Jochen Quante and myself recently had the pleasure of co-chairing the Industry Track for ICSME '15. Due to the strong work on the ground from our program committee, aided by a few tweaks from us, the track received about twice as many submissions as in recent years. For those of you chairing industry tracks in the future, we'd like to share our strategy.
1. Choose an Industry-Leaning PC
While an earlier post addresses this topic at length, its main point bears reiterating: choose an industry-heavy PC. We intentionally selected a program committee with a much higher percentage of those in industry, raising this percentage from a respectful 46% (11/24) in 2014 to a notable 78% (18/23) in 2015. This choice not only led to more appropriate reviews but ultimately was key in soliciting quality industry submissions. Here's the email we used to invite PC-members.
ICSME Industry PC Invitation Email 2015
2. Leverage Your PC's Professional Network
Between the time that PC members sign on and the papers start rolling in there's usually a long silent period. Use this period to build momentum for your track. We did so by leveraging the network of our PC. We encouraged PC members to personally reach out to their contacts in industry, guessing that the success rate via personal contact is likely much higher than spamming mailing lists or tweeting ad nauseum. Here's the email that we sent to PC members (a few times), which includes a draft email they could use as a starting point when contacting friends.
3. Blog About it
To help generate buzz around your track it's helpful to blog about it, but what do you say about a track that's existed for years? We focused our single publicity blog post on changing the percentage of industrialists on the PC. While hardly an earth-shattering change, it represented the industry-focus that we were bringing to the track this year, and perhaps struck a chord with potential authors. Thus, I'd encourage you too to find your unique take on a track, implement it via concrete changes (no matter how small), and communicate it in a post. Well-timed scope or theme updates to a track can be especially fruitful.
Summary: Invite, Encourage, Blog
While industry tracks were once second class citizens they are now gaining credibility with both academics and industrialists alike. If you're an upcoming chair for an industry track I hope these tips will help you run an even stronger track, as ultimately I see industry tracks as a promising vehicles to help solve our field's impact problem... but that's a post for another day!
To close, I'd like to list the program committee members. Even though their day jobs are demanding, they gave time that made this track much stronger. Thank you PC!
Benjamin Klatt, inovex GmbH
Carl Worms, Credit Suisse AG
David Hovemeyer, York College of Pennsylvania
Davy Landman, CWI/Univ. Amsterdam
Elmar Jürgens, CQSE GmbH
Eric Bouwers, Software Improvement Group
Felienne Hermans, Delft University of Technology
Jacek Czerwonka, Microsoft
Jan Wloka, Quatico Solutions Inc.
Jens Knode, Fraunhofer IESE
Jeroen van den Bos, Netherlands Forensic Institute
John Penix, Google
Joost Visser, Software Improvement Group
Magiel Bruntink, CWI/Univ. Amsterdam
Marc Rambert, Coverity
Marin Litoiu, York University
Marius Marin, Microsoft
Paul Anderson, GrammaTech Inc.
Ray Buse, Google
Tiago Alves, Microsoft
Tom Tourwe, Sirris
Vinay Augustine, ABB Corporate Research
Zachary Fry, GrammaTech Inc.
David Shepherd leverages software engineering research to create useful additions to the IDE.