IEEE VIS General Chair Applications & Bid Process

IEEE VIS welcomes applications from candidates who would like to act as General Chairs in hosting future conferences.

Those who are interested should use the IEEE VIS General Chair Application Form to contact the VIS Executive Committee (VEC) with their ideas, credentials and possible host cities.

We are looking to hold IEEE VIS in well-connected cities around the world that could provide the facilities and backdrop for an excellent conference.

Former General Chairs describe the role, offering some experience of Being General Chair of IEEE VIS to inspire others to lead our community into the VIS future.


IEEE VIS conferences are established through a two-stage process, involving 15 steps :

STAGE 1. INITIAL APPLICATION: General Chairs and General Location

Potential General Chairs express their interest in hosting the conference by submitting a short VIS General Chair Application Form for consideration by the VEC.

The form asks for:

  1. names and credentials in terms of the applicants’ contributions to visualization and their planning and delivery of previous projects to tight budgets and timelines
  2. when you might be able to host VIS - which years
  3. initial ideas about the region or city in which VIS may be held
  4. any local support that might be provided

The VEC will consider these applications and will provisionally approve attractive and strong applications. The approved ones will be moved forward to Stage 2 (described below, Detailed Bid) - establishing a time and specific location for the conference. Depending on the current schedule of planned future conferences, this may occur:

  • immediately, for a near future conference, or
  • subsequently for a later conference

STAGE 2. DETAILED BID: Specific Location and Venue from Provisionally Approved Chairs

Provisionally approved General Chairs will be introduced to IEEE contacts and will then work with the IEEE and the conference Finance Chairs to identify and secure suitable venues for the conference, accommodation and associated activities, to develop a detailed bid to deliver the IEEE VIS conference on a particular date.

IEEE will provide support in assessing venues, negotiating prices, finding accommodation and contracts, etc. in developing this full bid. The level and specifics of support provided by the IEEE will depend on the general location, but discussions with IEEE representatives are essential at this stage. The intention will be to develop a full bid that involves a host city, specific venue, costings, and options for timing. The VEC will consider such bids and establish a series of future conferences accordingly.


  • The role of General Chairs (GCs) may be fulfilled by an individual or a small team (maximum of three), who work together closely with well-defined roles.
  • The conference will be run in close association with the VIS Steering Committee (VSC) and VEC in accordance with the roles and responsibilities described in the IEEE VIS Charter.
  • The bid can be for a different city than where the GCs live or work, to open up the chair-ship to people who live in places that are not amenable for hosting large conferences.
  • Dates should be in the mid-October to early-November time frame.
  • The VEC would like some flexibility in terms of the year in which the conference will occur, to be able to vary geographic locations year by year.
  • If you have any questions about this process or want to discuss your ideas, please contact the VEC at
  • Note suggested timings and locations are indicative at this stage and venues are not considered. Decisions on timings and venue are determined in close collaboration with the IEEE who contact venues and establish a detailed proposal depending upon costs and availability once potential General Chairs and indicative timings and locations have been approved.

Important Dates


Y -n refers to n years before the conference in year Y. Example: “Step 6, VEC: Decide & Inform, Oct 31, Y -3” means that location for VIS X+3 is decided during VIS X, i.e., 3 years before. Y -0 is the year of the VIS conference.

GPF Chairs refers to the General Chairs, Program Chairs, and Finance Chairs.

Step Who What Deadline Year Turnaround
1 Potential GCs Stage 1: Initial Application Feb 15 Y -3  
2 VEC Review Apr 15 Y -3 6 weeks
3 VEC Chair Connect Apr 22 Y -3 1 week
4 IEEE Liaison Request & Respond May 31 Y -3 5 weeks
5 Provisional GCs Stage 2: Detailed Bid Aug 31 Y -3 3 months
6 VEC Decide & Inform Oct 31 Y -3 3 months
7 IEEE Liaison Release/Confirm Dec 15 Y -3 2 weeks
8 IEEE Liaison + GPF Chairs Negotiate Mar 31 Y -2 4.5 months
(steps 8-10)
9 IEEE Liaison + GPF Chairs Site Visit 1 Mar 31 Y -2 4.5 months
(steps 8-10)
10 Finance + General Forms Mar 31 Y -2 4.5 months
(steps 8-10)
11 GPF Chairs Approve Apr 15 Y -2 2 weeks
12 IEEE Legal Sign Jun 1 Y -2 4 or 6 weeks
13 IEEE Liaison + GPF Chairs Additions Mar Y -1  
14 IEEE Liaison + GPF Chairs Site Visit 2 Apr Y -0  
15 All Conference Oct Y -0  


The target timeline is intended to confirm General Chair and venue in Y -3. Late decisions may need to be made if the timeline is not achieved for any reason. In such situations, VEC and the VIS community will need to work diligently to catch up with the target timeline as quickly as possible. The target timeline provides a basis for planning and a means of detecting the need for such urgent action. Equally, early decisions about Y -4 and Y -4+ may be possible on a case-by-case year-by-year basis.

Procedure Details

1. Potential General Chairs (GCs): Express Interest

Inform the VEC of your interest in acting as General Chair for IEEE VIS, by submitting a short VIS General Chair Application Form, filling out the following details:

  1. The information of the organizing team (GCs and other people who are part of the bid), and their experiences;
  2. The years that are possible and any local concerns that may constrain precise timings
  3. General locations - the region or cities that might be considered; and
  4. Any relevant support that might be provided by your employer(s), the hosting city, or through other affiliations (e.g. administrative support, financial support, etc.)

Deadline: Feb 15 Y -3

2. VEC: Review

The VEC will review the applications to provisionally approve General Chairs for future conferences. Deadline: April 15 Y -3

3. VEC Chair: Connect

For the bids within North America, put the provisional GCs in touch with the IEEE Liaison to VIS, VIS Program Chairs and VIS Finance Chairs who will initiate the engagement with venues in the target city. For the bids in cities outside of North America, send the provisional GCs the current standard template that the IEEE Liaison uses for venue engagement as a source of logistics information.

Deadline: April 22 Y -3

4. IEEE Liaison: Request & Respond (North American bids only)

IEEE Liaison sends out a customized RFPs (Request for Proposals) to venues in the target city, within one week of hearing from the VEC Chair, with a two-week cutoff date for the venues to respond. The Liaison will forward the full set of responses within two weeks of that date.

The customized RFPs will be based on the standard RFP template, which has already been vetted by the finance and program chairs and includes information on meeting room size requirements, room rates, wifi, food/beverage, student volunteer rooms, hotel rebates if held at convention center, and other logistics issues that most prospective general chairs will not be deeply familiar with. Having the IEEE Liaison in the loop from the very beginning of initial contact with venues will make the later contract negotiation phase (Step 8) go much faster. The Liaison will collect all of the venue responses and forward them in a single batch to the GCs and the VEC Chair.

GCs outside North America are also welcome to request RFP support from the IEEE Liaison, but the financial and logistical landscape outside of North America is sufficiently different that GCs may choose to investigate options themselves. In that case, the expectation is not that the exact equivalent of RFP responses would be submitted by GCs outside North America, given that the hotel situation is quite different. The template is simply a source of useful information. There is flexibility on the format according to the situation of the GCs, as discussed in Step 5 below.

Deadline: April 30 Y -3 (Request) & May 31 Y -3 (Respond).

5. Provisional GCs: Submit Detailed Bid

GCs create and submit the Detailed Bid proposal document to the VEC Chair, who will forward it to the rest of the VEC for consideration. Your Detailed Bid proposal should incorporate information from the venue responses. Visit the venues in person, if possible, as part of your decision making process. Issues that you should consider and document include the following:

  • hotel room costs,
  • local transit,
  • venue accessibility,
  • eateries within walking distance,
  • likelihood of walk-in attendees from that city/region who don’t typically attend,
  • likelihood of sponsorship from organizations who don’t typically sponsor (including local and national governments),
  • ease/availability of transportation to the city,
  • desirability of the city as a destination in itself (a double-edged sword, as more desirable places tend to have higher costs)

If multiple people are named in the bid, either as general chairs plus supporting chairs or as general co-chairs, then include a section on decision-making and responsibilities to discuss plans for communication and the division of responsibilities.

Bids from within North America do not need to address budget questions beyond these issues. Bids from outside the US should address visa requirements, tax/VAT issues (including whether a VAT exemption is possible through a local university), and contain budget projections including expected gains and losses in attendees and sponsorship from the within-US case.

Information about availability of local event planning and support of a local University is useful but not formally required.

Provisional GCs leading proposals to hold VIS outside of the US may need to work with the Finance Chairs to understand budget issues.

Deadline: August 31 Y -3

6. VEC: Decide and Inform

The VEC will discuss the bids and make a decision on whether to go ahead.

The VEC Chair will inform successful Provisional GC(s), who become(s) the GC(s) for the proposed conference, the IEEE Liaison, and the VSC members.

Notification Deadline: November 30 Y -3

7. Liaison: Release/Confirm

IEEE Liaison releases options for un-chosen venues. IEEE Liaison confirms with the chosen venue that it has been selected and that final contract negotiations will now begin.

Deadline: December 15 Y -3

8. Liaison + GPF Chairs: Negotiate

IEEE Liaison is responsible for negotiating the venue (hotel or convention center) contract and obtaining all required documentation for contract submission to the IEEE Contracts Department.

For locations outside North America, responsibility for negotiation may be transferred to or shared with the General Chair. Local Staff will be included in this process.

Deadline: March 31 Y -2 Steps 8-10 run in parallel

9. Liaison + GPF Chairs: Site Visit 1.

There will be an initial site inspection with GPF Chairs and IEEE Liaison. The AV contractor might also join for this visit. The site visit should take place between January and March, the earlier the better.

Deadline: March 31 Y -2 Steps 8-10 run in parallel

10. Finance/General: Forms

The Finance Chairs will begin work on creating the conference application form, which must be endorsed by the VGTC Chair before being submitted to the IEEE. The General Chairs must also submit the COI (Conflict of Interest) form to the IEEE. Both forms must be submitted to the IEEE before sending the contract to Legal for signing (step 11).

Deadline: March 31 Y -2 Steps 8-10 run in parallel

11. GPF Chairs: Approve

IEEE Liaison will send a copy of the final hotel/convention center contract to GPF Chairs for their review and final approval.

Deadline: April 15 Y -2 (18 months before conference minimum)

IEEE Liaison sends the finalized contract to IEEE Legal. IEEE Liaison sends approved hotel/convention center contract(s) to the IEEE Contracts Team for review, processing and signature.

  • Turnaround Time for IEEE Liaison: 3 business days (once approvals are received)
  • Turnaround Time for IEEE Contracts/Legal Team: 4 weeks for domestic contracts or 6 weeks for international contracts
    (except during the Nov/Dec blackout period when contracts should not be sent to the IEEE Contracts team unless deeply urgent)

Deadline: May 31 Y -2 (17 months before conference minimum)

13. Liaison + GPF Chairs: Additions

GPF Chairs and IEEE Liaison will revisit the contract annually to consider addenda based on lessons learned from the latest VIS, including whether to retain any ROFR (right of first refusal) space that had been reserved in case of attendance growth.

Deadline: March Y -1 (19 months before conference; No later than Q1 of the following conference year)

14. Liaison + GPF Chairs: Site Visit 2

Second site visit with Program Chairs, General Chair, Finance Chairs, AV contractor, and IEEE Liaison.

Deadline: April Y -0 (6 months before conference)

15. All: IEEE VIS Conference

Deadline: October Y -0

Change Log

  • 30 June 2021 - VEC : updated to add Important Dates and Procedure Details
  • 26 April 2021 - VEC : updated in light of General Chairs page
  • 23 April 2021 - VEC : updated in light of reVISe governance changes
  • 26 Sep 2017 - Converted to markdown, update years approved & email addresses
  • 15 Nov 2016 - Further amendments approved by VEC
  • 24 October 2016 - Amendments approved by VEC
  • 5 August 2015 - Approved by VEC