[visionlist] [EXTERNAL] Re: online conference questions

Mulligan, Jeffrey B. (ARC-TH) jeffrey.b.mulligan at nasa.gov
Mon Apr 13 13:46:55 -04 2020

Thinking about how one might experience a poster session in VR made me think of another way that one might do it without VR:

Display a list of the posters (this could be done as a floor plan map, or just a linear list).  This would display the poster title and the name of the presenting author.  Then it would display the list of people who are “at” the poster (which should include the presenter during the time for odd/even poster numbers).  Each poster would have its own zoom meeting, and a link to download a pdf of the poster.  You can download and read the poster if nobody is “there”, if there are people “there” (in the zoom meeting) then you can join the meeting to hear the discussion and ask questions.  And nobody would have to physically jostle their way to the front!  It might be necessary to have some sort of queue for questions, so that all visitors get a fair shot at getting their question in.  (I have heard disappointing stories of junior people being ignored when a senior person walks up and takes over the discussion).  It might also be nice to record the discussions, so that a visitor can replay a previously recorded spiel and discussion when the presenter is not present.  That would be something that we can’t do with a real poster session.

Some infrastructure would be required to support this, I have no idea if something similar might already exist, but it wouldn’t be terribly complicated to implement.


From: visionlist <visionlist-bounces at visionscience.com> on behalf of William Warren <william_warren_jr at brown.edu>
Date: Sunday, April 12, 2020 at 3:23 PM
To: Andrew Watson <abwatson at me.com>, "visionlist at visionscience.com" <visionlist at visionscience.com>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [visionlist] online conference questions

Hi Beau, et al:

  VR event spaces, in which upwards of 5000 individuals wearing head-mounted displays (HMDs) can interact in a virtual conference room or poster session, are starting to come on-line.  As consumer HMDs become adopted as standard peripheral devices, this may be an option in the not-so-distant future: a    a



  The only drawback is that, given our limited tolerance for life in an HMD, you’d have to limit your conference participation to about an hour at a time.


— Bill Warren
On Apr 9, 2020, at 9:24 PM, Andrew Watson <abwatson at me.com<mailto:abwatson at me.com>> wrote:


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,

Andrew B. Watson

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