I am looking for surveys/studies that quantify the time and money academics spent on conferences/symposia/workshops/etc by both organizers and attendees. Specifically, I'm interested in both academic and institutional costs related to conference, travelling, and administrative tasks related to travel. (In my experience the overwhelming majority of expenses are covered by employer/grant/etc anyways.)

I am most interested in the field of computer science, and academics affiliated to US institutions.

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    Please clarify who spent the time and money? Organizers or attendees? And also the field?
    – Nobody
    Jan 26, 2015 at 5:24
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    You might want to search around for the budgets for particular conferences which sometimes give you a breakdown of number of attendees, country, and other information you might find useful from past years. Jan 26, 2015 at 5:44
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    What counts as time spent on a conference? Presumably you include time spent attending the conference or travelling. What about reviewing papers? Preparing slides? Writing the papers? Jan 26, 2015 at 5:56
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    By "money academics spent on conferences", do you mean money those academics spent personally, or money that was spent by their employer, or both? Jan 26, 2015 at 8:59
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    @O.R.Mapper Both but I have mostly interested by money that was spent by their employer. In my experience most (> 90%) expenses are covered by employer/grant/etc. Jan 26, 2015 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


I published a paper: Anderson, L., & Anderson, T. (2009). Online professional development conferences: An effective, economical and eco-friendly option Canadian Journal of Learning Technology, 35(2).

in which we calculated the costs (transportation, hotels, meals etc.) in dollars and in Carbon costs using a medium sized conference in the UK. We were interested in showing the HUGE cost and carbon savings if the conference was held online and used this data in our book on Virtual Conferences.

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