Message from the General Chairs
April 19, 2016
After concerns with the Zika virus epidemic, we ran a poll including two questions: (i) whether plans to attend SIGCOMM in Salvador would be affected, and (ii) if people would attend SIGCOMM if we moved it to a city still in Brazil, but free of mosquitos and therefore with no risk of Zika. We got very large majority yes+maybe to the questions.
We discussed with the SIGCOMM executive committee about alternative cities in the south of Brazil, where the weather is milder and Zika and mosquitos should not be an issue in August. We decided to move SIGCOMM to Florianopolis, an island, capital city of Santa Catarina state. Reports of the tiny number of cases in the area are only for people that have visited other parts of Brazil. The risk there is lower than that now in some southern states of the USA.
In making this decision, we balanced two factors: firstly, that we have a commitment to hold the conference in Brazil, to serve the south American community; secondly, that while there's still a perceived risk, the reality is that the new venue is as safe as many other places we could move to. We would remind people of IMC in New Orleans, moved due to Hurricane Katrina, and the lost day for SIGCOMM in HK due to a Typhoon.
We are continuing to monitor the situation, but the arrangements for the relocation have been made, at no additional cost. Transport options for the new location are pretty much the same as the previous choice, in terms of hops, for most of the world's community. Indeed, we will also be able to offer very low fees (to students in particular) thanks to cost of services in Brazil.
Every conference location selection has to balance a number of factors, and we believe this is the right compromise for 2016, and hope to see many of you in Florianopolis in August 2016, in support of our decision!
Marinho P Barcellos and Jon Crowcroft
SIGCOMM 2016 General Chairs