Published on October 15, 2019

The IEEE Professional Communication Society invites proposals for the ProComm 2020 conference regarding the study, preparation, production, delivery, use, improvement, and promotion of human communication in all media in technical, engineering, and professional environments.

Leveraging our location’s historical links to railroads, our conference theme for 2020 is STEAM, Powered by Communication. Our shared technological past was built by steam-driven engines that moved people and goods across long distances. Our shared technological future will be built not by steam engines, but by Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Humanities, and Mathematics (STEAM) professionals. STEAM professionals will move information and ideas across virtual distances using technologies and systems that haven’t been invented yet. The most influential STEAM professionals will use their strong foundation in the fundamentals of communication to maximize the clarity and impact of their message. 

The audience for our conference includes communication practitioners, communication instructors, engineering instructors, managers, entrepreneurs, freelance writers, technical writers, engineering professionals, and others. Because of our diverse audience, the range of interesting topics for our conference is necessarily quite wide.

We welcome work that touches on communication in any STEAM-related technical or professional environment, including topics such as

  • techniques for teaching engineering, technical communication, and science students;
  • studies of intercultural and international communication;
  • advances in theory that give new perspectives on technical communication;
  • communication strategies for the modern, technologically centered workplace; and
  • insight into social media, multimedia, virtual workplaces, and other emerging forms of professional communication.

Submission Formats

We accept submissions in many formats, with different expectations for review and publication in the conference proceedings through IEEE Xplore. Our reviews are double-blind unless indicated otherwise. The table below summarizes the submission process and applicable deadlines. We anticipate the submission system to open in November and the first deadline to be in early January. Information about the submission process will be posted at

Submission FormatFirst 
Camera-ready deadline for Xplore
Extended abstract700-word abstractnone1-page abstract
Brief paper350-word abstract3–5 page paper3–5 page paper
Full paper700-word abstract6–8 page paper6–8 page paper
Workshop700-word proposalnonenone
PanelExtended abstract, brief or full paperExtended abstract, brief or full paperExtended abstract, 
brief or full paper

Extended Abstracts summarize your talk at a high level without requiring a longer paper. Your 700-word abstract fits a single page when formatted for IEEE Xplore. One round of review is used at our first deadline to determine acceptance. The author(s) receive one standard presentation slot at the conference.

Brief Papers document and present a work-in-progress, early stage results, or straightforward practice papers. Your 350-word abstract receives review at our first deadline and your 3–5 page IEEE Xplore-formatted paper receives a second round of review to determine acceptance. The author(s) participate in a conference roundtable session where the audience regularly rotates between tables for exciting back-and-forth discussion.

Full Papers are appropriate for late-stage research projects with conclusive results, mature, theoretically-grounded position papers, or papers reporting on a well-tested professional or teaching practice. The Full Paper review process is the same as the Brief Paper process, except your abstract can be up to 700 words and your paper can be 6–8 pages when formatted for IEEE Xplore. The author(s) receive one standard presentation slot at the conference.

Workshops are usually “how to” or “about” sessions on topics relevant to professionals or educators (in engineering or technical communication), with a strong interactive component. The review process for Workshops is one round of (single-blind) review on your 700-word workshop proposal, due at our first deadline. The author(s) receive one full session at the conference, usually about 75 minutes. Nothing about the Workshop will appear in IEEE Xplore.

Panel Discussions are ideal for presenting multiple perspectives on a single topic or theme, with a focus on discussion between the panelists themselves or with the audience. One of the panel members will coordinate submission of an extended abstract, brief paper, or full paper, following the stated guidelines and requirements. The panel will receive a full session at the conference, usually about 75 minutes. All panelists must attend the conference.

About the Conference Venue

The ProComm 2020 conference is a short drive northwest from Atlanta and across the street from Kennesaw State University (one of the 50 largest universities in the US) at the KSU Center, the university’s spacious and modern professional conference venue. You’ll find it easy and comfortable to attend. The venue offers

  • nine hotels and over thirty restaurants within walking distance;
  • local tourist attractions (including Civil War battlefields, two breweries, and The General, the train made famous in The Great Locomotive Chase of 1862) within a ten-minute drive; and
  • major tourist attractions in nearby Atlanta, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site, Centennial Olympic Park, Center for Civil and Human Rights, Georgia Aquarium, and World of Coca-Cola.

Start making your travel plans now! We look forward to hosting you in the land of sweet tea, cornbread, and cutting-edge STEAM-related communication.