- Remain with IEEE
- Have a joint ACM/IEEE conference in some fashion.
- Become an unaffiliated conference.
For most of you this shouldn't matter at all. Most of you readers have never attended the complexity conference (though you ought to give it a try sometime) and those that do would probably continue attending no matter who sponsors the meeting.
There has been a go-it-yourself tendency in this field so as not to pay any organization fees and to publish papers in an open-access format. Just realize this approach has some potential downfalls.
- Without a sponsor, the conference and in particular the organizing committee, is fully responsible for any deficit. One bad hotel contract can sink a conference. To guard against this, you'll need to budget a surplus far larger than IEEE or ACM would require. Also IEEE and ACM can use their influence to get better deals such as on hotels.
- You'll need considerably more volunteer time from faculty to handle the larger administrative load. This time doesn't show up in the financial calculation but it is a real expense.
- Having a sponsoring organization gives a set of checks and balances to guarantee that the conference retains a consistent mission and be fiscally responsible. If a conference is solo and the organizing committee drops the ball, the conference just disappears.
I'm not recommendation here, just trying to point out some pitfalls that usually don't get discussed. I'll stay out of the actual debate on the future sponsorship of CCC and leave that to the younger generation.