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The IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN) gathered over 130 attendees from 1-4 October 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Recently celebrating its 44th year, LCN is the longest continuously running computer networking conference in the world. The conference has a global presence with previous locations including Europe, Canada, Australia, Dubai, and Singapore.
Sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, LCN brings together researchers from around the world to engage with leading-edge theoretical and practical aspects of computer networking. This highly interactive conference enables an effective interchange of results and ideas among researchers, users, and product developers.
The strong leadership of the LCN Organizing and Steering Committees has been vital to the success of the conference. Operational changes implemented by the committees have helped the conference series thrive. Finance Chair, Dr. Frank Huebner, cites the following as key cost-efficiency measures: “reigning in unnecessary spending and using a hands-on approach for running the conference (rather than outsourcing all kind of tasks).”
Succession planning is another useful strategy employed by the LCN Organizing Committee. By rotating new members for several years before considering them for critical positions, the committee facilitates leadership continuity, longevity, and teamwork. Dr. Huebner says, “The Organizing Committee has intimate knowledge of how the conference is run due to already being part of the LCN OC for a number of years. This results in the OC members knowing each other for many years, which makes working as a real team much more effective.”
The knowledge and dedication of organizers like Dr. Huebner have also helped LCN achieve impressive results. LCN conferences have made substantial surplus for all but one of the last 15 years. The conference has always closed on time due to the diligence and experience of the Finance Chairs over the past 44 years.
The LCN Organizing committee uses a variety of organizational strategies to maximize efficiency. Dr. Huebner shares, “LCN OC members also follow, maintain, and update to-do lists/checklists for every position. This way knowledge is preserved, repeat mistakes are minimized, and upcoming tasks can be anticipated, which leads to a smoother conference operation.”
The 2019 and 2020 LCN conferences are taking place in Osnabrueck, Germany and Sydney, Australia, respectively.
Confused by contracts? Puzzled by POs? IEEE MCE has developed a new IEEE Conference Contracting Quick Reference Guide to help organizers navigate the contracting rules-of-the-road. Whether you are a new organizer or just want to stay in the know, the guide offers the latest information about IEEE conference contracting processes, guidelines, and resources.
What’s inside The guide outlines useful information such as: – General conference contract guidelines – When a contract or PO is needed – Who reviews contracts – What constitutes a high-risk contract – When business decisions are warranted – Who can sign a contract – Links to additional resources
To ensure the latest version, bookmarking the page is recommended, as the guide will be updated periodically.
The 2018 IEEE Haptics Symposium, held in San Francisco, California, was one of the most successful in the conference’s decades-long history. Sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, the event brings together haptics experts, researchers, and professionals to share advancements, collaborate, and shape the future of the field. The 2018 Haptics Symposium exceeded budgeted surplus and attendance projections, in addition to closing much faster than the IEEE average.
A team effort
Reed at Poster Session
The dedication of volunteers like Finance Chair Kyle Reed was critical to the strong performance of the event. “Much of the success of the conference was due to the great colleagues on the organizing committee,” he says. “The other members of the organizing committee did a great job advertising, making sure we could accommodate all the attendees, and so many other aspects that were largely unseen by the attendees. The success was absolutely a group effort.”
Location was a key driver of attendance and revenue. “San Francisco was a more expensive location than past conferences, which posed some challenges with costs and venue,” Reed says. “Although we increased the cost of registration, we still had the highest attendance of this conference, which was likely due to the location near many technology companies.” The conference achieved a 68% increase over budgeted surplus; aided by raising the “most sponsorship funds” in the event’s history.
Anyone involved planning a conference knows it can be an intense but rewarding experience. Reed credits staying organized to keeping the process moving and on schedule. “I largely operate based on lists and specific tasks to be done on certain days,” he shared. “I often prioritized tasks that involved other people since I expected that it would take time for others to get back to me….So, in some sense, I would focus on pushing things forward that were out of my control since I could complete the tasks I had control over when I had time.”
2018 IEEE Haptics Symposium
IEEE Meetings, Conferences Events staff were also instrumental in supporting the conference, particularly around closing. “The assistance I received from IEEE was very helpful and timely,” Reed says. “Emma Pasula was a tremendous asset throughout the middle and end of the conference financial period. I have no doubt that the conference would have closed much later if it had not been for her help.”
A great Organizing Committee
When asked what he liked most about being an IEEE conference organizer, Reed shared, “I enjoyed working with the great organizing committee and getting to know them better. The success of the conference was definitely a result of the great people on the committee and all their hard work.”
What’s next for Reed in his role as an IEEE conference organizer? He says, “I would definitely be interested in being a conference organizer in the future, but I’m going to take a break for the next year so I can focus on some other goals. The 2020 Haptics Symposium conference will be in Washington DC, which I expect will bring many of the same benefits and success as this year’s conference.”
In November 2018, the IEEE Board of Directors approved changes to the IEEE Finance and Operations Manual regarding the review of commercial contracts. Effective January 1, 2019, all contracts (i) valued over U.S.$25,000, or (ii) determined to be “high risk” should be reviewed and approved by the IEEE Legal team.
As a result, contracts valued at less than U.S.$25,000 that are not “high risk” no longer require legal review.
The IEEE Legal & Compliance (L&C) team is available to discuss contracts of any value if you have specific questions on the contract terms.
For questions regarding a specific transaction or other operational support please contact the Conference Contractingteam.