In the current crisis situation, many if not most conferences are held purely as virtual events. CEUR-WS has responded to the need by making its rules more flexible. In this blog, I like to reflect on some future implications of the trend.
Virtual events are surprisingly efficient to set up using widely adopted tele-conferencing tools. Presentations can be given online and be recorded for later replay. The proceedings publications has been transformed to online forms since many years.
Still, something is missing in these virtual conferences. There are little opportunities for informal discussions. These discussions at coffee breaks are of great value to researchers and difficult to emulate in a virtual environment.
There is also less attention to presentations when the audience is at home and possibly interrupted by other business.
The risk is that we researchers appreciate too much the cost saving of virtual conferences and neglect the loss of communication.
Conferences should remain physical meetings — unless IT can emulate the social interaction happing when people are at the same location focussed on common goals.
Comments are welcome.