iConference 2021 will have a “hybrid” participation format, which means there will be a virtual program and also an in-person program. Participants will register for one, the other or both, as they prefer. Rates will be announced in November, and the virtual rate will be lower than the in-person rate because virtual rates do not have to cover food and venue costs.
The iConference in-person program will take place March 28-31 in Beijing and is hosted by Renmin University. The virtual program will take place online in the two weeks leading up to the conference. A detailed schedule will be published in January.
Authors of Full Papers, Short Papers, Chinese Papers and Posters will express their preference for virtual or in-person presentation when they make their submissions. This information will be used to plan the two programs and is non-binding. Accepted authors will be given the opportunity to change their preference later, after registration has opened. A final cut-off date for changing preferences will be announced in the future.
Similarly, we will offer separate virtual and in-person meetings for our Doctoral Colloquium, Early Career Colloquium and Student Symposium. Applicants will be asked to express their preferred meeting format (live or virtual) when they submit their application. Again, this selection is non-binding at this time and can be changed later.
Our popular Workshops and Sessions for Interaction and Engagement are in-person events that will take place in Beijing. However, to augment our virtual program, the organizers are also seeking proposals for Virtual Interactive Sessions. These sessions are expected to range from basic Zoom group sessions to more sophisticated methods of remote collaboration. We expect this new track to help shape the future of virtual conferences, and encourage everyone to think broadly in crafting their proposals. Prospective applicants can contact the track chairs if they wish to discuss ideas; visit the Virtual Interactive Sessions webpage for contact information.
The iConference is currently accepting submissions for all tracks on our secure ConfTool submissions website.
For authors and applicants, the hybrid format of iConference 2021 helps ensure that all accepted submitters can participate in some meaningful way, regardless of future travel or budget restrictions. The iSchools organization believes this hybrid format represents the future of the iConference. Even after global health and travel have returned to “normal,” this format will provide the capacity for broader participation and collaboration among our global membership in the future.
As with everything these days, all iConference planning is subject to future circumstances. As planning evolves, we will keep everyone informed. We thank everyone for their patience and understanding, and look forward to meeting with you either in-person or virtually in March of 2021.