What's Inside: December 2021
Planning to Succeed
  • By Marie Hunter, Head of IEEE Global Meetings, Conferences and Events
Organize Like a Pro
  • Top Learnings from IEEE Convene 2021
  • Is Uncertainty Impacting Your Event Planning? Here’s How to Cope.
  • Supercharge Your Virtual Event's Sustainability
  • MCE Trendspotting: Three Takeaways from IMEX America 2021
Meet the MCE Team
  • Liana Murray, Lead Conference Business Intelligence Analyst
Available Resources
  • Case Study: The IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Summit 2021 Dreams Up Solutions for Digital Equity
  • Case Study: The IEEE Humanitarian Activities Global Summit Supports IEEE Volunteers Empowering Communities Through Technology
  • Insider Poll of the Month
Planning to Succeed
As we wrap up the year of conferences and events for 2021, I am looking ahead towards more in-person engagement. As we move forward we can bring with us lessons learned, new ideas, and broadened perspectives. One area that we will focus on moving forward is sustainability. There is no doubt that virtual events, telecommuting, and the overall reduction in travel have had a positive environmental impact; in spite of great costs in other areas of economic vitality and human connection. How can we achieve balance in our approach as we re-boot events? Early in 2021, we published some guidance on the MCE website which I am re-sharing here. I am committed to focusing on ways we can show leadership and make progress in sustainability for our events.
Organize Like a Pro
Top Learnings from IEEE Convene 2021
At IEEE Convene 2021, IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events (MCE) gathered industry experts and IEEE professionals to discuss the path forward to live events. Speakers and panelists shared their personal experiences and insights that you can apply at your next in-person or hybrid gathering.
Planning & Logistics
  • Have a strategy in place from the start
  • Learn requirements for entering your event’s country and local guidelines (masks, proof of vaccination, etc.)
  • Ask local partners about the availability of ground transportation, restaurants, & venue staffing in your event city
  • Right-size your in-person or hybrid event to streamline costs and optimize the participant experience
  • Lead with your event strategy and support it with the right technology
  • Lean on available support systems like MCE for guidance
Health & Safety
  • Communicate expectations upfront with participants and vendors to build trust and minimize conflicts
  • Follow local guidelines at your event and be transparent with participants about compliance
  • Partner with your venue on creative catering solutions like grab-and-go display towers and outdoor dining
  • Consider color-coded wrist bands to communicate participants’ comfort levels with social distancing
  • Include line items for hybrid staffing and safety measures
Marketing & Audience Development
  • Leverage peers, content creators, and stakeholders as the new “influencers” for marketing your event
  • Try out new marketing and technology tools (e.g., SparkToro and Brandwatch for audience research, and Gleanin for community marketing)
  • Make assets available to help your community promote your event
  • Tag speakers and companies in your social media campaigns
Managing Risk
  • Adapt your approach (modify your budget, anticipate lower attendance, adjust your space and food and beverage, re-negotiate when needed, etc.) 
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate with stakeholders, partners, and participants 
  • Develop strong partnerships with exhibitors, sponsors, and vendors; and ensure clear contracts are in place
Exhibitor Engagement
  • Avoid trying to replicate the in-person exhibit hall at your virtual or hybrid event
  • Consider content partnerships that might include video, case studies, and demos
Participant Engagement
  • Boost engagement with memorable experiences that spur emotional connections and create “mind stamps”
  • Don’t be afraid to “fail forward" by trying new hybrid event formats, new approaches like rapid-fire chat with subtitles, and new technologies like Clubhouse, to learn what works best
  • Tailor the event experience specifically to your in-person and virtual audiences
Events may look a little different at the moment, but it doesn't mean that they can't be impactful. If you require additional guidance for planning your event, please reach out to the MCE team.
Is Uncertainty Impacting Your Event Planning? Here’s How to Cope.
Planning an event during a pandemic naturally comes with a degree of risk. At IEEE Convene 2021, we sat down with volunteers, experts, and professional team members to discuss how to deal with risk when the future is unclear. Here are some of their top tips to help you plan your next event with confidence.
Planning considerations
  • Set clear goals for your event (financial, educational, professional, etc.)
  • Remember that event cancellation/disruption insurance due to communicable diseases no longer applies moving forward
  • Supply chains and market pressure are building, which can impact your event
  • Risks related to COVID-19 and systemic changes remain
  • Your paper submissions can help you gauge your in-person attendance
  • These projections can help you right-size your budget, contracts, space, food and beverage, and accommodations 
  • Don’t expect a full return to 2019 attendance rates (some events are seeing about 60%)
  • Anticipate potential last-minute cancellations when employers get cold feet about sending employees to your event (they may see virtual participation as a more attractive option)
  • Communication with your leadership, volunteers IEEE professional team members, speakers, participants, PCOs, sponsors, exhibitors, and vendors is essential to the success of your event 
  • Keep everyone informed about any changes to your event through email and your website
Partnering with your venue/hotel
  • Select venues that want your business because they will be more likely to work with you if circumstances change 
  • Be transparent with your hotel/venue about projected attendance. If you need to reduce your space or go virtual, they may be able to use the space for another group.
  • Get on the same page with your vendors, PCOs, exhibitors, and sponsors
  • Ensure that contracts are crystal clear and in line with what you will actually produce
  • Build-in contingency plans in the event that your event goes virtual
Exhibitor/sponsor engagement
  • Engage with exhibitors and sponsors early, and communicate with them regularly
  • Be transparent about what your event will look like, including projected attendance
  • Remember that you are trying to maintain relationships in the long term, so be flexible where appropriate 
  • Build a program that will be beneficial for all involved
  • Provide alternative opportunities for exhibitor engagement, like submitting and presenting papers
If you have questions about mitigating risk, please reach out to the IEEE Conference Business Operations Team.
Supercharge Your Virtual Event's Sustainability
Did you know that holding an International Conference for 5,000 attendees virtually reduces the carbon emissions of the event equivalent to the annual emissions of 158 American households? This reduction mostly comes from reduced venue and hotel energy use and the lack of travel requirements. 

A one-day virtual event with 200 attendees results in carbon emissions equivalent to that of driving 3,300 miles or burning 1,500 pounds of coal! If held face-to-face, that same event would generate nearly 66 TIMES more carbon emissions.

Over 60% of carbon emissions from virtual conferences are associated with network data transfers from uploading and downloading data such as video calls, streaming, presentations, etc.
DID YOU KNOW? Turning off your camera during a virtual event can reduce your environmental impact in that meeting by 96%! 
Here are a few helpful tips on reducing your own Virtual Event Carbon Footprint: 
  • Request attendees turn off their webcams when not needed, like during a keynote speaker or long presentation. 
  • Encourage attendees to watch videos in standard definition (SD) instead of high definition (HD).
  • Request that presenters compress media files before sharing with attendees.
  • Remind attendees to delete unneeded emails and files after the event.
If you’d like to learn more about the approximate carbon footprint of your virtual event, you can use the Carbon Footprint Calculator below:
MCE Trendspotting: Three Takeaways from IMEX America 2021
IMEX America, the annual event for decision-makers in the meetings & event industry, took place in Las Vegas in November 2021 after canceling their annual event in 2020 due to COVID-19. IMEX is a venue to find all the suppliers you need for your events, from new venues to the latest event tech providers. To stay at the forefront of the evolving event industry, two of IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events representatives were in attendance. Here are three takeaways from the event from Lukrecija Lelong and Michelle Measel, MCE’s Senior Managers of Event Management Services.
Meet the MCE Team
Liana Murray, Lead Conference Business Intelligence Analyst
As the Lead Conference Business Intelligence Analyst, Liana manages and maintains the full conference stack of dashboards for MCE. Liana also trains staff members on best practices of pulling reports and creating dashboards in Tableau as well as provides technical support for issues with Tableau and the reports within it. Liana worked diligently on analyzing archival financial and registration data for conference series that transitioned from traditional, in-person formats to virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic to develop a hybrid event cost model that may be used as a standard for future conferences.

Liana joined IEEE in August of 2020. Prior to joining IEEE, she spent 12 years working as a research specialist in higher education. She is the co-author of a study that examined the effects of transient credit on students and universities that was published in the journal Summer Academe. Liana is excited to learn and grow at IEEE!
Available Resources
Case Study: The IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Summit 2021 Dreams Up Solutions for Digital Equity
Internet connectivity is a challenge affecting the lives of four billion people around the world. The Connecting the Unconnected Summit 2021 (CTU 2021) brought together regulators, multinational companies, start-ups, standards-setting bodies, and non-profits from 3-5 November to address Internet connectivity and the digital divide. CTU 2021’s powerful speakers, thought-provoking program, and innovative virtual approaches made this an impactful event.
Case Study: The IEEE Humanitarian Activities Global Summit Supports IEEE Volunteers Empowering Communities Through Technology
IEEE Volunteers around the world are using their technical superpowers for good and making a difference in their local communities with the help of the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC). This past November, IEEE HAC gathered IEEE members, leaders from IEEE entities, and representatives from external partners at the inaugural IEEE HAC Global Summit. The goals of the virtual event were to demonstrate HAC’s global reach, showcase grassroots projects, and engage in meaningful discussions on how technology can address local challenges. 
Insider Poll of the Month
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