Planning the Technical Program

Define the Scope of the Technical Program

The scope of the conference should include one or more of the following subject areas:

  • Engineering
  • Computer sciences and information technology
  • Biological and medical sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Physical sciences 
  • Technical communications, education, management, law, and policy  

Resource for those planning a Technical Program

The Call for Papers

The Call for Papers is the main way organizers promote a conference to potential authors. There are three primary methods for inviting speakers to participate in your conference.

Method Description
Open Call

A paper received in response to the Call for Papers and peer reviewed for acceptance


A paper specifically requested from well-known authorities; may be reviewed at the discretion of the Program Chair

Solicited or Stimulated

A paper requested from groups or individuals working in particular areas of interest; may be reviewed at the discretion of the Program Chair

*Please note only peer-reviewed content is submitted for inclusion to IEEE Xplore®

How Do I Plan a Technical Program?

Planning a Technical Program

  • What: Manage paper submission, review and selection, and the establishment of the final technical program for a conference
  • Who: Conference Technical Program Chair, Technical Program Committee
  • When: Begins 15 to 18 months before the conference

Each sponsor appoints members from its organization to represent them on the Technical Program Committee.

The Technical Program Committee oversees the submission and review of papers, and organizes the presentations delivered at the conference. Each Technical Program Committee also has a Technical Program Chair who is responsible for delivering a well-balanced and high-quality technical program at the conference.

If you’re building a Technical Program Committee, good choices for committee members are experts in their fields that represent different areas within the domain of the conference. The size and scope of your conference will dictate the number of members needed for the Technical Program Committee as well as the functions they perform.

All conferences planning a technical program should:

  • Define the scope for the technical program
  • Define quality standards for the technical program
  • Set deadlines for technical program activities
  • Communicate IEEE guidelines
  • Manage the Call for Papers
  • Manage the paper review process
  • Plan the presentation of papers
  • Coordinate with the Conference Publication Chair
  • Offer IEEE Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Define Quality Standards

Set guidelines for managing the quality of the technical program:

  • Establish standards for judging the quality of accepted papers
  • Develop reviewer guidelines
  • Estimate the number of papers to be submitted
  • Identify the number of reviews for each paper
  • Identify the number of papers assigned to each reviewer
  • Establish the acceptance rate for submitted papers
  • Choose tools to manage papers, validate formatting, and check for plagiarism
  • Determine conference policy for non-presented papers

Schedule Technical Program Activities

For a successful technical program, there are few things as important as making sure authors have the info they need to submit their work properly and on-time. Set a schedule that allows enough time for writing, reviewing, selecting, formatting, and publishing the conference papers. Publish all important dates on the website and in the Call for Papers so authors can meet deadlines. If deadlines are extended, contact IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events (CEE) to update your conference record and references in IEEE search and social media tools. Schedule dates for:

  • Define the scope of the conference – work with your IEEE Sponsor
  • Publication of the Call for Papers
  • Initial abstract and paper submission
  • Completed reviews
  • Author notification
  • Submission of IEEE Xplore®–compliant final papers in PDF format

Communicate IEEE Guidelines

Each conference is responsible for communicating IEEE policies to authors in the Call for Papers, website, and other materials. IEEE has the sole ability to decide which papers accepted for presentation at the conference are eligible to be included in the IEEE Conference Publications Program (CPP) and ultimately, in the IEEE Xplore® digital library:

  • Do not claim or guarantee that any papers will be published in IEEE Xplore®. IEEE can decline to publish the conference proceedings that do not meet IEEE quality standards
  • Do not claim or guarantee that any papers will be indexed in any database. Indexing services evaluate conferences and independently determine what they will index
  • It is important that the IEEE Sponsor participates in the development of the technical program. Failure to do so may exclude the publication for submission to Xplore®
  • Each conference determines its policy for papers that are accepted but that are not presented at the conference. If you decide that non-presented papers will not be published to IEEE Xplore®, then you must clearly communicate this to authors prior to the conference
  • Follow US regulations and policies for publications by authors in embargoed countries or that contain military- or defense-related subject matter. These regulations may affect paper and electronic distribution of your conference publications. These policies apply to all IEEE-sponsored and co-sponsored conferences, even when held outside the US with no US participants

Manage the Paper-Review Process

Your Technical Program Committee will be in charge of the paper-review process. Be sure to select independent reviewers (not a co-author or collaborator, not from the same institution, not a former student/advisor, etc.) who are knowledgeable in the subject area of the conference. The number of reviewers depends upon the estimated number of expected submissions and accepted papers, but three reviewers per paper is expected and two reviewers per paper is the absolute minimum.

Determine Plagiarism-Checking Policy

IEEE requires all publications to be submitted to a plagiarism-detection process prior to being uploaded to IEEE Xplore® to ensure the originality of content. Organizers are encouraged to sign up for CrossCheck, a plagiarism-detection tool that is offered at no cost to all IEEE publications. The Technical Program Chair can determine when the plagiarism checking will occur, whether at submission or upon acceptance.

If IEEE is unable to confirm that conference papers have been screened using CrossCheck, then IEEE will use for the conference CrossCheck prior to posting in IEEE Xplore®. The organizer will be notified of any problematic papers detected and held from IEEE Xplore®. If a paper is removed due to plagiarism, the conference will be responsible for notifying authors of the decision to remove the paper.

Coordinate with Conference Publication Chair

The Technical Program Chair coordinates with the Conference Publication Chair to provide authors with instructions for submitting papers for publication in IEEE Xplore®. The Conference Publication Chair submits the IEEE Publication Form and manages the production of conference publications. Only papers that were submitted to and accepted by this conference can appear in its conference publication.

Conference Presentation Types

Conference presentations are organized into different categories:

Type Description

The presentation of papers is the most common session at most conferences. Each author should have at least ten minutes to present his or her paper and at least five minutes for questions and answers.


Panels focus on a specific topic and usually include a chair and three or four speakers.

Multiple Presentations

You can schedule multiple presentations of selected papers to allow more attendees to hear popular papers or to ease problems with scheduling.

Poster Sessions

A poster is a visual representation of an author's scientific research. The purpose of the poster is to outline a piece of work in a form that can be quickly and efficiently communicated with the intention of stimulating interest and discussion. The presenters must be available to discuss their posters with other attendees. The most effective poster sessions allow enough time for each attendee to meet with a significant number of the poster presenters.

Workshops and Tutorials

By adding workshops and tutorials, you can provide additional opportunities for training on specific topics.

CEE Technical Program Management Services

Did you know that CEE offers full Technical Program (TP) support? Contact us today to learn more or request a quote.

We Are Here to Help

If you have questions about your technical program, want to report a concern, or would like to speak with a quality specialist, reach out any time to the CEE Conference Quality Team at