Chapter Wisdom
EMBS Value
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Great Speakers
Expanding Audience
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Increasing Membership
Metrics for the Chapter
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The Problem to Solve


The challenge: How to convince someone to come to your event in the face of other options such as staying at home,  spending time with family, working, enjoying friends, or working on hobbies?   

The Answer


The key is to provide an opportunity that:

  • has greater value in the eyes of the beholder than what could be gained from pursuing the other options.
  • allows the visitors to integrate some of the activities that they would normally do at home, at work, or with friends,  turning this educational event into a social event. 
    For instance, serving a meal that they would normally take at home or work, or creating a setting and topic that would attract their colleagues, friends, or spouses to the event,


 Value Stemming from the Event



The value in the events is multi-faceted


  • Educational experience
    • Quality of the information delivered
    • the relevance of the topic to the audience
  • Networking experience
    • Value of the relationships developed at the event
    • Amount of opportunity to meet new people
    • The prestige of meeting the speaker


Principles to understand

  • People will come for an interesting talk even if there is limited opportunity to meet others.  
  • People will rarely come to an event for an average talk even if there is a great networking experience. The reason is that they can get the networking done through other forms.
  • The size of the audience does not matter to the attendees if the speaker is outstanding.  In fact, an audience member will enjoy more the intimacy of the small setting than large setting with an outstanding speaker.   





High Caliber Speakers

are Easy to Find


High caliber speakers are often well known, are in the press, have published, and are networked.  Therefore, it is relatively easy to spot them.  Here are some natural approaches to finding possible names:

  • Look for IEEE Fellows in your EMBS distribution list. IEEE Fellows are professionals who have made remarkable contributions to the research field or industry.  Your chapter events are a great platform to bring the spotlight on their accomplishments. 


  • Search the names of faculty members of the Bioengineering schools and doctors in the schools of medicine of your local Universities.  You will often find biographies and descriptions of the research work being done. 


  • Search the website for past conferences in the field of medicine or bioengineering, all locations included, and study the speaker programs.  Look for speakers who live in your area.


  • Search the web using a location and a topic.  For instance:

"Medical Imaging" and "London, England"


Then investigate the list of companies or education centers that are in the field.  Choose people who have accomplished a lot and are working on very interesting topics.  To find their e-mail search on the person's name and type "email" in the search.  Often, their emails will come up. 


  • Check the list of Distinguished Speakers provided by EMBS and see if there is someone of interest in the list.  For the list and the instructions click here . There are some special financial incentives described in the Chapter Funding section of this website.   





Creating a list of target names is relatively easy.  Getting the speaker to say "YES" is more difficult. 


The key is to show the value that the speaker will gain from presenting to the audience.  So, here are some points of wisdom:


  • The prestige of IEEE will bring the speakers.  It is important to convey this in your message
  • Physicians and clinicians are intrigued to present to engineering audiences.  They view this as an opportunity to convey their needs to a group that may be able to develop a solution for them.  It offers also a great channel for them to get consulting opportunities.  Having IEEE as a platform to deliver their message is a great experience to add to their biography. 
  • Speakers get a full hour to talk, whereas they are often used to squeezing their material in 20 minutes or less.  The idea of having the time to present their accomplishments in one hour or more is often irresistible. 
  • If your event has one speaker only, being the "keynote speaker" is a great honor. 

To help with this solicitation process, you can find here an example of solicitation e-mail that seems to work well in getting speakers to say yes.  Feel free to customize it to the style that you would find appropriate for your setting. 


Don't hesitate to send the note 2 or 3 times if you get no response.  


Once the speaker is interested, you will need to be flexible with the date of event as high caliber speakers can be booked several months in advance.