Practice Sessions FAQ

Following the lead of USENIX Enigma, we want to improve the quality of the conference and provide a better experience for both presenters and attendees by holding practice sessions before the conference. This page answers some common questions about the practice sessions.

Why is CCS 2017 doing this?
Although we know most presenters at conference like CCS put a lot of effort into preparing their talks and often arrange their own practice talks, we feel there are substantial benefits possible by having practice sessions before the conference. In particular:
  • The practice sessions will enable speakers to hear and interact with the other presenters in their session before the conference. This will provide opportunities to modify talks to avoid duplication of background, to build on what each other presents, and help the session chair determine the best way to order the talks in a session.
  • The practice sessions will provide speakers with feedback from people external to their own project and research group. This will help avoid assumptions about what the audience will know that might not be identified in a local practice talk with people already familiar with the work or focus area.
We hope the practice sessions will be worthwhile for all participants, and improve the quality of the conference for attendees.

Who will conduct the practice sessions?
The session chair will be expected to organize the practice session. This will usually be a PC member. Other members of the PC including the PC co-chairs may join practice sessions when they can and the participants agree to it.

What happens to presenters who are not able to participate in their practice session?
Although we hope everyone will make a reasonable effort to participate in a practice session, it is not required. Presenters who are not able to participate in a practice session will still be able to present at the conference, and will not suffer any consequences (other than missing out on a hopefully great opporunity).

How will the practice sessions be done?
If we're really lucky, there may be enough presenters co-located to hold one in person, but we expect nearly all the practice sessions will need to be held on-line. We'll use Google hangouts, skype, or other on-line video-conferencing tools for this.

How will the practice sessions be scheduled?
The practice sessions will be scheduled October 5-25, in the weeks preceeding the conference. We will use a scheduling tool to poll presenters at the end of September to attempt to find a time that can work for each session. Because of the range of time zones of participants, finding a suitable time will be a challenge, but we hope there will be enough flexibility from presenters for this to work. In cases where no common time can be found, a session may be divided into multiple separate practice sessions.