Feedback from past participants
Note: These are excerpts from private messages or conversations, not specifically written for publication.
On the conf
Martin Kay, 2004: Fantastic conference!
Igor Mel'cuk, 2000: Everything was just great! Super-hyper-ultra-well done!
Yunqing Xia: CICLing is now amongst the most important NLP/CL events.
On keynote speakers
Ted Pedersen, 2003: One final thing to keep in mind - CICLING is relatively small compared to ACL, etc. Having well known invited speakers (Wilks, Sag, etc) is actually quite different, because the regular conference attendees actually have a chance to spend a bit of time with these famous folks. That doesn't happen at bigger events, where the famous people are burdened with many friends, admirers. So while it's true that people may have seen Wilks speak, they probably have not had a drink or dinner with him. So that's an argument in favor of having well known speakers at CICLING. It's actually one of the things I've enjoyed the most. For example, at a big linguistics conference I'm sure that Igor Melchuk and I would say "hello" and perhaps not much more. Same would be true of Yorick Wilks, etc. But at CICLING I've actually spent fairly large amounts of time with them, and I think others have had the same experience. Having just come from ACL, where I didn't even have time to talk with people I know well, I can attest that this is pretty valuable. And it's why it's good when the invited people participate in the excurions, dinners, etc. So anyway, as I said in my last note I think CICLING has been done pretty well, so I wouldn't think in terms of a major overhaul. And if someone very famous like Pustejovsky is willing to come, I think that's a very nice opportunity for all of us (you included!) to get to know him a bit better than is normally possible.