16 Feb 2024
by Victoria Mentor

What’s new for the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in 2024? 

What’s new for the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in 2024?

Our Special Interest Groups are vital to our technical and policy activities. To ensure our SIGs are equipped for success, we’re excited to introduce a revamped SIG Handbook and Toolkit. Victoria Mentor, IMarEST Technical and Policy Executive, delves into the details.  

A new way of working

We have introduced a new SIG Handbook and Toolkit which contains an overview of the structure of the SIGs, how they are incorporated into the Institute, how to set up and efficiently run a SIG, and where to go when support is needed. It also features supporting documents and templates to help track and monitor technical activities and submit policy proposals. View the Sig Handbook here.

To help SIGs to continue the great work they do in running events such as webinars, panel discussions and workshops, sharing knowledge and insight, the Toolkit provides an easy way to submit information about planned events. 

To explore the many IMarEST SIG hosted webinars and workshops, visit the events webpage. If you miss a webinar or cannot commit to the time of a workshop, you can usually find the event recording on IMarEST TV along with previously hosted IMarEST events.

We’ve also added a new feature that allows our SIGs to write and incorporate news articles onto their webpage. This will help to share and circulate important information and work the group is involved with, not only within the IMarEST, but to the wider public. SIG news can include articles about webinars and work that the SIG has done or will be completing, committee member blogs, new and interesting research being completed in the field, or new standards, guidelines, policy, and regulations coming into effect.

To explore what the SIGs have been working on, visit the SIG Homepage.

Introducing the Honorary Secretary

SIGs have a core group of members called committee members. These members are most often subject matter experts in their field and attend as individuals. SIG committees meet regularly to develop the SIG goals, objectives and technical programme and monitor the progress of their technical outputs.

Each SIG is led by a chair or co-chairs who drive and enthuse their SIG committee members and manage the coordination of the technical outputs.

We are now adding a new role to support the chair and co-chairs. Each group now requires an honorary secretary in addition to the chair or co-chairs. The chair or co-chairs and the honorary secretary will work closely together to communicate with SIG committee members of appropriate actions to progress the technical outputs.

The role is a great opportunity for anyone, but particularly students and early career professionals, to be part of a committee of experts and to listen and contribute to technical outputs, or for retired professionals to give back to an enthusiastic community. 

SIGs rely on the continued enthusiasm and support from the wider SIG membership (SIG corresponding members). If you are a corresponding member of a SIG, you will receive communications about upcoming webinars and events that the group is hosting, communications from the chair or co-chairs on SIG committee activities and progress, as well as gain access to the latest technical reports and policy information the SIG committee disseminates.

As a corresponding member you can join as many SIGs as you want, simply log into your IMarEST account, click on ‘My SIGs’, and press the ‘Join group’ button beside the SIG you want to hear from. Once you have joined the SIG, you will receive communications regarding SIG activity.   

Network, network, network

We have also recently implemented an all-new networking platform designed to connect the wider SIG corresponding membership and engage and inform the membership about interesting documents and topics. The platform is used by the SIG committee to disseminate information about webinars, events, latest news, and technical and policy updates, and can be used to answer any technical questions from the SIG corresponding members. As with any networking platform, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

Visit the SIG Homepage to find out more.

Get Involved: Volunteering Opportunities

If you’re interested in getting involved, we currently have several SIGs that are looking for their next chair or co-chair, and there are some SIGs that are seeking general committee members. To find out more about these positions, visit the volunteering opportunities page.

SIGs are always looking for new technical experts to be part of the SIG committee, to help with their goals and objectives, and to push technical outputs to the wider community. If you are interested in joining a SIG committee that is not listed in the volunteering opportunities page above, as either a member or an honorary secretary, contact [email protected] and tell us the SIG you want to join and the position.