Meeting News - October 2011 (Plain Text Version)

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MoUs Required Prior to Conference Approval in 2012

Starting 1 January 2012, newly submitted conferences requiring a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will not be approved (initialized) until the MoU is completed and executed.

IEEE Conference Services will perform data reviews, sponsor validation and other checks, but cannot approve the conference without the MoU. As a result, the conference will not be searchable in Call for Papers or Conference Search features.

Please contact Conference Services with questions or comments.

Important Approval Change for MGA OUís Sponsoring Conferences

The IEEE Board of Directors approved a motion in May 2011 that will impact IEEE Membership & Geographic Activities organizational units co-sponsoring conferences, effective 1 January 2012.

Prior to granting financial co-sponsorship or technical co-sponsorship to conferences involving non-IEEE entities, Subsections, Chapters, Affinity Groups and Student Organizations shall obtain approval by the Section to which that organizational unit belongs. Geographic Councils must seek approval from their Region. 

The approving Section or Region, as well as the sponsoring organizational units will be responsible for  ensuring conference quality and adherence to all IEEE policies. This policy provides IEEE Regions with additional significant discretion and oversight responsibilities.

MGA Staff are in the process of conducting education and training sessions.

For more information please contact Susan Hutton, MGA Project Management at s.hutton@ieee.org. [return to top]

Important Finance Action Items for IEEE Conference Organizers

To help protect IEEE financial interests, the IEEE Conference Finance Services team is seeking the assistance of all organizers involved with currently open conferences. The Finance Services Team has three major priorities for the fourth quarter of 2011 and beyond:

    1. Timely Closure of All Financially-Sponsored Conferences - IEEE policy requires all financially sponsored conferences to submit all documents and close within six months of the conference’s conclusion.  The Finance team hopes to work with all conference organizers to ensure that all required documents are submitted and that all conferences are closed as efficiently as possible.
    2. Updated Financial Information - To report the most up-to-date and accurate financial information possible—particularly for year-end reporting—the Conference Finance Services team requests an updated financial forecast from all conferences prior to the end of the year.
    3. Submission of 1099/1042 Reportable Payments for Tax Compliance -  To comply with regulations imposed on companies doing business in the United States, IEEE must report payments made to individuals that would be classified as income (expense reimbursements should not be included). 
      • Conferences taking place in the US should report all such payments made to US citizens and resident aliens (1099) and non-US persons (1042). 
      • Conferences taking place outside the US should report payments made to US citizens and resident aliens only. 

    All conferences should submit updated 1099/1042 payments by the year end. IEEE is subject to penalties if payments are not submitted on time.

    The IEEE Conference Finance Services Team is eager to assist organizers in reaching these goals.  If you have any questions about what is required or how to submit it, please contact IEEE Conference Finance Services at conference-finance@ieee.org or at 732-562-3878. [return to top]

    Conference Contract Process Change

    Effective 1 November 2011, all conference related contracts with a value of US$25,000 and greater will only be executed by IEEE Strategic Sourcing after the conference has been approved by IEEE Conference Services.  

    The standard process for obtaining conference approval with IEEE is as follows:   

    • A Conference Information Schedule (CIS) is submitted.
    • Staff  validates and verifies sponsorship (including receipt of an approved MOU, if applicable) and brand use.

    Reminder

    • Contracts with a value greater than US$25,000 must be reviewed and executed by IEEE Strategic Sourcing.
    • Contracts under US$25,000 must be submitted to conference-contracts@ieee.org  for retention once executed by organizer.

    If you have any questions, please contact Conference Contracts.  [return to top]

    Survey: How are IEEE conferences using social media?

    Ever wonder how social media could impact your IEEE conference? Interested in knowing what other conference organizers are doing with social media?

    Watch your email next week for a survey designed to determine how conferences are using social media and to help us answer your social media questions. Whether you've never used social media at your conference or have a social media success story from a recent IEEE conference that would be a helpful example for other organizers, please take 5 minutes to respond. Your input is invaluable.

    For questions, please contact Mark A. Vasquez, Strategic Program Development Sr. Manager, IEEE Meetings & Conferences (m.vasquez@ieee.org). [return to top]

    Pending U.S. Senate Bill Threatens Federal Travel Spending

    Conferences targeting U.S. Federal government employees as potential  attendees will want to watch the progress of the "Federal Workforce Reduction and Reform Act of 2011" with keen interest.

    Introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch and Tom Coburn, the legislation is part of the austerity movement aimed at trimming U.S. government spending by more than $600 billion over the next decade. The proposed bill will slash the annual federal government travel budget -- currently about $15 billion -- by 75 percent, which could have a significant impact on any conference dependent upon U.S. government attendees. [return to top]

    How To Ensure Conference Quality - Review, Review, Review

    The technical program, or paper review process, is one of the most important aspects of developing a strong IEEE conference. As conference quality is directly related to the quality of its papers, it is important that papers properly align with the conference's theme and are thoroughly reviewed. Ensuring paper content quality starts with determining who the right experts are to be your reviewers and determining the ratio of papers to reviewers.

    Reviewers who are overburdened with too many papers are less likely to provide thorough reviews, even if they are highly-regarded experts in the subject matter. Typically, you can use historical information from past conferences to gauge how many reviewers you will need per paper. Another general best practice is to multiply the desired number of reviews per paper by the anticipated number of papers within the scope of the conference. 

    IEEE is committed to ensuring conference and content quality. For more information, go here.

    This article is reprinted from the IEEE Society Sentinel. [return to top]