Key roles and responsibilities

There are five key roles for any conference.

  • General Chair: Appointed by the sponsoring organization. Often responsible for selecting the conference location. Appoints the chairs of the other committees, who make up the conference committee. 
  • Finance Chair and Treasurer: Depending on the size of the conference, a committee may be necessary to ensure all financial, tax, and audit requirements are met. Some of these requirements include establishing conference bank accounts, indirect tax, insurance and bonding, budget, expenses, financial reports, and conference closing. Also responsible for the final audit, if required. 
  • Program Chair: Ensures that a well-balanced, high-quality program is organized and presented at the conference. Handles the Call for Papers through the selection and review of every paper. Assists in the scheduling of session rooms and helping with local arrangements for the program. 
  • Publications Chair: Responsible for the coordination of production of conference content (e.g., papers from special tutorial sessions or colloquia, summaries of conference papers, programs, etc.) and serves as the point of contact for all Xplore submission-related inquiries before and after the conference. 
  • Publicity & Public Relations Chair: Gathers, maintains, and utilizes lists of media contacts and past and potential attendees for targeted outreach; promotes the conference through placements in various publication calendars and advertisements in IEEE and non-IEEE publications and news media. May also develop and manage the website and any social-media applications.

Depending on the size and scope of the conference, these chairs may set up committees to work with them.

Typical conference committees

Your conference may choose to establish committees to assist with specific functions. These committees are merely suggestions; feel free to establish the number and type of committees particular to the needs of a specific conference. Be sure to create a clear definition of roles and responsibilities and a reporting structure.

  • Registration Committee: Plans and runs conference registration (both advance and on site) procedures and logistics, including handling of credit card fees, cancellation policy, and creation of name badges; or, it manages a registration-management company. 
  • Exhibits Committee: Ensures proper handling of contracts, floor space, exhibitor registration, security, and other logistics; or, it manages an exhibits-management company.
  • Local Arrangements Committee: Works with local vendors, management companies, the conference, and other committees in the planning of the conference space, including room set-up, hiring of entertainment, tours, and other local logistics. This committee also works with the local Convention & Visitors’ Bureau, if applicable.

Who do you talk to at IEEE?

IEEE is ready to help. If you have questions about the conference committee structure or have other questions about organizing a conference contact the IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events (MCE) team.

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