Comped Registration at CHI Policy

This document describes the policy for ‘comped’ (i.e., free) registrations at the CHI conference.

Effective Date: Tuesday August 20th, 2019


The CHI conference is run by volunteers, and providing remuneration (e.g., comps) for volunteers starts the complicated process of assessing the amount of work done (which means they are not volunteers anymore, but staff). 

This policy is needed to handle the number of requests for comped registrations. So many people do so much volunteer work to organize CHI and we cannot compensate them for this effort, otherwise there will be no budget to run a conference and it would not be run by volunteers anymore. This policy makes clear that exceptions are an explicit and important element of this policy. Exceptions need to be handled at the discretion of the GCs, with approval from the CHI Steering Committee. Our policy in general is:

COMPS (i.e., free registration at CHI conference): Only those who cannot attend sessions because of the requirements of their volunteering role are comped to attend the CHI conference. Note that volunteers sometimes choose not to attend sessions, but that is their prerogative and is different than being required not to.

TRAVEL: Travel can be supported if that person needs to be there in order to *do* their work and cannot pay for it from employer sources, not as a reward for volunteer effort. Asking for the cost to be covered by the CHI conference should be the last option and volunteers should plan to cover travel from institutional sources. 

Conference Registration

  • GCs and TPCs receive a comped registration for their year (n) from the n conference budget.
  • GCs and TPCs receive a comp for the year prior (n – 1) from their n conference budget *IFF – if and only if* they use it for planning meetings, or learning from year n-1 and training year n,  as has been done in the past few years. CHI chair handover processes are structured by guidelines from the CHI SC. 
  • GCs have the prerogative to comp the assistants for the n and n-1 conference from the n budget if they cannot attend sessions because they are part of the planning or handoff meetings.
  • Other volunteers can get comped registration at the discretion of the GCs, if their duties require that they not attend sessions (e.g., video capture chairs).
  • Room blocks and hotel discounts are allocated by the GCs depending on their availability and number) and should preferentially used to support accommodation of GCs, TPCs, and their assistants. 
  • Note that currently the GC and TPC travel to the CHI conference is partially supported by the CHI Steering Committee (SC) as they are observing members of the SC and attend the face-to-face meeting that follows CHI, so travel and some accommodation is provided from the CHI Steering Committee Budget.

Kickoff Meeting

Travel is supported (flight, hotel, ground transport) for all members invited to the kickoff meeting. This decision of whom to invite is made by the GCs. This may vary year to year with different conference foci, but could include a representative from the GCs, the TPCs, the PCs, Interactivity chairs, Steering Committee Liaisons, Accessibility Chairs, Student Volunteer chairs, ACM representative and conference planning (e.g., Executive Events).

Site Visits

Travel is supported (flight, hotel, ground transport) to site visits. Decisions on site visits are made by the GCs (with oversight from CHI SC chair)  and efforts should be made to minimize attendees and number. We recognize that site visits are of particular importance when the conference is in a location where the GCs do not reside. In general, there should be at least one site visit in which one of each of the GCs, TPCs, SV chairs, and accessibility chairs sees the venue. The kickoff meeting and any program committee (PC) meeting sometimes provide the opportunity to host a site visit. If GCs plan to have site visits beyond the kick-off meeting and PC meeting, they should be planned in the conference budget.

PC Meeting

This policy applies to the PC meeting in its present instantiation (a physical meeting of the TPCs, PCs, and subcommittee chairs with all ACs present virtually). Note that it is preferable that the PC meeting coincides with a site visit, in which case the GCs, and SV chairs may also be attending. Note also that there may be a face-to-face meeting of the CHI SC around the PC meeting, which would cover the travel costs of the TPCs and GCs from the CHI Steering Committee Budget. 

  • Travel of TPCs and PCs (paper chairs)  is supported. 
  • Travel of TPC assistants is supported, as their presence is essential for their role.
  • Travel of PC assistants is at the discretion of the GCs, as their work can be done remotely.
  • Hotel costs (2 nights for a 3-night meeting) are covered for all chairs and their assistants. 
  • Hotel costs (1 night for a 3-night meeting) with possibility to share with a mate) are covered for all attendees. 
  • SVs used for the PC meeting should be local and thus travel is not covered.