Developing new conference formats to reduce flying and increase accessibility

ESCOM is developing new conference formats to reduce flying to conferences and promote conference accessibility. In 2018, ICMPC15/ESCOM10 was organised as a semi-virtual conference with 4 hubs distributed across the globe – in Graz (Austria), La Plata (Argentina), Montreal (Canada) and Sydney (Australia). Developing from this, a fully virtual early career meeting is held in November 2019, a semi-virtual cross-European summer school in July 2020, and a semi-virtual international conference in July 2021.

Technical developments are central to facilitate these new conference formats. Standard technology is used, making the technical set up feasible in most circumstances. Richard Parncutt and Nils Meyer-Kahlen have written guidance explaining the technical and organisational set up using in ICMPC15/ESCOM10:

Semi Virtual Conference Guidelines (pdf)

A brief video has been made that explains the conference organisation and documents the experience as reported by attendees:

Video documentary on the semi-virtual conference format (link)

ESCOM is keen to share its experience and expertise in the development of these new conference formats and welcomes questions and comments. To get in touch, please contact ESCOM’s past-president Richard Parncutt ( or current president Renee Timmers (