SIG Best Practices:Open Business Meetings William G. Griswold Chair, SIGSOFT Computer Science & Engineering UC San Diego From the SIGSOFT Bylaws (proposed) Article 14. Meetings. The Group will conduct at least one business meeting each year, normally in conjunction with a conference sponsored or cosponsored by the Group. All meetings sponsored by the Group must be open to all members of the ACM. The Group may hold meetings only in places that are open to all classes of members of the ACM.
Open Business Meetings • Many ways to run a business meeting • Many things could be discussed (or not) • Hard to run a good meeting • Schedule into the larger event • Get people to show up • Members hear what they need to, EC learns what they need to, make decisions, energize community
SIGSOFT Back Story • Typically would hold business meeting • at end of conference day • in main conference room • EC would make a long presentation • Introductions, numbers and initiatives • Open floor to questions • Result: a few tired people in a huge room listening to boring stuff; few questions, little discussion
Take 2 – Town Hall Meeting • Open to all attendees of conference • Schedule into event, not around event • Serve food and beer • Short introduction by Chair (me) • Play PowerPoint slide show as people come in • Raise key community issues and open discussion to all in attendance
Three Variants Tried • Schedule in parallel with reception (ICSE) • Lively, mostly SIGSOFT members • No griping from the event we’re competing with • Between talks and reception (FSE, ICSE) • Surprisingly lively when scheduled & located right • Lunch, separate room (ICSE) • People hadn’t figured out what room to go to
A Sampling of Topics • Digital versus paper conference proceedings • Many interesting issues and hybrid solutions • Health of the profession • Education, practitioners • What is SIGSOFT’s core community – practitioners, academics, researchers, students • Cost of conference attendance
What’s working, what’s not • Attendance up, energy up, right issues on table • Keys to success: free food, “advertising”, location • Relaxed atmosphere, ease of attendance • Embrace the conference format, context • What works for single-track SIGSOFT FSE different than what works for multi-track IEEE/SIGSOFT ICSE • Particulars of specific instantiation a big factor • Scheduling and location constraints a conundrum • Co-sponsoring parallel event (reception) helps
Biz Meetings – Work in Progress • How do you run your meetings? • scheduling, location, format • Why? • What’s working and what’s not? • what can we learn from each other? • how can we help each other?