Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-27-2021

Abstract

We consider the opportunities and challenges associated with organizing a conference online, using a case study of a medium-sized (approx. 400 participants) international conference held virtually in August 2020. In addition, we present quantifiable evidence of the participants’ experience using the results from an online post-conference questionnaire. Although the virtual meeting was not able to replicate the in-person experience in some aspects (e.g. less engagement between participants) the overwhelming majority of respondents found the meeting an enjoyable experience and would join similar events again. Notably, there was a strong desire for future inperson meetings to have at least some online component. Online attendance by lower-income researchers was higher compared with a past, similarthemed in-person meeting held in a high-income nation, but comparable to one held in an upper-middle-income nation. This indicates that online conferences are not a panacea for diversity and inclusivity, and that holding in-person meetings in developing economies can be at least as effective. Given that it is now relatively easy to stream contents of meetings online using low-cost methods, there are clear benefits in making all presented content accessible online, as well as organizing online networking events for those unable to attend in person.

Comments

© 2021 The Authors.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

Proc. R. Soc. B.

DOI

10.1098/rspb.2021.1769

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.