November 2020
"These days we have Smartphones, Smartcars, Smartboards, Smarteverything, but consider this: if technology is getting smarter, does that mean humans are getting dumber?”

~ Rebecca McNutt, Author
Inside the November Issue: 
  • 2020 Year-End Finance Actions
  • IEEE R10 Conference Leadership Program 2020
  • Help Your Speakers Be Their Best
  • Conference Education Updates
2020 Year-End Finance Action Items for IEEE Conferences  
The IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events (MCE) Business Operations team requests the assistance of organizers involved with open financially-sponsored conferences in accomplishing several important year-end 2020 goals:

Updated financial information: If your 2020 conference cannot be closed before year-end, an updated financial forecast should be submitted to ensure the accuracy of IEEE financial statements. Updated financial reports should be submitted using the Conference Financial Reporting Form or by contacting your designated analyst.

Submission of 1099/1042 reportable payments: To meet tax regulations for companies doing business in the United States, IEEE must report conference payments made to individuals that would be classified as income (expense reimbursements should not be included). Please complete and submit prior to year-end 2020:

  • Conferences taking place in the U.S. should report all such payments made to U.S. citizens and resident aliens (1099) and non-U.S. persons (1042)
  • Conferences taking place outside the U.S. are only required to report payments made to U.S. citizens and resident aliens (1099)

Submission of transaction level financial detail and back-up documentation: Auditable documents should be submitted to your designated analyst as soon as possible, to avoid disruption in the event of an audit. Auditable documents may include registration reports and invoices, sponsorship reports and invoices, exhibit reports and invoices, expense contracts and invoices, and bank statements, if IEEE Concentration Banking was not used. Audit documents may also be used in filing insurance claims for applicable conferences adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Timely closure of all financially-sponsored conferences: IEEE policy requires financially-sponsored conferences to submit all documents and close within twelve months of the conference's conclusion. All conferences that took place in 2019 must be fully closed before the end of this year. Conferences occurring in 2020 are strongly recommended to close before the end of the year where possible.

All items above are requested by Friday, 11 December 2020 to allow for processing by year-end 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact your designated analyst or the MCE Business Operations team. The team is eager to assist organizers in reaching these goals.
IEEE Bangalore Section and Mangalore Sub-Section Conference Organizer Workshop
On 17 October 2020, the IEEE Mangalore Sub Section and IEEE Bangalore Section jointly organized a virtual Conference Organizer Education Workshop, organized by Dr. Abhishek Appaji, IEEE Bangalore Section and Dr. Manjunath K N, IEEE Mangalore Sub-section. 

The workshop goals included improving organizer knowledge and skills, lifting conference quality and increasing Section and Subsection member engagement. Among the 84 attendees, 79% were satisfied overall with the workshop and 86% rated it relevant for their organizing efforts.  

Topics covered the conference life cycle from application through conference proceedings submission, featuring:

  • Conference Quality-Technical Program, Peer Review and Plagiarism Screening
  • Sponsorship Types and Responsibilities
  • Conference Application
  • BuildingYour Team

Experienced local IEEE conference volunteers led the discussions. IEEE MCE Education supported the workshop with materials and presentations. Dr. Appaji reported, “Our speakers were super happy to have the (MCE) presentations which greatly reduced their preparation.”

IEEE R10 sponsored the workshop, continuing its leadership in conference education, which also includes the R10 Conference Leadership Programme and the IEEE India Council workshop. In addition, IEEE Bangalore Section has maintained an ongoing conference education effort over the past several years. 
Help Your Speakers Be Their Best
speaker image
Conference keynote speakers are essential elements of general sessions and help in bringing a community together. Likewise, many attendees seek informative and impactful learning sessions – education, tutorials, workshops etc.

Most times, the speakers chosen volunteer their time - receiving a hearty thanks, free event attendance and possibly reimbursement for travel expenses. As a result, program committees may focus on the individual’s background or credentials, and are reluctant to evaluate communication or presentation skills when selecting speakers.

Given the important role they play, why would you leave this to chance? Several of the most valued elements of the attendee experience may be left to speakers who are not engaging, interesting and informative. With most events now delivered digitally, it is even more critical that speakers be on the top of their game, since the absence of audience verbal cues makes it harder to ‘read the room’.

Speaker education and prep for subject matter experts, committee members and staff should be a regular part of your program plan.

Event Brief – Provide all speakers with an overview of your conference. This should include:

  • Conference history
  • Committee members
  • Conference scope
  • Audience makeup and demographics
  • Current or future challenges, opportunities or themes they can link to their message
  • Presenter coaching plans to help them deliver engaging sessions
  • Speaker evaluation criteria and mechanism – (Let them know in advance that they will be evaluated with the feedback being shared)

Keynote Sessions – Many keynote speakers are selected based on name recognition or title. Guide industry speakers away from using a generic stock speech to delivering thought-provoking and relevant content that fits your event. Reinforce this is not entirely a branding or marketing opportunity for the speaker.

Education Sessions – Education sessions are often ‘information’ sessions, where sharing overwhelms teaching. Provide information on adult learning principles, if this is not part of their background.

Challenge presenters to deliver their topic so that attendees leave having achieved not only awareness and understanding, but also a sense of the topic. Knowing how to apply it to current or future work is essential.

Preparing Speakers – The program committee is responsible for informing and preparing speakers for their sessions. Conduct orientation calls with all speakers, 4 to 6 weeks pre- conference, covering common areas – deadlines, requirements, venue and room setup, AV resources and presentation expectations. For digital events, include the platform choice, system requirements and connection guidelines.

In addition, have one-to-one discussions with each speaker to ensure they are comfortable and on track for their sessions.

Make every effort to deliver the best attendee experience at your event. Beyond the planning and logistics, work with your volunteer speakers to help them be at their best. 
Conference Education Updates
Run a Virtual Conference Education Workshop for Your IEEE Unit

Conference education provides IEEE units (Region, Section, Society, etc.) great opportunities to create engaging member activities, improve the organizer experience and lift the quality of sponsored conferences.

MCE Conference Education is here to support you and volunteer presenters conduct virtual workshops, with consultation, guidance and materials. A library of current, up-to-date presentations, with speaker notes is available to simplify the organizing effort.

If you are interested in conducting conference organizer/leader education for your Region, Section or Society, please contact Kevin Hanft (
Conference Role-Based Education Resources

MCE Conference Education provides a comprehensive set of education resources, including 25 eLearning courses plus 28 on-demand webinars on a wide range of conference topics. All courses are available in the IEEE Center for Leadership Excellence (CLE).

Conference role-specific learning paths help you gain the knowledge and skills to be successful. Learning paths areavailable for:
  • Conference Treasurer
  • Technical Program Chair
  • Conference Publications Chair
  • Event Planning

An IEEE Account is required for CLE access
Quick Bits
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