The raging pandemic has redefined how people perceive what might be the right way to do business around the world. What with lockdowns and shutting down of national borders? Dynamism seem to be the way to go here.
For people in the business of organizing conferences that draw participants around the world, they have had to think twice and fast.
Global conferences are platforms that provide the opportunity for a heightened level of knowledge sharing and collaboration on an international scale. Topics as far-ranging as science, art, computer programming, diseases, world economy, and virtually any other discussion point you can think about all have global conferences dedicated to them.
Beyond just sharing knowledge, collaborations and networking occur, leading to the development of new ideas and adaptations.
The traditional global conference structure has been seriously threatened by the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic in two significant ways. The first is the travel restrictions that have grounded many flights and closed a significant number of airports around the globe.
The second and perhaps most important threat is how infeasible it is to have a global conference with hundreds of people in attendance due to the risk of spreading the infection. This raises the question about what the future of global conferences is going to look like? Is it over or can we find a way around this?
The Internet to the rescue
What if global conferences were moved online and hosted over the internet? We’ll consider the pros and cons below:
Technology Failure: Having server downtimes or hardware problems in the middle of a presentation at an online global conference can be messy, drawing everyone back and slowing down the pace of the whole conference.
Coordination: Organizing people is always a herculean task even with in-person events. With an online global conference, it might be more difficult to get everyone to work on schedule as the urgency of face -to- face interaction is lacking.
Advantages of Online Conferencing
Lower costs: Think of all the funds that go into organizing a regular global conference: hotel bookings, centre payments, flights to and fro, and a host of other logistics.
These costs will be eliminated both for organizers and participants. Perhaps these funds can be invested in getting better and faster internet connections for participants, solving the first point under the possible drawbacks
Flexibility: Participating from home or the office might make coordination difficult. On the other hand, it also gives participants the freedom to spend more time on research and fine-tune their findings and knowledge for sharing with others from around the world.
Better Accessibility: Even before COVID-19, lots of interested people are denied the opportunity to participate due to the inability to get visas for the country in which the conference is holding.
For some others, they are unable to transport and feed themselves throughout the conference. Hosting the conference online eliminates this problem as way more people can participate remotely, which is good for everyone involved.
There’s a lot to be said for both sides of the argument about moving global conferences online. However, the pros seem to outweigh the cons, making it a quite an attractive option.