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Registration fees are the main source of revenue for a conference. Conferences need to set fees that will cover the cost of running the conference and attract the most number of attendees. IEEE conferences set varying registration fees for members, non-members, Life members, students, and members of associated organizations.


Estimating registration fees

Required Task for Conference OrganizersThe finance committee, or treasurer, sets registration fees when preparing the budget. A conference has to estimate the anticipated revenue and expenses before setting registration fees.

When setting registration fees, consider:

  • Past registration fees
  • Exhibitor income and sponsorship income
  • Past number of attendees
  • Anticipated expenses
  • Cost of hiring a registration service
  • Local taxes and fees, such as value added tax (VAT), or goods and services tax (GST)

If you are organizing a new conference, you may not know what your registration fees should be. IEEE can help you estimate your fees.


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Set different types of fees

Required Task for Conference OrganizersClearly define the fees for each group attending the conference. Put in place procedures to collect payments and track all categories of registration, including attendee types, exhibitors, speakers, and VIPs.

  • For all IEEE financially sponsored and co-sponsored conferences, registration fees for members are less than for non-members. Special rates may be set for students, Life members, and other groups.
  • CategoryFee
    MemberThe base registration fee for the conference
    Non-member20% or more than the member registration fee paid in advance or on site. A benefit of membership is reduced fees at conferences, so you want to charge non-members more than members
    Sponsoring organization (IEEE)Equal to or less than the member registration fee. You may provide a reduced fee to members of the sponsoring organization to encourage members from their organization to attend
    Co-sponsoring organizations (non-IEEE)Equal to or greater than the member registration fee. You may provide a reduced fee to members of the sponsoring organization to encourage members from their organization to attend
    Student memberReduced or waived fees. Required where IEEE is the sole sponsor
    Life memberReduced or waived fees. Required where IEEE is the sole sponsor. The registration fee for a Life member must be the same or less than the Student member fee
    Students (non-members)

    Unemployed IEEE members

    Retired IEEE members

    Special VIP guests
    Reduced or waived fees. Reduced fees for these groups is at the discretion of the Conference Committee of the sponsoring organization
    Non-members who join IEEEThe difference between a member fee and a non-member fee paid by the attendee can be applied toward membership enrollment in IEEE

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Offer early-registration discounts

Required Task for Conference OrganizersMost conferences offer a discount for attendees who register early. Lower advance-registration fees encourage attendees to register early. Early-registration trends can let you know if you need to increase publicity for your conference.

  • Create a tiered list of fees for members and other types of groups.
  • Make the early-registration date as early as possible.
  • Don't extend the early-registration period.

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Charge for activities and special events

Many conferences include all meeting activities in the registration fee. Other conferences charge extra for activities and special events. You need to decide which payment method is best for your conference.

One fee for registration and all activities
  • Simplifies registration
  • Makes it easier to track conference income
Basic registration fee and optional fees added on for special events and activities
  • Keeps basic cost low
  • Makes it easier for attendees with limited budget to attend



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Establish a refund policy

Clearly state the refund policy on the registration form and conference website and in the registration-confirmation letter. Include information about the refund policy in conference promotional materials.

Typical refund policies:

  • Fees are refundable within 30 days of registration.
  • Refunds are made within seven to ten days of receiving the cancellation.
  • If a cancellation is made within 30 days of the start of the conference, the refund is made after the event.
  • The refund is reduced by a small fee, usually US$50 to US$100, to cover the administrative costs of processing and refunding a registration.

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Who do you talk to at IEEE?

IEEE is ready to help. If you have questions about setting registration fees, please contact IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events (MCE).

Do you have other questions about organizing a conference? Please see IEEE Conference Organizer Contacts.

Do you have feedback on the information on this page?

  • Is there missing or incorrect information?
  • Do you have a tip to share?

Please send your feedback to IEEE MCE.


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