering committee.)

So an average flight might cost about 700 Euros. 5 nights accommodation could easily add up to about 500 Euros. The registration fee could be about 300 Euros (I guess that's also included in the SC package?) and that sums up to about 1500 Euros per member. If I assume that 250 people attend ISMIR, that splits to 6 Euros per ISMIR participant. So any additional member of the steering committee means one free (alcoholic) drink less at the conference :-/

Realizing this I've come to the conclusion that I'd prefer to have one more beer instead of an additional SC member... in contrast to what I suggested in my previous post. Prost! (As we will be saying in Vienna.)

Btw, that document has lots of interesting information. (Assuming that like me, you are interested in what happens backstage of ISMIR.)

First of all, as I probably could have figured myself, the SC gets to select the yearly ISMIR host and chairs of future conferences. The SC also has veto power on invited speakers and can overrule the program chair with respect to the papers that are accepted. The document also explains that the size of the committee is limited to 12, that members get voted in by other members of the SC, and that the membership doesn't expire.

So if, in the future, you hear me talking about how perfect the current size of the SC is, and how nothing should be changed... you know why ;-)

1 comment:

jeremy said...

Elias, let me just say that, having been involved in organizing two of the ISMIRs (2000 and 2005), and having worked directly with many of the SC members, I think the local organizing committee has a lot more freedom than it says in the rulebook. There are rules, and then there is what actually happens. And the two don't necessarily overlap. And let me just say that in 2005 I don't think we actually ended up paying for all the SC's costs.

There are historical reasons for everything your are reading, and if you want I can tell you about them sometime.