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hand signing contract

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.

Download the guide

calendar and organization supplies on desk

Read the March issue of the IEEE MCE Conference Organizers’ Newsletter for updates on: 

  • Top Legal Tips for IEEE Conference Organizers
  • Planner Tips: Managing Common Food Restrictions 
  • Be Aware: Protect IEEE from Business Emails Scams
  • Electronic Copyright Form (eCF) and Packing List Updates
  • Alert: Services Disruption –  14 March 
  • Conference Education Updates

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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.”
calendar and organization supplies on desk

Read the February issue of the IEEE MCE Conference Organizers’ Newsletter for updates on: 

  • Organizer Spotlight: Kyle Reed, 2018 IEEE Haptics Symposium 
  • Target Call for Papers for More Effectiveness 
  • IEEE Author Ethics Guidelines Now Available
  • Planner Tips: Managing Guest Speakers 
  • Conference Education Updates

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hand signing contract
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 Contracting team. 
calendar and organization supplies on desk

Read the January issue of the IEEE MCE Conference Organizers’ Newsletter for updates on: 

  • IEEE Introduces Event Safety and Conduct Statement   
  • Important FoM Updates Regarding Contracts
  • Recent Revisions to IEEE Policies – Section 10
  • Conference Education Updates

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The IEEE Board of Directors approved the following revisions to IEEE Policies – Section 10 at its 2018 October meeting. These revisions reflect the best practices and current operations of IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events (MCE), particularly where policy may have fallen out of sync with current practices. Aligning these operations with practice will lay the groundwork to focus on areas of risk rather than administrative rules and start the process for shifting resources to create better support of our control environment.

Updated Practices throughout Section 10

Budgeting Recommendations and Requirements – Policies 10.1.4 and 10.1.6:

  • Recommended that all conferences submit a budget in advance of incurring financial liabilities with exceptions granted by the sponsoring OU(s).
    • Encourages a financial best practice, but leaves financial sponsors the latitude to make exceptions under certain circumstances.
  • Referenced the ability of individual OUs to set earlier deadlines in alignment with their budget cycles.
    • Expressly provides Societies and other sponsoring OUs the ability to establish their own guidelines for timing of budgets.
  • Changed the requirement for conferences to submit a budget twelve months prior to the start date to a recommendation in Section 10.1.4 and 10.1.6.
    • Enables smaller and new-style conferences to submit a budget in a more reasonable timeframe.
  • Removed exception for conferences under $25,000.
    • Brings policy 10.1.4 into alignment with 10.0.A.

Loan Repayment and Co-sponsor Fund Handling – Policy 10.1.7:

  • Provided for conferences to repay their loan at the time of bank account closure rather than one month post-conference.
    • Brings policy in line with current practice.
    • Provides the ability for sponsoring OUs to establish stricter parameters for loan repayment (i.e., maintaining the 1 month period) as they see fit.
  • Limited restrictions on rolling funds forward to IEEE’s portion.
    • Clarifies that this policy pertains only to IEEE’s funds, avoids imposing our policies on external co-sponsors.
    • Helpful for certain external co-sponsors (i.e., government agencies) who face significant bureaucracy in trying to fund conferences operating accounts.

Audit Readiness and Availability of Documentation – Policy 10.1.10:

  • Added requirement for conferences to submit supporting documentation if they are selected by IEEE auditors.
    • Ensures that IEEE is able to meet the demands of its external auditors.
    • Gives IEEE Operations Audit the right to requisition financial support in the event of suspicion of impropriety at any point in the conference lifecycle.

Conference Closing Timeline – Policy 10.1.11:

  • Extended the timeframe for conferences to close from six to twelve months.
    • Updates policy to a more realistic requirement given the increased complexity of the business since the policy was originally written.

Contract Review Procedures – Policy 10.1.18:

  • Clarified requirements for review of conference contracts to align with the IEEE Financial Operations Manual.
    • Mitigates organizer confusion regarding differences between Policy 10.1.18 and FOM Section 8.

Action Item

  • For those who maintain operations manuals or committee charters which reference or quote portions of the Policies, please be sure to update your documents. Changes may have resulted in the need to renumber sections.  

The complete and current IEEE Bylaws and IEEE Policies documents are available on the IEEE website.

Read the full updated policies

calendar and organization supplies on desk

Read the December issue of the IEEE MCE Conference Organizers’ Newsletter for updates on: 

  • GDPR – Permission Marketing
  • Conference Best Practices – IEEE Power Electronics Society
  • IEEE Launches Concur Travel
  • Reporting for Services Performed by Individuals and Companies
  • Conference Education Updates

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calendar and organization supplies on desk

Read the November issue of the IEEE MCE Conference Organizers’ Newsletter for updates on: 

  • 2018 Year-End Finance Action Items for IEEE Conferences  
  • GDPR Compliance – Personal Details on Conference Websites  
  • Avoid Conflicts – Check Holiday Schedules 
  • Conference Education Updates

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meeting participants around table

Please read this important statement regarding IEEE event safety and conduct. 

Read the statement