As Conference Chair this year I thought it would be my chance to fix this!
Then Till and I sat down (OK, he in Germany, me in England but Skype is a wonderful tool) and Planned Backward (a pattern, by the way, from Mark Prince.)
We knew when the conference was and we looked at all the things that needed to be done between submission and conference. These are:
- Collect submissions
- Review submissions
- Allocate shepherds
- Shepherding, post review 2
- Review shepherded papers
- Shepherding, pre review 2
- Confirm acceptance
- Decide workshop groupings
- Collect final papers
- Print draft proceedings
Confirm acceptance is actually more important than it looks. For those who work in Universities and other academic institutions it is this acceptance that brings their funding to attend the conference. So they need acceptance as early as possible to get the funding sorted out and get their tickets booked while they are still cheap.
Then there are those people coming from outside Europe who need to get a Schengen visa to attend the conference in Germany. In some countries (e.g. the UK) it can take six weeks and a personal visit to get a visa from the German embassy. So these people need time too.
(Yes I know UK nationals don’t need a visa to go to Germany – hurray for Europe! – but if you are a non-EU citizen living in the UK you probably do. Anyway, its the only German embassy I have experience of and as far I know they are all like this, but I digress.)
When you put it all together the submission deadline needs to be that early. Strange but true.
Still, Till and I did our best to set the deadline as late as possible. However this does mean we have to break a EuroPLoP tradition. The deadline won’t be moving this year.
In past years the submission deadline has slipped back a week or two, this year we don’t have the time to do that.