ITS 2009 Town Hall Meeting Notes

I'm currently at ITS 2009 in Banff, Canada.

At the usual Town Hall Meeting, everyone gets their say on what is good or improvable at the conference.
Below is a short and incomplete recap of the discussion that happened just now.

Andy Wilson suggested shorter talks. 30 minutes would be just too long. General agreement. Probably 20-25 minutes next year.
Andreas Butz suggested keeping the conference at three days, nevertheless, so that it is worth the travel time for overseas attendees.

Sheelagh Carpendale suggested introducing an Application Track. There was some discussion on how to implement it, and whether to exclude applications papers from the regular tracks. No concrete result.

Ed Tse asked to better coordinate CfP and publicity.

Gerald Morrison explained the name change from Tabletop to ITS. ITS switched from IEEE to ACM this year (a good move in my opinion). Andreas Butz thinks that ITS is no strong brand. Gerald Morrison: It takes time to build a strong brand. Some discussion.

Hvroje Benko suggested to more actively approach press. Allegedly, Engadget reporters are hiding amongst us

Someone asked why ITS was in Banff instead of Calgary. Sheelagh Carpendale explained that there was not much difference in travel time and travel cost between both. Banff has a nicer view.

The same person suggested including more people from the NUI group forums in the conference. Maybe a Call for Participation for hobyists.
Johannes Schöning explained that he had actually contacted some of them. They are not really interested because they no greater value in presenting their work and usually have no one to pay for their participation.

Raimund Dachselt suggested to introduce a competition for hobbyists. Sheelagh Carpendale, Ed Tse, and Gerald Morrison said that there are legal problems with competitions where one could win prizes. It would take more lawyer time to prepare acceptable terms for such a competition. Microsoft did it right on their UIST 2009 competition.

Hvroje Benko asked to not push submission deadlines. Sheelagh Carpendale explained that there was a deadline conflict with CSCW.

Raphael Wimmer (me) was surprised that no one introduced himself when asking questions to the speaker. General agreement to actively encourage attendees to do so. He also suggested adopting some successful components from the TEI conference like short talks (5 minutes) and the explorations track. No actual commitment but maybe consideration.

Raimund Dachselt mentioned that November was a good time for the conference. Someone from the UK mentioned that Thanksgiving was close which was preventing some people from attending. For Europeans the beginning of October would be better because winter terms start mid-October. Because of collisions with many other conferences and deadlines it was agreed that November was the best date. However, they would try to avoid Thanksgiving next year.

For corrections and additions please post a comment or send me an e-mail.

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