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Feb 15, 2010

February 2010: Message from the VP

The IEEE Signal Processing Society organizes around twenty conferences, symposia and workshops, and technically co-sponsors another ten or so meetings each year. The success of these events depends integrally on the enthusiasm, talent and efforts of the volunteer organizers like you. Thank you so much for your involvement with organizing Signal Processing Conferences.

As the Vice President for Conferences, I chair the Conference Board of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. In 2010 the Conference Board is continuing to focus on three strategic priories and directions; improving the quality of our conferences and other technical meetings, improving access to our conferences to a geographically, economically and vocationally diverse group of attendees, and enhancing the services we provide conference volunteers.

In this note, let me tell you about couple of activities in the third strategic priority described above – enhancing service to the volunteers. During the last year, the Society’s conference staff, under the capable leadership of our conference services manager Lisa Schwarzbek worked on identifying conference management companies that meet the Society’s needs and standards of service. The Conference Board has approved a list of six preferred companies that each conference may seek management services from. Information about these companies can be found at http://www.signalprocessingsociety.org/uploads/conferences/conf_mgmt_companies.pdf. Using one of these companies will make your life much easier since you can engage them without issuing an open request for proposal (RFP) for services, and the society can help you with the contracting issues without significant additional work.

A second area that the Society is now working on is the development of a comprehensive tool we lovingly call COS (Conference Organizer Solutions). COS, when implemented will provide conference organizers a uniform tool for paper processing and registration, financial management, and volunteer training. The Society’s executive committee recently approved the funds to implement the tool, and during this year, the staff will work with an outside vender and several groups of volunteer conference organizers to design a system that best serves the needs of all our conference events. We anticipate unveiling the tool before the end of 2010.

From time to time, I will write to you with news and perspectives from the Society leadership. I would love to hear from you about your conference organization experiences, both positive and negative, as well as your ideas for improving our conferences. Thank you again for your service to the Society and the Signal Processing Community. It is truly my pleasure and privilege to work with you in this most important function of the IEEE Signal Processing Society.

- V. John Mathews, VP-Conferences, mathews@oregonstate.edu