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IPC2021 Conference Hubs: how to boost participation and networking opportunities

 

IPC2021 will be a hybrid conference, with a small number of in-person sessions in Hyderabad, India, while most of the scientific program will be virtual. 

 

While many of you would prefer to attend an in-person conference to share and discuss your work and meet with colleagues, this will not be possible for most participants at this conference. However, we are working very hard to create opportunities during IPC2021 for participants to interact and network with colleagues worldwide. In large part, this will be done through informal virtual meeting opportunities immediately after the regular sessions where participants can continue discussions, catch up and chat with colleagues, or start new conversations. 

 

IPC2021 Conference Hubs are another way to promote networking and in-person discussion around the conference. What are these Hubs and how do they work? Hubs take advantage of the video conferencing facilities that research institutes, universities, private companies, and hotels already have to facilitate online teaching and virtual meetings. Does your institution have a meeting room or classroom equipped with an internet connection, video screen and camera, and can install Zoom? If so, you can transform it into an IPC2021 Conference Hub! The meeting room then connects to the IPC2021 platform with a user log-in created by registering as a participant. Once you log in the room to the virtual conference platform, your IPC 2021 Hub is active, and you can invite a room of students or colleagues to view a live session and participate in Q&A, or watch earlier sessions as an on-demand video. 

 

Note that each room can follow only one IPC2021 video channel or session stream at a time. All those joining the conference from a Hub Room need to agree on the session to join (similar to a Sports Bar, where customers need to decide whether to watch a soccer match or a baseball game...). If an organization has several equipped rooms, several sessions can be followed simultaneously, creating a local mini-conference!

 

The number of participants in a Hub Room depends on local conditions and (COVID-19) regulations. IPC2021 registered participants can join the Q&A or Chat from a phone or laptop when logged in to the conference platform. Those who have not registered for IPC2021 can ask a room monitor in charge of the video connection to add their question to the discussion. After the virtual session has finished, Hub participants can continue to discuss or organize other networking activities among themselves. 

 

Hubs can also work for presenters. All presentations for IPC2021 will be pre-recorded and played during the session, with authors responding to the Q&A and discussion live. Presenting authors can join the session either from the Hub Room through a live video stream or from their laptop. And of course, after the session is over, you can continue the discussion in person with the author or authors present in your meeting room. Hubs create a space that can recreate the interaction and networking of an in-person conference at your institution and enable you to share the scientific content and discussions of the IPC2021 with colleagues and students. Hubs are a great way to promote networking and make participation in IPC2021 more interactive and lively! 

 

Organization and funding of an IPC2021 Hub:

As IPC2021 organizers and the IUSSP Secretariat will be very busy with the conference organization, Hubs will have to be locally organized and funded, possibly with local sponsors' support. We hope that regional and national population associations and organizations such as UNFPA offices and regional training institutions will play an active role in setting up Hubs to help make IPC2021 a wholly "networked conference". To the extent possible, the IUSSP will provide additional technical information and (online) training for potential Hub organizers on demand, so please notify us at ipc2021@iussp.org if you are interested in becoming an IPC2021 Hub. 

 

March 2021

 

 

 

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