Computer Society conference organizers do not need to navigate the challenges of this unprecedented time alone. The Computer Society’s team of experienced meeting planners are supporting conference organizers through every step of the planning process, including planning considerations related to COVID-19. Contact Conferences@computer.org to be connected with your meeting planner, who will help guide and support you with your conference planning.
My conference cannot take place as planned. What are my options?
Any decision should first and foremost take into account whatever is best for safety of conference attendees, volunteers, and staff. Conference organizers have three options should circumstances prevent a conference from taking place as scheduled:
- Virtual Event
- Publication Only
- Conference can be moved to a later date in the calendar year, but must take place within the SAME calendar year.
- Conference can take place in the same location, or be moved to a different location.
- Other options such as co-location or scheduling immediately after another conference under same TC may also be available.
- Contact your CS Meeting Planner if you are considering rescheduling and BEFORE you take any actions related to rescheduling the conference, including contract re-negotiation or cancellation.
- The conference takes place in a virtual environment, where authors present their work and interact with attendees, instead of in-person.
- The goal is to mimic the actual conference experience as much as possible while making it straightforward for the Conference Organizers to run.
- There are multiple virtual platforms available. Contact your CS Conference Planner to discuss which option is the right fit and for support navigating the process
- While foregoing the in-person component of the conference, you may complete the publication process and make the content available to the conference authors.
- Authors are required to pay a registration fee. Your CS meeting planner will work with you on what that fee should be.
- Content will then be submitted to IEEE Xplore.
- You will need to provide details about your peer review process in a timely manner to ensure no delays to final posting in Xplore.
Do I need to submit a new budget for approval?
- If you choose to reschedule, pivot to virtual, or publish only, you will need to submit a new budget.
- Work with your CS meeting planner to create an updated budget that reflects changes to your conference.
- The TC Chair and Conference Management will review and approve.
Timing of decisions and communication
When should you start communication with authors and attendees?
- As soon as possible – IEEE Computer Society has created a communication document with messaging options that should be added to your conference site. You can also send a message to authors and any registered attendees separately. The sooner you start the conversation the more assured attendees and authors will feel that you are on top of the situation.
- Start working with your CS Meeting Planner to ensure this can be done quickly.
When will your Meeting Planner work with the hotel and other vendors in case of cancellation/postponement?
- Immediately – Your CS Meeting Planner should have contacted all conference organizers regarding COVID-19 and its possible implications for your conference.
- If you have not received a message from your CS Meeting Planner, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will link you to your assigned planner to start the conversation.
When is a final decision needed?
- This is determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Your Meeting Planner will work with you to keep messaging simple and flexible, and establish a plan for when and how to communicate it to your attendees.
How do we process refunds?
- All fees must be finalized before refunds begin.
- All attendees should be provided the same message, or at least a message at the same time.
- Organizers must have a clear plan for refunds:
- Refund amount must be specified.
- How attendees/authors request their refund to be processed, if applicable.
- Always be sure to account for wire transfer fees.
- Communicate to attendees when refunds should be expected, to help manage expectations.
What happens to my proceedings if the conference is postponed/goes virtual?
- Proceedings continue as usual for your conference.
- Changes in deadlines are made on a case by case basis, taking into account:
- Where the conference is in the peer review and final proceedings process.
- The conference community’s reaction to delaying the proceedings vs. posting them at the time the conference was initially scheduled.
- For Virtual conferences the proceedings process remains the same.
- If the conference wants to capture video presentations, it is recommended to do so in conjunction with the final papers, if possible.
- Content normally posts to Xplore after the conference end date. If this is an issue for your community due to postponing your conference, let your CS meeting planner know. They will work with the IEEE Xplore team to find a solution.
What is cancellation?
A cancelled conference means that the proceedings will not be submitted to IEEE Xplore. If conference research is published and made available to an attendee base the conference is not cancelled, but is considered “Publish Only.”