How to Run an Online Conference

Online Webinar on Organising Online Conferences -  13/05/2020 11 am CET
Interested in learning how to start your own online conference or convert an event to an online format? Here you can find information. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us.
Video Recording

The recent article: Nature 579, 327-328 (2020), ending with the phrase: “You can’t just suddenly make a conference be online.”, motivated us to write our opinion on this topic. We have extensive experience with running a yearly online computational chemistry conference and we would like to encourage other people to move their conferences online instead of to the next year. Online conferences and in-person ones have a lot in common, and if you have already set up everything for a conference in-person all you need is a conferencing software. You might need to make a new schedule of the talks since you will have to take into account the different time zones of your speakers.

We suggest you keep the talks live and maybe leave recordings online for a short period of time after the conference instead of using recordings, because this is also one of the aspects which bring virtual and in-person conference close together. To make successful live online talks, you will need some training with your speakers, so that they are familiar with the setup. We have used Zoom for this and even first-time users did not have any problems.

Poster sessions can be realised in different ways. We used a dedicated forum on our webpage to upload the posters and gave other participants the chance to comment and ask questions. Additionally, each poster presenter had 3 minutes to talk about their research. One other option is to use Twitter as the RSCPoster Twitter conference has shown with a huge success.

We are still experimenting ourselves to find the right format for networking and this is an open question which will be answered when more virtual conferences become available. In the end, we want to leave you with a word of encouragement: VIRTUAL CONFERENCE? SUDDENLY? YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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