Hybrid conferences: opportunities, challenges and ways forward

Type Article
Date 2022-07
Language English
Author(s) Puccinelli Eleonora1, 2, Zeppilli DanielaORCID3, Stefanoudis Paris V.4, 5, Wittische-Helou Annaig3, Kermorgant Marjorie3, Fuchs Sandra3, Menot LenaickORCID3, Easton Erin E.6, Weber Alexandra A-T.3, 7, 8
Affiliation(s) 1 : Department of Oceanography, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
2 : University of Brest- Unite Mixte de Recherche (UMR) 6539 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)/Universite de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO)/Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD)/Ifremer, Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Environnement Marin (LEMAR) – Institut Universitaire Europeen de la Mer (IUEM), Plouzané, France
3 : Univ Brest, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Ifremer, UMR6197 Biologie et Ecologie des Ecosystemes Marins Profonds (BEEP), Plouzané, France
4 : Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
5 : Nekton Foundation, Oxford, United Kingdom
6 : School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville, TX, United States
7 : Marine Invertebrates, Museums Victoria, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
8 : Department of Aquatic Ecology, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland
Source Frontiers In Marine Science (2296-7745) (Frontiers Media SA), 2022-07 , Vol. 9 , P. 902772 (13p.)
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2022.902772
WOS© Times Cited 2
Keyword(s) international conference, inclusivity, opinion survey, pandemic, carbon footprint, meeting organization

Hybrid conferences are in-person events that have an online component. This type of meeting format was rare before the COVID-19 pandemic, but started to become more common recently given the asynchronous global progression of the pandemic, the uneven access to vaccines and different travel regulations among countries that led to a large proportion of participants being unable to attend conferences in person. Here we report the organization of a middle-sized (581 participants: 159 onsite, 422 online) international hybrid conference that took place in France in September 2021. We highlight particular organizational challenges inherent to this relatively new type of meeting format. Furthermore, we surveyed both in-person and online participants to better understand their conference experience and to propose improvements based on the feedback received. Finally, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of three types of conferences (onsite-only, online-only and hybrid) and suggest that hybrid events should be favored in the future because they offer the most flexibility to participants. We conclude by proposing suggestions and ways forward to maximize accessibility and inclusivity of hybrid conferences. Our study brings novel insights on the challenges and opportunities created by hybrid conferences, by reporting not only the organizing committee experience but also by considering the participants’ perspective.

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Data_Sheet_2 1 120 KB Open access
Table 1 11 KB Open access
Table 2 1 MB Open access
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How to cite 

Puccinelli Eleonora, Zeppilli Daniela, Stefanoudis Paris V., Wittische-Helou Annaig, Kermorgant Marjorie, Fuchs Sandra, Menot Lenaick, Easton Erin E., Weber Alexandra A-T. (2022). Hybrid conferences: opportunities, challenges and ways forward. Frontiers In Marine Science, 9, 902772 (13p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.902772 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00787/89875/