Recently I was in an ACM supported conference. During the banquet, the conference organizers told us about the future and past of the conference. They told us that during the 2010 edition of the conference there was a loss of 5000$.
They showed us the budget of the previous conference where we could see that there were 8000$ (10% of the budget if I remember correctly) given to ACM. Maybe because I am not yet fully in the field (I am starting my PhD in september 2011), I was the only one to ask what was this money given for. The answer I got was really disappointing, apparently the main contributions of the ACM was to print the proceedings and to give advice so the next year there would not be such a loss (apparently the advice given was to raise the entry fees).
I was really surprised, since in order to read the proceedings your university has to pay a subscription to ACM (correct me if I am wrong), I thought ACM (is it the same for IEEE?) had to pay to support the conference.
So my questions are:
- What does ACM really bring to a conference?
- Have you heard of other conferences where this is the case?