Engaging local small groups events to re-activate the membership

The lockdown due to COVID-19 has affected IEEE Region 8, as the activities we used to have couldn’t be held. No face-to-face meetings of any kind were allowed in most countries of Region 8, leading to turning a majority of such activities online. However, all the interaction happening in a face-to-face meeting was gone. One of the outcomes of this forced and immediate change to IEEE activities as we knew them before, led to a membership decrease since the beginning of the pandemic.

IEEE Region 8 brings hybrid meetings to restore the interest among each Organizational Unit (OU).

With the ability to restart life in its normal way as it was before, following first the necessary local regulations, IEEE Region 8 presents the distributed hybrid meetings. Aiming to be a breath of life for the majority of the OUs, hybrid meeting is a temporary program to keep members engaged while the current situation lasts.

This initiative focuses on organizing local events, with the physical presence to be optional, with no need to travel. Such events could run as possible recruitment events, presenting all the benefits that IEEE shared during the lockdown, and also how IEEE has contributed in the fight against COVID-19. IEEE Region 8 could furthermore provide support in the form of speakers, publicity, logistics, or even finances.

The form of such activities, could be technical talks by distinguished speakers, including live questions and discussion sessions. Moreover, it could be panels related to technology or other similar topics, or even soft skills development during this crisis. Additional activities could be workshops, hands-on sessions, hackathons or contests. A variety of possible activities or events, that could be set in a local physical area in small groups of participants, following the health regulations as provided by each country.

How hybrid meetings could work

But let’s share how actually this can happen.  A Student Branch Chapter can lead/hold a limited physical meeting (lecture/training), and at the same time this activity could be streamed live.

Universities might be a physical area which could possibly lead to lower the costs that could occur during the preparations. In general universities already have AV setups available in lecture rooms, so arranging a live stream can be quite easy.

IEEE Region 8 Support

In order to make this more possible to happen, and help retain the interest active among the members of each OU, IEEE Region 8 can help in a great manner.

  • Financial support on request, with budget allocated from the Region that can be used by the local organizing unit, for venue hiring, material, giveaways, refreshment.

However, no travel costs are covered, since travelling is not allowed.

The regional committee to decide on the funds allocation consists of the Vice Chair of Member Activities, the Vice Chair of Student Activities, the Vice Chair of Technical Activities, the Treasurer, the Director-Elect. While, the amount of funding is depending on the OU size and members that can be reached.

This initiative could be re-evaluated at any time according to the results and the changes in the pandemic situation. In order to get benefited now of this IEEE Region 8 initiative, and keep your members’ interest high and still engaged with the IEEE activities, you should plan your activity. Send an  email to director.elect@ieeer8.org with a description of your event/activity, the location happening with the date and time along with the number of people invited and number of people allowed by local regulations of the country. Moreover, identify the support needed from IEEE Region 8.

Keep in mind to allow at least two weeks and no more than six between the application and the event.