Generating Income and
Improving Communications
Within Your Local Section -for Medium to Large Sections
Paul Wesling, IEEE Life Fellow
Past Communications Director,
IEEE SF Bay Area Council
Past Editor, e-GRID nsltr
and GRID.pdf Magazine
San Francisco Section
Oakland/East Bay Section
Santa Clara Valley Section
San Francisco Bay Area Council, IEEE
The IEEE GRID Magazine
Download this talk, and the extensive
background material, templates, etc, at:
You can view these slides at
Subscribe yourself to our e-GRID:
To contact me:
Paul Wesling
[email protected] +1-408-320-1105
1: How the SFBA Council Does It
2: How You Can Do It
3: Where is the Money?
4: Viewing Your Resources
5: The Right Person
6: Selecting Tools (keeping them simple)
7: Getting Paid
8 : Some Examples
Chapter 1:
Medium to Large Sections
Who we are – S.F. Bay Area Council:
– Three Sections (SF, OEB, SCV)
– Three Sections combined (~18,000 members)
 Includes Largest Section in the world
 About 48 chapters/groups
– SFBA Council (board) reports to the Sections
– Serving Silicon Valley (entrepreneurial environ.)
Our GRID Magazine was started in 1953
– Printed as a monthly magazine until 1998
– Now Web, email, blog, RSS, eNotice, ListServ
Focus of Talk
Sections with 4 or more active Chapters
– Each with 5 or more meetings/year
– Perhaps also with PACE, YP, Life, WIE
Willingness to Improve/Expand
Top-Level View, for your awareness:
– You Section Officers are “decision-makers”
– You’ll find other volunteers, for
– The downloadable examples and
resources will give your helpers a good start
Your Job Today
As a Section leader, you should focus on:
– The VISION – can you do this locally?
– What RESOURCES you may already have
When you discuss this – the challenges:
– Who can work with you to implement this
– See it as a Multi-Year project
– Ideas about what your “Comm’ns Director/
Editor” would be like; who could do it
– How to leverage what I’ll be telling you
Your IEEE “Franchise”
Each Section (or Group of Sections):
– Geographical monopoly
– We don’t compete for advertising funds
– We can share freely and help each
other to improve the IEEE “where we
So, sit back and “think broadly” about
what can be accomplished …
An Overview of our
S.F. Bay Area Council
Chapter 1:
We’re bigger than you – thus, different:
– Opportunities; challenges
We’ve been doing this for some decades
We will review our recent developments:
– 10 years to develop our Internet-based
– Do it a few steps at a time
– Gather ideas, for consideration
– Implement what works in your locale
The GRID “System”
The GRID is a powerful publicity utility/
service for Chapters in the Bay Area Sections:
– As a monthly PDF – the GRID.pdf
– As a twice-a-month e-GRID email to Members &
others (circulation of about 33,000
– As a website (events come up in Google searches)
– As a web log (blog) and RSS feed - Google indexing
<30 minutes –
– As a Google Calendar that people can integrate
into their own Calendar
– As iOS and Android Apps (look for “IEEE GRID”)
– Aimed at both Members and non-Members (to
encourage non-members to attend and get involved)
GRID services: the GRID.pdf
Front cover of the GRID.pdf
is a hyperlinked index to
the issue
Each Chapter mtg is profiled,
linked to the full details inside
Paid Conferences are profiled
and linked to internal ads
Chapter Seminars, Paid University Courses are highlighted,
linked to internal descriptions
GRID Services: the GRID.pdf
Each Chapter meeting has
its own feature page with
overview of talk, details, bio
sketch, and space for our
These can be “extracted”
from the full PDF to provide
a Chapter with a small
document (~60 kB) that
can be circulated separately
to Members
GRID services: the e-GRID e-
First Screen
“Push” Technology – Sent
as an email to all Council
Members twice a month
• All future upcoming meetings,
Webinars, chapter seminars
• Sent also to non-Member
subscribers (ListServ)
• There is also a text-only
version, for those who
• The e-GRID tends to be forwarded to
request it
co-workers around the company/lab
GRID services: the e-GRID
Second Screen
Upcoming Chapter
meetings – summaries,
• The e-GRID Conference
Calendar lists upcoming
conferences, workshops
• Paid Conferences – plus
Chapter seminars,
classes and workshops
– are profiled for 6 to 8
weeks before the event
Sending out
the e-GRID
• Use IEEE’s e-Notice system to
send to all your Section members
• Removes those not
wanting emails
• Fill out the Web form
• Set up an IEEE ListServ Dlist
for non-Members (eg, past
members and unaffiliated
engineers) to self-subscribe
• The “other 95%” of engineers
• See
Sending out the e-GRID
• We have arranged to send a reduced-content
e-GRID quarterly to a neighboring Section:
• Sacramento Valley Section
• For their awareness, since some Chapter
meetings are within driving distance
GRID services:
the GRID Website
Links to the
QuickRef Calendar,
“contact us”
Each Chapter meeting
is profiled, and linked
to details on chapter’s
own website
Banner ads for paid
advertised University
Paid banner ads for
upcoming conferences
The GRID Blog and RSS Feed
Meeting Title, Details
All, or “Category”:
Eg, BioEng, Comm’ns,
Computers/SW, Power,
Design, Engng Mgmt, Nano,
Optics, semiconductors
Search function
Paid Conf ads
WordPress automatically
creates an RSS feed …
Used for iOS, Android Apps
eg, SAGE in Firefox
browser (sidebar)
(CNN, NYTimes,
CNET, IEEE, etc)
Most recent 10
“Stories” in
selected blog
Story Summaries
August 21, 2011
Google Calendar
Paid Conferences
Chapter Meetings
August 21, 2011
Blog Posts / RSS Stories
For the GRID:
– I average about 50 Posts per month
– Google “camps on” our RSS feed; response
is about 30 minutes from “post” to a
Google “alert”
An RSS Feed for your Section?
– Subscribers expect news at least a few
times a week
– Probably not needed until you create
Android, iOS Apps
Tracking Activities
Even with 48 Chapters/Units, I use paper:
– A single sheet for each month
– Tracking sheet
for advertisers
– Keep it simple!
3D Arch
Dec 12-14
Masters of these sheets are in the ZIP file
½ pg
½ pg
GRID Success?
Revenue of ~ US$ 75 000/year
– Detailed breakdown later
Expenses of ~ US$ 45 000/year
– Therefore, $30k surplus for our Sections
While IEEE membership is declining:
– e-GRID IEEE ListServ Dlist is increasing:
< 1 000 (2004), 8 000 (2011), 15,000 (2014)
-- 5% CAGR
– Adding 3 500 each year (non-members)
– From ASME, ACM, unaffiliated engineers
– Drawn by the services that we provide
to the profession
“Magazines” from other
Twice a month
Gujarat Section
Meetings, Student events
Rochester (NY)
SE Michigan Sec.
August 21, 2011
Dehli Section
Toronto Section
August 21, 2011
Your Section?
There are many existing examples:
– Look at what other similar Sections
are doing
– Adopt some of the others’ Best
Your Section may already have a
Newsletter or Magazine to “monetize”
– What could be your “expansion”
Chapter 4:
Where is the money?
Major Sources (results from SFBAC GRID: 2010)
– IEEE Conferences (18)
US$ 17 225
– Non-IEEE Conferences (19)
32 875
– University/Extension Classes (3) 6 000 ( 8.5%)
– Employment Ads (2)
1 400 ( 2%)
– Chapter Seminars, Wkshops (4)
5 000 ( 7%)
– “Marketplace” (9)
4 900 ( 7%)
– Misc (7)
3 625 (
TOTAL, for 2010: $ 71 035
Of 37 conferences, 29 were “local” and 8 were
out-of-area: San Diego, Anaheim, Beijing,
Portland, Dallas, Boston
Targets for Advertising
Non-IEEE conferences (about 50%)
– Includes ASME, ACM, SPIE, others
– Charge them 33% more than IEEE ones
– For access to your Section’s members
IEEE Conferences coming to your area
– Work directly with their volunteer leaders
Universities and Univ. Extensions
– Publicizing technical courses
Employment ads, local seminars/workshops
Rate Sheet and Options
August 21,
Full Flyer:
Rate Sheet and Options
SFBAC has 17,000 Members & 15,000 on ListServ
- You will have fewer (but, build it up)
- Scale down from our pricing
- SqRoot scale (1/4 the members: 1/2 price)
- Depends on your local conditions, costs
- below some price, not worth the effort
Remember: Conferences want access:
- to your members and their companies
- You have a valuable resource, for them
- Do not under-price your services
Why charge IEEE conferences
more than local events?
Most IEEE Conferences belong to
They leave no money in your local
– It all goes to their Society office
Our objective - give them a choice:
– They can partner with a local
 Typical: 5% of surplus goes to Chapter (no
August 21, 2011
 They
get an additional 33% discount on
Generating Income
and Improving
Where to find Conferences
IEEE Conferences:
Non-IEEE Conferences:
– Keep adding websites to
your Bookmarks
– ASME, ACM, AIEE, local Convention Center …
Check them every 1 to 2 months (for new ones)
Get on organization eMailing Lists
(yeah, looks like spam …)
Deciding WHICH Conferences
For IEEE ones: look at projected attendance
– Less likelihood, for attendance < 300
– Best chances: for 500 or more
– Best for 2.5- and 3-day events; Less for 1-day
– Best: Convention Center, large hotels
Conference budgets are ~US$50 000 - $250 000
– Charging $500 - $1 000 is a small portion
– About equal to 1 or 2 additional attendees
How to Approach a Conference
Do your homework:
– Review website, Program, Earlybird date, etc
– Get names/emails of people on the
– Develop std.
for your quote
– Make it look
– We are a
In Full Flyer:
Show “full list price”,
then give them the
discount (if appropriate)
Send Proposal to Conference
Introductory email, customized
Attach Worksheet, Rate Sheet, Example
Technical Classes; Skills Classes
University Extensions
Local Providers
They value access
of classes
to our Members!
They can be good,
regular clients
Chapter Seminars, Workshops
Low-cost Chapter seminars get free publicity
- Above ~US$75/day, they purchase their publicity
Financially Strong Chapters
make a strong Section.
Conference Tutorials/Courses
One- and Twoday Classes
Associated with
a Conference
Can get additional
Every service you offer
revenue by publiadds value for your client
cizing them
-- and earns its fee!
They add value for your members, too.
What does your
Section Have to Offer?
Chapter 4:
Key to developing a community, loyalty,
readership is having content:
– Several Chapter Meetings each month
– Maybe Section technical meetings
– Open meetings/lectures from your
Student Chapter or University
– But, might need more, to make the
content “rich”, relevant for local
Expanding your Chapters
Your Job: to select two or three Chapters that
might be started in your Section
– Challenge: grow your services to local IEEE
members by one new chapter each year ….
– Perhaps appoint a past Section Chair to be in
charge of new-chapter formation
Bi-Weekly Content for your eNsltr
What else to add?
(to make it more useful):
– Subscribe to notifications
IEEE-USA Webcasts
– Subscribe to notifications
Local Science Fairs, Maker Fairs
Other Local Publicity Opportunities
“Adopt” chapters from a nearby Section:
– Publicize their meetings, if within driving
distance of many of your own members
Partner with a neighboring Section
Involve any Student Branch Chapters
– Some of their activities, lecture series may
be open to local engineers
Remember: Content is the Driver –
you need it, to be relevant
– This is why engineers access your news
Other News to Publicize
IEEE “corporate” news
– Xplore updates, renewals, RSS,
– Jobs website
Society resources
– CS: Cloud Computing videos; “Silver Bullet”
Podcast series
– ComSoc: periodic free archived webinars
– SPECTRUM: Science & Tech podcasts
– IEEE-USA: free Wiley e-books
Getting Advertising
Remember: non-IEEE conferences contribute
twice as much revenue as IEEE ones – focus
on these.
IEEE conferences can be easier to find
Focus first on conferences coming to your
– Then, reach out to regional conferences
– For GRID, “West Coast of USA” works well
 San Diego, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle,
 Even Boston, Beijing, Singapore, Taiwan
Success Rate
For IEEE conferences: about 40%
For non-IEEE conferences: about 50%
For local Chapter seminars: about 70%
For University extensions: about 50%
You can get several proposal turndowns for each proposal accepted
Key: scouring the web for coming
events, CFPs; being pro-active in
sending out bids
Chapter 5:
The “Right Person”
Yes, a permanent paid staff of several people
would be nice – but not practical
Need to be dependent on one part-time person
(maybe a retired Life Member)
– Yes, creates uncertainty about continuity
– What about succession? Training someone
– Limited capabilities, dependent on person
Need to live with uncertainty
– Solves the problem for a few years …
Alternative: Stay the same
The “Right Person”
Your “person” becomes “Mr/Ms IEEE”
– For your Section and Chapters
– Emphasis on customer service
– Helpful, Positive, Enthusiastic
– Your representative for the IEEE
Support your Comm’ns Director/Editor:
– Help invigorate current chapters
– Start new chapters, based on local skills/needs
– Don’t micro-manage – delegate
– Set up access: SAM*IEEE, CBRS, etc.
– Be there to help
Formalizing the Contract
Use IEEE “Independent Contractor” form
– Candidate must have “other income” (USA’s IRS)
– Cannot work solely for your Section
– Work with MGA staff on details for your locale
Annual contract, renewable
Two main parts to job:
1. Publicizing local activities, keeping up the
website, editing the magazine and e-Newsletter
2. Selling and composing ads (revenue)
Part 1: Publicizing Local Activities
This portion generates no revenue
Decide on a fair “monthly fee” based on:
– Amount of work (approx 1/5th time: 30 hrs/month)
– Expected coverage and output
– Start with PDF magazine and 2X/month e-nsltr
– Also website editor, Dlists, chapters support
May expand, as more publicity methods added:
– Blog/RSS feed, Calendar, iOS/Android App, etc.
Part 2: Selling and Composing Ads
Suggestion – pay a commission:
– Contractor earns 20% (or 25%) of revenue
– Shared-Success model (win-win)
 The more he/she gets, the more the Section gets
Encourages strong focus on selling advertising:
Being pro-active, continuous improvement, etc.
Watching for coming conferences (IEEE, non-)
Local universities, extensions, course providers
Local chapter seminars, workshops
Local Employers, Recruiters
Monthly Payment Amount
Depends on your Section
– Based on what would be appropriate
– What can your Section budget allow
In USA, might be:
– Monthly editing/webmaster fee: perhaps $500
– Monthly 20% commission: $400 to perhaps $800
 Based on sales of $2 000 to $4 000/month
In my case (supporting 48 chapters, 3 Sections):
– Monthly fee: $2 350/month (~ 60 hours/month)
– Commission: 20%; varies from $600 to $2 000
Your Editor’s Title
Make it authoritative:
– You’re free to “invent”
– Helps establish authority with clients
 Clients can work with your DIRECTOR …
– “Communications Director”
Local phone
Twitter handle
Formalizing your Section’s
Request that your new office be added
to the IEEE Staff Directory
So IEEE staff, Society staff will be
aware of your office
– They can contact you for advertising,
local support and referrals, etc.
To help your contractor get started:
– “How to Start a Home-Based Business,”
Bert Holtje and Susan Shelly (2010 - about
– “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being a
Successful Entrepreneur,” John Sortino
Let contractor purchase own tools:
– Computer, laptop, broadband, phone
(VoIP), software (free?), licenses, business
cards …
– Work from home (or his/her own office)
Your Contractor
In USA: Sole Proprietorship or LLC
Advantages of Schedule C (on Tax return)
– Write off medical, dental, long-term care,
Medicare premiums
– Set up tax-advantaged retirement plans
– Write off tools, equipment, licenses, costs
It helps if your contractor is an engineer:
– Understand technical talk, language
– Knows IEEE, conference/chapter volunteers
– Might be retired Life Member
Chapter 6: Suggested Tools
Website and ISP (Server)
– 1and1 (German company): $10/month
– Apache, MySQL, CGI, PERL, PHP, Javascript,
– Basically unlimited hosting (Domains, Email)
- $15/year per domain
FTP Client:
– Stand-alone
– FileZilla (no cost)
– For FTP uploads/downloads, file manipulation
Editing, Graphics Tools
I prefer Adobe Dreamweaver
– Part of Adobe CS5.5 for Web
– Can usually get it donated from Adobe
– I use HTML mode (write in native HTML)
– Has built-in WYSIWYG editor, FTP agent
Graphics (banner ads):
Also Photoshop
Elements, for JPGs
Adobe FireWorks
– Part of Adobe CS5.5 for Web
– Also in CS5: Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash,
Acrobat 9 Pro, Distiller, etc.
Browser (and setup)
Firefox, with
- LittleFox
- TabMix Plus
- Firefox Sync
Start up with ~9
Tabs open to
key pages
Shows local copy of
GRID Website Home Page
Banner-ad server
Local copies of key files
Google Calendar
IEEE ListServ
Creating Your Magazine
I use MS WORD 2003 on a Windows 7 PC
– Home: Fast desktop, large LCD screen
– Travel: Simple 15.5” Laptop
Template pages for Ads, for Chapter Mtgs
August 21, 2011
Only use “system
fonts”: Arial, Times
Distilling the Magazine
I use my (free) Acrobat X Pro’s Distiller
– Set it to not embed fonts (saves ~200 kB)
 Viewer’s system uses “local” System Fonts
– Re-sample graphics to 150 dpi (saves ~2 MB)
– Achieve 40-page magazine in 800 kB file
– So, easy for people to email it around
Not “Print Quality”, but utilitarian
– Perfect, for your Section’s purpose
– Good enough for engineers!
Blog and
RSS Feed
Easy to install
on your server;
No cost (open
Generates the
RSS Feed
Ad Server
csBanner program
(about $40 to own)
Runs on Server
Resources – Summary
– Efficient workflow can be set up
– Tools need not be expensive
– Each Tool has a learning curve – takes time
– Dependent on your Editor’s skills, methods
– Customized for your own Section
Your experience will vary!
Chapter 7: Creating Invoices
Any “Business” level of
(I use 2013 Premiere
Home and Business)
Customized, for each client
Mailing the Invoice
Important to send Committee the ad copies
Hand mark-up, circle in blue marker
Most payments come to me as checks
– Save up for the month
– Send to the Section Treasurer
Credit card payments
– Not preferred (you lose ~3% of the value)
– Can be cleared through IEEE Conf Services
– Deposited directly to Concentration Bank Acct
IEEE Conferences, events:
– You can have them transfer directly from their
Concentration Banking Account to yours
“Deadline” email every two weeks
Chapter 8:
Forming a
local IEEE
Email to
for Chapter, Section
Your Section’s Contribution …
Your implementation will differ from
Please share your own best practices
– Then I can make our GRID better!
We can have stronger, growing Sections
Better services to our local members
Less dependence on funds from MGA
Region 6 Initiative for 2015
Step-by-step tutorials will be made, to
show exactly how I do each step
Active screen capture plus audio
Initial ones should be ready for your
volunteer/contractor during January
Being funded by SF Bay Area Council
and Region 6, for use worldwide
Download this talk, and the extensive background
material, templates, etc, at:
You can view these slides at
Subscribe yourself to our e-GRID:
To contact our S.F./Silicon Valley Office:
Paul Wesling
[email protected] +1-408-320-1105
Thanks for your attention!
Questions, Discussion and Comments
Your local experience
“Show and Tell”
– see my Examples, being passed around
Generating Income and
Improving Communications
Within Your Local Section -for Medium to Large Sections
Paul Wesling, IEEE Life Fellow
Past Communications Director,
IEEE SF Bay Area Council
Past Editor, e-GRID nsltr
and GRID.pdf Magazine
San Francisco Section
Oakland/East Bay Section
Santa Clara Valley Section
San Francisco Bay Area Council, IEEE
The IEEE GRID Magazine
Download the extensive background material,
templates, etc, at:
You can view the these slides at
Subscribe yourself to our e-GRID:
To contact our S.F./Silicon Valley Office:
Paul Wesling
[email protected] +1-408-320-1105

Section Comm`ns Region SD B, Paul Wesling