What’s Inside - July 2023

Planning for Success

  •  By Marie Hunter, Head of IEEE Global Meetings, Conferences and Events

Stay in the Know

  • Expanded Event Cancellation Coverage for Financially Co-Sponsored IEEE Conferences
  • Local Policy Changes Can Affect Your Event Planning and Budget

Organize Like a Pro

  • Factoring in Taxes When Selecting a Conference Location
  • Selecting the Right Venue for Your Event
  • Use Your Event to Turn Nonmembers Into Members

Meet the MCE Team

  • Katie Harrison, Associate Event Planner, MCE 

Available Resources

  • Level Up Your Skills With Conference Education Courses

Planning to Succeed

In this time of readjustment from the pandemic, the hospitality industry as a whole is not fully staffed and trained as it was in prior times. This means that as an organizer, several areas of focus are needed. 

  • Discuss staffing levels with the hotel and be informed of shift changes, access to onsite supervisors, and how the hotel will respond to emergencies.
  • Manage expectations for the attendees if there is no room service or reduced housekeeping support.
  • Stay patient and respectful of hotel staff working to deliver with reduced resources.
  • It is predicted that the hospitality industry staffing will not be fully recovered until late 2024 and that changes in some staffing levels may be here to stay.

As the leader of a conference, it is important to discuss expectations and deliverables up front when contracting a venue and communicate with participants accordingly to avoid any conflict or disappointment during the conference or event.

How can we help?

Stay in the Know

Expanded Event Cancellation Coverage for Financially Co-Sponsored IEEE Conferences

Since 2013, IEEE's event cancellation insurance program has provided an extra layer of protection to our 100% financially sponsored events. This was particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic when many events were canceled or postponed.  

Recognizing the importance of this coverage in IEEE's risk management program, it has been expanded for the 2023 policy year to include: 

  • Financially co-sponsored conferences (50% or greater) with estimated revenue greater than or equal to $250,000 USD, and
  • Large meetings, like the IEEE Meeting Series and IEEE Sections Congress  

Have an event that doesn't meet the criteria above but you'd still like covered? Our MCE Business Operations Team is ready to assist!

Contact the Team

Local Policy Changes Can Affect Your Event Planning and Budget

When booking hotels and event spaces, many factors can affect your budget. It’s essential to stay updated with any local policy or law changes to avoid surprises when booking. 

Los Angeles Hotel Worker Protection Law

  • Last year, Los Angeles passed a Hotel Worker Protection law requiring hotel employees working in guest rooms or bathrooms to have a device to alert security to emergencies. 
  • Additionally, they raised the minimum wage and must offer annual security training. 
  • Hotels are creating an additional surcharge for their guests to pay for these changes.
  • Surrounding communities are beginning to adopt the law, which could expand to other states. 
  • Make sure to read your contracts carefully and include clauses that prohibit surprise charges or fee increases.


The Conference Contracts Team can assist with any questions or additional guidance.

Contact the Team
Organize Like a Pro

Factoring in Taxes When Selecting a Conference Location

When choosing a location for your conference, it is important to consider the tax implications of operating in that state, territory, or country. 

For US-based conferences, be sure to reference our list of states where IEEE has been granted an exemption from paying sales tax on purchases. This exemption can help conferences reduce their total expenses by avoiding sales taxes, which are commonly 6-10% on applicable purchases.  

IEEE is also required to comply with various indirect taxes in different nations around the world. For more information, please review our indirect tax page.

US Tax Questions?

If you have any questions regarding US-based taxes or tax exemptions, please contact our Tax Department at [email protected].


Country-Specific Tax Questions?

For questions regarding indirect taxes in specific countries, please contact our Indirect Tax Department at [email protected].


Selecting the Right Venue for Your Event

The success of your next meeting starts with selecting the perfect venue. A great space sets the tone for your attendees to feel the most inspired. While this process can be stressful, leveraging your research and organizational skills can minimize stress. 

When beginning the planning process, the most important thing to remember is to ask yourself a few strategic questions about your goals, target audiences, and attendee expectations. Once your strategy is in place, you can align it with your budget.

Here are a few essential considerations for choosing a top-notch meeting venue.

Attendee Needs

  • Consider how your event goals align with your attendee needs.
  • Send out questionnaires to learn what types of experiences, locations, or hotel chains your attendees prefer.
  • Think about how you might change up your program to appeal to a broader audience.
  • Be aware of any travel restrictions for your attendees.


  • Think about your event’s requirements and your attendees’ expectations when budgeting.
  • Be aware of the high and low seasons of potential locations. Booking during the low season could make a higher-end venue possible within your budget.
  • Negotiating strategically, particularly with concessions, can also help you stay within or below budget.


  • Partnering with the local Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) can help you take advantage of everything your city offers. Your CVB can also assist with your RFP process for venue selection. 
  • Political and social issues matter. Ensure your location aligns with the organization's values and that no conflicting state or local policies exist.


  • Most venues will only hold space briefly, so decide promptly if possible.
  • Consider insurance. COVID-19 taught us that anything can happen, so purchasing insurance can help minimize future risks.
  • Include solid cancellation, rebooking, and Force Majeure clauses in your contracts.
  • Ensure your venue is accessible to all attendees, including those with disabilities. 
  • Do an in-person site visit in advance. Make sure that everything you envision will come to life at your event. 

With a bit of planning, finding a venue that will support the success of your event is within reach. If you have any questions about venue selection, the MCE team is ready to help.

Source: ASAE

Contact MCE

Use Your Event to Turn Nonmembers Into Members

Turning nonmember attendees into IEEE or IEEE Society members at your next event can be simple. Half the work is already done by having them attend! Use your event as an opportunity to get to know nonmember attendees. Building those relationships and offering personal touches can go a long way. 

There are many ways you can enhance nonmember engagement at your event.

  • Attendee badges are likely already a staple at your events. Adding a label to nonmember badges can be a great way to help you identify them. 
  • Create opportunities for members to engage with nonmembers. Peer-to-peer connections increase the value of the conversation. Staff approaching them may feel too sales-y.
  • Get email addresses so members can follow up about becoming a member.
  • Use questionnaires to help identify the reasons nonmembers are reluctant to become members. Understanding this audience will go a long way in knowing what they want, which makes it easier to turn them into members. 
  • Thank them for coming to your event! If budget permits, consider giving them a small branded giveaway to leave with. Even if they do not become members, providing an exceptional experience will keep them returning to your event. 

Contact the MCE team for additional tips and strategies.

Source: Associations Now

Contact MCE

Meet the MCE Team

Katie Harrison, Associate Event Planner, MCE 

During her four years at Rutgers Business School in New Brunswick, Katie interned for the Student Affairs department, where she helped to plan large-scale events for the students at Rutgers. These events included concerts, convocations, graduation ceremonies, fall festivals, and more.

After graduation, Katie joined IEEE as the Program Specialist for Young Professionals (YPs) in Member and Geographic Activities (MGA). While there, she loved planning the YP events and wanted to continue down this path. She eventually moved to MCE, where she became a planner and had the privilege of planning meetings alongside her previous YP colleagues, as well as many new clients. Katie has developed close relationships with many IEEE employees and volunteers in just one year in this position.

In addition to planning meetings for OUs and the IEEE Meeting Series, she has also teamed up with other planners to assist with and attend large-scale conferences worldwide, including ICRA, IROS, and IEEE Sections Congress.

Katie's favorite part of this position includes working directly with clients to help them understand and feel comfortable with the event planning process. She attempts to simplify the process as much as possible so they don't feel overwhelmed and can learn to love event planning as much as she does.

In her free time, Katie uses her planning and marketing knowledge to assist in running a non-profit that provides funding, transportation, food, and additional necessary resources for women in Kenya to attend secondary boarding school (high school).

Available Resources

Level Up Your Skills With Conference Education Courses

When planning a conference, there is a lot that goes into it. Whether you're new to organizing or have done it before, we're here to help make it as smooth as possible. Check out our conference education courses when you need assistance.

  • Strategic Approach to Plagiarism Screening: Learn more about strategically implementing plagiarism screening using Similarity Check (formerly CrossCheck) for your IEEE conference. 
  • Peer review: Learn how to plan and execute a high-quality peer review program for your conference. We will cover best practices for managing the process, finding reviewers, an estimated timeline, acceptance rates, and much more.
  • Learn How to Strategically Locate Your Meeting Based on Content and Expertise - Site Selection: Join Business Events Canada’s Virginie De Visscher and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Leader’s Circle’s Kathy Nicolay to learn why hosting conferences in destinations aligned with your organizational mission can increase attendance, enhance delegate engagement and provide innovative opportunities for professional growth.
More Courses



MCE Services








How can MCE help?

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