The workshops at CHI this year are *unbelievable* and it was hard to choose. In the end, i agreed to be a discussion leader for Social Visualization Workshop. As the registration deadline loomed, i was hoping that i would find funding, but both are kinda tangential to both my research and work. I decided to look and see if i could afford it on my own and was shocked to see that the cost of registration (including workshops) is $650. And that’s the student price! ::gulp:: So, sadly, i will not be attending CHI this year.
I have to say, i’m also quite shocked at the hike in fees. [For those who are used to industry fees, this is quite expensive for an academic conference where even the presenters pay.] I thought i was going mad until i saw Jofish’s visual of the registration costs over time:
I know that putting on conferences is expensive but i really wish i knew what registration fees went towards. I also wish monetary-related decisions were more transparent, particularly for conferences that are not-for-profit. Are there reasons to keep attendees in the dark about what their fees pay for?
Like Jofish, i also wonder about the implications that this fee hike has for interdisciplinary discussions when members of less-funded disciplines cannot attend. Making CHI only affordable to the CS folks is not a good thing. And i cannot even imagine what it must be like to be outside of the Euro-American corridor where most of these events occur. Or to be a graduate student who has no funding and never has the privilege to attend. It’s scary to think about the ways in which the academy work creates fundamental biases in knowledge production.