IEEE Panel of Conference Organizers (POCO) 2020

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Panel of Conference Organizers (POCO) is an annual event conducted throughout the countries of IEEE Region 10. The main aim of this workshop is to share resources and ideas with all scientific associations and non-profit conference organizers. POCO convokes conference planners and decision makers to share conference practices, policies, approaches specific to IEEE and challenges in the conference background. The workshop is intended for all the faculties from engineering and industries who are interested in organizing an IEEE conference effectively. This time IEEE Malabar section got an opportunity to organize IEEE Panel of Organizers Conference (POCO) 2020. The event was scheduled and conducted on 18 and 19 December 2020. The participants had an opportunity to network and share ideas with the experts.  


The event took off exactly at 3 P.M (IST) on Friday, 18th December 2020. We had a turnout of around 75 attendees. The participants were different parts of country and few people from outside the country.  Ms. Dina Valapra & Ms. Anjana B, student volunteers from Malabar hub team had the role of “Master of Ceremony” for the day; they moderated the two-day event. 


Dr. Nafeesa K, Professor & Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, MES College of Engineering Kuttipuram formally welcomed all the eminent guests and participants to the event.

Dr. S D Madhu Kumar, Professor and Dean (student welfare) NIT Calicut and Chair, IEEE Malabar Subsection introduced the event to all the participants by sharing his prior experience of organizing mini-POCO 2018 at NIT Calicut and other events that took place under the banner of IEEE Malabar Subsection which includes, “Roadmap to success”, “Beyond the glass barriers 2020”, “Thursday webinar series” and the on-going “HACK SOC 2020 Hackathon”.


Dr. K R Suresh Nair, Chair, IEEE India Council inaugurated the event and gave us an insight of the benefits that the participants may gain from POCO 2020. 

Dr K P Mohandas, former professor and Dean, NIT Calicut and Senior Life Member, IEEE felicitated the occasion by explaining the pros and cons of conducting a virtual conference. By presenting a short video montage on IEEE R10 POCO 2020, Dr. Sabiq P V, Associate Professor, KMCT College of Engineering for Women and Vice Chair, IEEE Malabar Subsection, ended the Inaugural session with the vote of thanks.

The IEEE R10 POCO 2020 is outlined in with a total of 8 Talks and a Panel Discussion that will give an insight to “how to organize an IEEE conference in a better way?”

With just 30-minutes, Dr. K R Suresh Nair shared his years of experience of organizing flagship conferences. His presentation included insights on how to submit a proposal before organizing an event, how to prepare for an event, he also shared a very interesting story behind the success of TENCON 2019, which was hosted by IEEE Kerala Section. He ended the presentation by conveying the message that led him to organizing a successful conference, “Think Big”.

Dr. S M Sameer explained the three different conferences that IEEE supports. He highlighted the importance of financial stability with organizing a conference and how to manage different parameters to meet the expense. He also shared his rule-of-thumb, “As a conference treasurer, you must Negotiate, Negotiate and Negotiate (for each penny)”. 

Dr. G Santhosh Kumar introduced the participants to the world of conference management tools. His presentation made easy for the participants who wish to organize a conference soon by introducing several conference management tools, and he broadly enlightened each of those tools. Towards the end of his presentation, he showed the use of a free software by Microsoft® Research namely CMT® and another software namely EasyChair®.

Dr. Dhanukumar Pattanashetti opened the presentation by explaining what’s new with IEEE Xplore Digital Library, followed by Open Access program and IEEE Author Centre, which helps the users to find useful information regarding any research. Towards the end the POCO 2020 organizing team presented a token of appreciation to the speaker. With Dr. Pattanashetti’s session, day 1 came to a successful end.

The day 2 started exactly at 10 A.M (IST) on Saturday, 19th December 2020. We had a turnout of around 65 attendees. Ms. Anjana B welcomed all the audience to the second day of POCO 2020.

Dr. Puneet Kumar Mishra summarized about applying for an IEEE conference, and the importance of organizing a conference. He also explained the different ways of promoting a conference and the basic features of the IEEE MCE website. He explained the distinct steps that to be taken for an application to get successfully approved.

Dr. G Santhosh Kumar broadly explained about plagiarism and introduced several tools that could check for plagiarism like iThenticate, URKUND, Turnitin. Later he recounted “Copyright Clearance Centre” (CCC) – Permission for reuse.  He vastly showed the use of “Cross Check (similarity check)” portal and its features.

Dr. Biju K shared the ways of scheduling a conference which would ensure the success of an event. The main agenda of his presentation was: “Types of sponsorship”, “Timeline for conferences”, “Timeline for organizing committee members”, “Timeline for publication and reporting” and “Timeline for auditing process”. With his shared wisdom he concluded the session which spanned over a series of 8 individual ideas.

The 45-minute discussion offered the aspirants a unique opportunity to interact with our competent panellists. Their discussion provided clarity to the participants down to even the minor detail, which helped them in a wide range. With the panel discussion, the two-day event came in to a successful ending.

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