We are very excited to announce that registration for CSCW 2020 is now open! Registration info and instructions are available at https://cscw.acm.org/2020/index.php/registration/

We wanted to share a bit about how the budget works for CSCW, and especially how it has changed with a virtual conference.

This year’s registration rates are:

  • ACM Member: $200/$250
  • Non-member: $250/$300
  • Student/Emeritus: $100
  • Workshops (limited to accepted participants): $20

Participants who also register for the UIST conference will receive a 15% discount on their registration.

So how did we get these numbers?

Conference budgets can be confusing, but as a point of comparison, the non-member on-site registration rate for last year (CSCW 2019) was $995.

For in-person conferences, “food and beverage” costs from banquets, receptions, and coffee breaks can account for half of the conference budget. Conference hotels usually provide the meeting rooms “for free” as long as conference attendees reserve enough sleeping rooms and the conference orders enough (overpriced) food. You can see the budget breakdown of past conferences on SIGCHI’s CSCW Conference History page.

As a virtual conference, we immediately save money because we aren’t paying for food. You are also saving money on the hotel and airfare. So what are we paying for?

This year we have 3 major expenses that each make up about 25% of our budget:

  • Conference Proceedings: The costs associated with publishing CSCW’s papers are charged back to the conference. These fees pay for the work that goes into preparing the metadata, checking formatting, and processing the files for inclusion in the ACM Digital Library.
  • Technical Support: Every conference session will have a dedicated technical support person to set up the Zoom sessions, manage the videos, and provide troubleshooting as needed.
  • Overhead Fee: Our conference is sponsored by ACM SIGCHI. Their operating budget comes almost exclusively from the overhead they charge to conferences.

The last 25% of our budget is made up of many smaller miscellaneous fees and expenses. Surprisingly, direct costs for technology make up a very small part of the budget. We are using an open-source web platform, and most of our Zoom licenses are provided by the ACM.

Why This Matters

One of the commitments that we made as chairs was that we would strive to reduce barriers to participation. The budget is a key part of that. We hope that the fees are low enough that everyone who is interested in attending can join us. We recognize that even these lower-than-usual fees may still be a challenge, especially (but not exclusively) for students, independent scholars, and participants from low- and lower-middle income countries. As usual, we have a robust Student Volunteer program, with one benefit for participating being that conference fees will be waived for SVs. We are also offering a limited number of complimentary registrations — if you feel that you cannot afford to attend, please email reg2020@cscw.acm.org.

Please get in touch if you have any questions!

Andrea Wiggins & Matthew Bietz
CSCW 2020 General Co-Chairs


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