On March 28 to 30, 2016, we had our first SC17 Planning meeting in Denver, Colorado. This is just a small, first meeting of the Executive Committee, i.e., the Chairs for Technical Program, Communication, Exhibits, Local Arrangements, SCinet, Students@SC, Communications, and Finance, the Deputy Chair, the Vice Chair, the Executive Director, a representative of ACM, and me.
On the first day, we visited various locations in Denver suitable for events with 2000 and more people. During the SC conference, there are typically two associated networking events: one for the exhibitors on the Sunday before the conference with 1500 to 1800 people, and one for the technical program attendees on Thursday with up to 2500 attendees. As one can easily imagine, organizing these large events is not a simple task and you have to start early finding the right locations and work with the local staff, to make it work.
The rest of the meeting we discussed the status of the work in each area. The main task for each executive chair in the next months is to recruit her/his subcommittee. With all subcommittees and reviewers for the technical program in place, the overall committee will be over 500 people by the end of the year. Another topic was the organization of the rest of the planning meetings; another 3 in 2016 (June, August, and November) and 5 more in 2017 (January, March, June, August, and October) before SC17 in November 2017.
The meeting went very well, and after the meeting I am now even more confident that I picked the right people for my Executive Committee.