[visionlist] online conference questions

Brad Wyble bwyble at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 22:56:06 -04 2020

We ran one about two weeks ago and it was highly successful.  We had at one
point 950 simultaneous attendees, and this was with relatively little
effort, in comparison to a real conference.  There were 10 contributed
talks, ~10 invited talks and 96 additional short talks run in parallel
sessions.  Here's an article that describes it in slightly greater detail:

Here's a link to our program:

Platform? (zoom, FaceTime, Webex, CrowdCast, GoToMeeting,…)

We used crowdcast for the main session and zoom for the parallel sessions.
In retrospect we'd try to run the parallel sessions in crowdcast too
because of zoombombing.  We didn't realize that was possible at the time.

Live or recorded talks?
Live, and crowdcast simulcasts to youtube and facebook.  Also, crowdcast
records all sessions and places them at the same URL the talk was
original given at.
Here is one of our sessions, by Nicole Rust  (I hope she doesn't being
listed here but her talk was exemplary)

How to manage discussion/questions/comments?
Crowdcast allows the audience to propose and vote for questions.  It also
allows the moderator to invite the asker "on stage" to ask it in person if
that person is willing.  This can be seen at 34:30 in the recording above.

The really cool thing about crowdcast is that any questions designated as
"asked" in the software by the moderator becomes google searchable, and if
someone clicks the link it drops them into the video at the time the
question was asked.

Time zones (one, several, none)?
We ran two 12 hour days so that europe and the US could both be present.

Physical hubs? (not during pandemic)

Talk formats?
Standard, 30 min + 10 for Q&A, etc

Poster formats?
We decided to bring everyone in for short talks instead of posters.  Our
conference had a 100% acceptance rate because there was unlimited room to
expand parallel sessions.

Timing? (duration of conference, how talks are arranged)
See agenda in link above

Archiving? (if recorded, how long do talks remain online)

Yes, I believe they last as long as CrowdCast remains solvent.

Fees? (registration, author, audience)

It was free.  Our only costs (apart from time) were the crowdcast fees for
a month subscription, which was about $200.

Would be happy to chat offline about our experience.  It was a lot of work
in a short time but it paid off very well.

On Thu, Apr 9, 2020 at 9:29 PM Andrew Watson <abwatson at me.com> wrote:

> Friends,
> In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, many scientific organizations
> have cancelled their conferences or moved to an online format. In many
> cases, details of how the conference is to be conducted “online” have yet
> to be announced.
> An online conference can take many forms, and must confront many
> challenges. Since social distancing may be with us for a while, and since
> online conferences may endure beyond the pandemic, I am interested in
> hearing from others how they would organize an online meeting. I am also
> interested in hearing of any experiences or plans. If there is sufficient
> response, I will collect tips, links, examples into a repository.
> Some issues/questions:
> Platform? (zoom, FaceTime, Webex, CrowdCast, GoToMeeting,…)
> Live or recorded talks?
> How to manage discussion/questions/comments?
> Time zones (one, several, none)?
> Physical hubs? (not during pandemic)
> Talk formats?
> Poster formats?
> Timing? (duration of conference, how talks are arranged)
> Archiving? (if recorded, how long do talks remain online)
> Fees? (registration, author, audience)
> I think the biggest challenge is how to re-create the shared energy and
> enthusiasm that an in-person conference evokes.
> Hoping you are all well,
> -Beau
> Andrew B. Watson
> _______________________________________________
> visionlist mailing list
> visionlist at visionscience.com
> http://visionscience.com/mailman/listinfo/visionlist_visionscience.com

Brad Wyble
Associate Professor
Psychology Department
Penn State University

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