The Fifth Presidents’ Platform Meeting on “Conference Experience” took place on February 28, 2022. Ori Lahav, president of IAPCO (International Association for Professional Congress Organisers) and Oliver Lowe, Head of Conferences & International (Chartered Association of Business Schools & Small Business Charter) shared their expertise with IFSAM members.
What are the mega trends affecting the economics and experiences of online conferences? The cost of connectivity is decreasing around the globe (e.g., Starlink project by Elon Musk to rend accessible internet across the world). Blockchain technology promises a vast array of applications for academic conferences, such as issuing certificates of attendance and speakers’ acknowledgment. Metaverse might also be used to offer virtual meetings. Some of the challenges include ransomware attacks and neuropricing – this is already used in hospitality (i.e.: booking.com, Airbnb). Accommodation and food sectors will be increasingly automated, while the education sector will be among the last to experience this change.
How can you make your conference more inclusive? Online conferences enable organizers to involve speakers from underrepresented and marginalised groups; to experiment with different formats thanks to the lower costs; to engage with a much broader range of participants; to build stronger relationships with a wider range of contributors. The British Academy of Management, a federation member, developed a code of good practices in this domain (see: https://www.bam.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/inclusive-accessible-and-sustainable-events.html). Conference organizers can take advantage of technology to add subtitling, captioning and subheadings thereby removing obstacles to engage in discussions in formats that best fit the individual needs.
Stay tuned: the next Presidents’ Platform Meeting (May 23rd) will be on hacks for conference sustainability.
The Fifth Presidents Platform Meeting on “Conference Experience” took place, via Zoom, on February 28, 2-4pm (CET). Ori Lahav, president of IAPCO (International Association for Professional Congress Organisers), shared information about mega trends and the business economics of online conferences, Oliver Lowe, Head of Conferences & International at the Chartered Association of Business Schools & Small Business Charter, shared tips about making conferences inclusive and environmentally sustainable.