Defining Your Scope, Audience, & Objectives

Before you can register your conference with IEEE via the IEEE Conference Application, it is important to identify:

  • The topics and format of your conference
  • Whom you would like to attend
  • What you would like to accomplish through the event

Jump to a Topic:

Define Your Scope

The conference committee defines the scope of the conference. The scope may be an existing field of interest, a subset of that field, closely related fields of interest, or a new technology. The scope should fit within the overall IEEE scope, which includes:

  • Aerospace
  • Bioengineering
  • Communication, Networking & Broadcasting
  • Components, Circuits, Devices & Systems
  • Computing & Processing (Hardware/Software)
  • Engineered Materials, Dielectrics & Plasmas
  • Engineering Profession
  • Fields, Waves & Electromagnetics
  • General Topics for Engineers (Math, Science & Engineering)
  • Geoscience
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Photonics & Electro-Optics
  • Power, Energy, & Industry Applications
  • Robotics & Control Systems
  • Signal Processing & Analysis
  • Transportation

While interdisciplinary and closely related topics may be a wonderful addition to a conference for publication in IEEE Xplore®, the papers themselves should be in an IEEE field of interest. Challenges arise when non-IEEE fields of interest are included.

The Technical Program Chair usually leads the process to determine the scope of the conference. The scope will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Anticipated interest in the topic
  • Maturity of the technology
  • Location of the conference
  • Potential exhibitors

Outline Your Technical Program

Before submitting your IEEE Conference Application. you may want to consider outlining your conference’s technical program including symposia, workshops, tutorials, expositions, or other events.

Questions to Consider:

  • What is the expected number of papers?
  • What is your paper review process?
  • Are workshops or tutorials planned?
  • What will your plenary sessions look like?
  • Are you being inclusive in identifying your peer-reviewers?

What to Include in Your Outline:

  • Program dates: Timeline related to the technical program, paper submission deadline & author notification.
  • Paper review process: How will you assign reviewers/accept papers/session papers?
  • Communication plan: How will you communicate with authors/session chairs?
  • Program-at-a-glance: Develop a high-level overview of your program.
  • Example: Sample Program Outline 1. Sample Program Outline 2.


Determine Your Target Audience

Now that you have defined your conference scope, you can begin to think about whom you would like to attend. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Who are your key attendees (technical specialties aligned to your scope)?
  • Are there certain audience segments you would like to include (geographic areas, students, young professionals, etc.)?
  • Are the location of your target attendees and your conference location aligned?
  • Are you being inclusive in the development of your audience?

Need help rounding out your audience? Contact CEE at

Affirm Your Objectives

Having clear objectives at the start of the planning process will help you measure the success of your conference. It is helpful to consider the following when defining your conference objectives:

  • Alignment with the objectives of your sponsoring OU
  • Attendance and revenue
  • Opportunities for attendees to share, collaborate, and publish their work
  • Attendee engagement, education, networking, and community-building opportunities
  • Inclusion of underrepresented groups such as women, students, and young professionals
  • Industry engagement
  • Exhibitor participation
  • Patronage
  • Innovation and unique value proposition

Suggested Courses

We recommend the following courses in the IEEE Center for Leadership Excellence (CLE).  First, use your IEEE Account to log in to the CLE and then click the View Course link to go directly to the recommended course.

Audience Development – Growing Your Conference Attendance

Step 1: Log In

Step 2: View Course

We Are Here to Help

If you have questions about defining your scope, audience, and objectives, please contact the CEE team.