The BIFHSGO conference is over, and what a success! Over 400 registrants and, judging by the geographic distribution of prizewinners, from far and wide. Quality presentations. Those involved in the organization and staging of the week of presentations and other events each deserve our thanks.
There are so many good things about an online conference I question why organizers would ever go back to in-person events. Having been involved in organizing several conferences here are the pros for online:
- There’s no complaining about the food. That’s often the #1 comment about a conference.
- There’s no complaining about a presenter repeating the same material at different times. That gets especially annoying when you pay for a special pre-conference event and then hear the same thing later during the conference.
- You can get a wider variety of presentations and presenters, meaning the possibility of covering niche topics.
- No parallel sessions, or if there are recordings available.
- There’s no need for on-site time-critical logistical operations like signs, registration, security — and food.
- There’s no cost and no GHG emissions from flying speakers long distances.
- Attendees from a distance incur no travel, food and accommodation costs.
- There’s less chance of the event being disrupted by a power cut or natural hazards, like a tornado or earthquake.
Can you think of any cons? I can; they pale in comparison.
That said, having broken the old mould I hope BIFHSGO remains open to other changes. Instead of one major conference perhaps a series of one-day mini-conferences. BIFHSGO will be sending a feedback form later in the week, Please respond, and in the meantime, you can add comments to this post.