So you may have joined one of our IEEE TEMS conferences, or that of any of our sister Societies or Geographic brothers, and got sparked and you now have the idea that you want to chair a conference yourself. Great! A seed has been planted. And that you want to lead a conference is a great, possibly an unexpected, outcome of you having attended a conference. So let’s talk about your idea.
But first, let’s also address some realism, and share some knowledge and experience that has grown over the years in IEEE as a result of organizing an odd 2000 conferences a year. To that end, organizing a conference has much similarity with running a project if you are familiar with project management. You have an idea, you will need a team to make it happen, it has some unique features, but how to come from idea to realization? For that we provide a few pointers in this one-pager to start with.
Where to start
Here are some web links, which may have found before when simple google searching for “IEEE” and “Conferences”. The web links here are plain text, so you have to copy paste them, such that your corporate security rules and regulations or other virus scanners are not infringed. They are just a starting point so to speak:
- Do visit https://www.ieee.org/conferences/index.html ; just scroll down. And if you click on the TAB Conferences at the top and select in the drop-down-box appearing Conference Organizer Portal it takes you to: https://www.ieee.org/conferences/organizers/organizers-index.html which points to all explanations of what it means to run a conference, on that page see the Conference Timeline pdf and click which takes you to: https://www.ieee.org/content/dam/ieee- org/ieee/web/org/conferences/high_level_conference_timeline.pdf and now you possibly recognize aforementioned comment that it is much like doing a project, as it does take some planning of activities.
- Or go back to the Portal and click on the Conference Education Program which takes you to: https://www.ieee.org/conferences/organizers/conference-organizer-education.html which shows a whole list of short free webinars on various parts of organizing conferences.
- Or go back to the Portal and scroll some further down and click “Roles and responsibilities on a conference committee” which brings you to: https://www.ieee.org/conferences/organizers/roles-responsibilities.html explaining the need not just for a chair, but also for a treasurer, program chair, academic publications chair, publicity and public relations chair to name a few key positions that need to be addressed.
- Do visit https://edas.info/doc/ on EDAS as a conference paper management system. There are many out there including EasyChair, ConfTool, Conferency, OpenConf and so forth. It will be a balancing of pro/con to make the choice. While EDAS is not the most user friendly, the value is in the inheritance of IEEE TEMS reviewer database and the interfaces to the other IEEE systems. Something to discuss later in more details.
These links will also help you and your team to get up to speed. Most importantly, and I think you may have succeeded already, to find team-members, who share the same ideas and passion.
To make sure all ducks are in a row, find a pointer to our IEEE TEMS Conference Proposal presentation template, intended as an overview of what you would need to pitch and present at some point in time to get approval. We use this mechanism as this allows us to compare multiple requests for conferences from the field.
So, with all this in mind, let’s simply have a call (skype, webex, zoom, other voip), to make first contact and to discuss your idea. Of course, you may have a first draft of the presentation available to use in our conversation, as this can help setting the scene or stage so to speak.
With kind regards
Robert Bierwolf, Vice President Conferences