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IPC 2021 – New deadlines, lessons learned and update on registration fees

 

With 2021 just around the corner, planning for the 2021 International Population Conference is ramping up. As we wrote in our previous bulletin, IPC 2021 will go on in a completely different format. Instead of being a fully “live” onsite conference in Hyderabad, India, IPC 2021 will be hybrid, most likely a combination of several in-person sessions in India with most sessions being virtual. IPC 2021 will run on and around 5-10 December 2021 as initially planned.

 

In the meantime, we have gained experience from organizing IUSSP's first virtual conference on Population, Poverty and Inequality (PopPov, 8-10 December). Based on feedback from both attendees and speakers, here are some updates that will be especially useful for those planning to submit a paper for presentation. The IPC 2021 Call for Papers will open on 15 March and the deadline to submit is 15 May. 

 

Pre-recorded Paper Presentations: The one feature that all authors at PopPov appreciated, though at first many were dubious about trying, was making a video recording of their presentation before the conference. The pre-recorded videos were played during the session and then followed by a live discussion and Q & A with the audience. We are planning to have pre-recorded presentations at IPC 2021 as well. This does take some advance planning for authors, as you can't wait until the last minute to prepare your presentation! But it means that an unstable internet connection will not cut you off when presenting, and you can also rehearse the quality of your presentation and check that it stays within the allotted time. The biggest benefit, however, is during the session: authors get to relax and better enjoy engaging with the audience and the other authors. 

 

Informal Meet-the-author Sessions: PopPov participants also appreciated informal meet-the-author meetings in a virtual Zoom room after the regular session ended. These meetings encourage participants to continue the discussion from the sessions as well as to chat informally about other issues and topics.  These virtual meetings replicate the conversations that take place in the hallway and during coffee breaks between sessions at a live conference. We plan to make sure these informal exchanges also happen at IPC2021!

 

Virtual Poster Sessions: Poster authors benefit when their posters are on display for the full length of the conference and are likely to get more views than during an in-person meeting. At IPC 2021, we will try to schedule Poster sessions in such a way that poster authors can engage in a live chat with the audience.  Conference attendees can also leave comments on posters and engage in asynchronous discussions with the poster authors for the duration of the conference. We will make sure at IPC 2021 that poster authors too, will get value for their participation!  

 

Round-the-clock Sessions: Time zones will probably be the biggest challenge for a virtual international conference. At IPC 2021, we will organize the program in such a way that there will always be sessions taking place at a good time for participants, wherever they may reside and whatever their schedules may be. We hope that this will facilitate participant attendance because we know that it is more difficult for conference attendees to set aside time from work and family obligations when joining a virtual conference from home. All sessions will also be recorded and posted online, allowing participants to view them later.

 

To make this possible, we will be asking authors to indicate during the online submission the time zone they expect to be in during the conference and to select any preferred periods to present their paper or poster. This information will make it easier for conveners to try to put together abstracts from diverse time zones in the same session. Even though the authors will have pre-recorded their presentation, they are expected to participate in the live sessions so that they can engage with other authors and the audience. 

 

Room Monitors: Providing Round-the-clock sessions means that we will be looking for volunteers from around the world in places with secure, ideally wired, internet connections to serve as Room Monitors to play the pre-recorded presentations. Coordinating the Room monitors for the sessions will be an enormous challenge. If you are interested in helping us with this task, please let us know! 

 

Registration Fees.  Many of you have been asking about IPC 2021 registration fees so that you can include these in your 2021 budget.  The Steering Committee initially hoped to reduce the registration fees for a virtual conference under the assumption that a virtual meeting is less expensive. Unfortunately, we now have learned that virtual events are not less costly than live ones; the costs are just different. For the IUSSP, it will be more expensive to organize a virtual conference than an onsite conference. Where the local organizers always covered the cost of the venue of a live conference, the costs of the virtual platform venue will be entirely covered by the IUSSP, using the registration fee revenue.  We currently estimate that the costs of the virtual conference platform will be around 250.000 - 300,000 euros. Taking these estimates into account, we expect that the early registration fees for IPC 2021 will be the following:  

 

IPC 2021 Early Registration Fees (through 15 October 2021) 

 

IUSSP Member (since 2017) Euro 300 
IUSSP Members (new and renewed) Euro 400 
IUSSP Student AssociatesEuro 150
Non-MembersEuro 600
Indian residentINR 15.000 
Indian Student (IUSSP student Associates)INR 5.000

 

  

Hybrid Satellite Hub options:  By the end of 2021, we anticipate that some travel and in-person gatherings will again be possible. In that hope, the National Organizing Committee (NOC) plans to hold sessions on India and the opening ceremony at the Hyderabad International Convention Center. Institutions around the globe, but especially those in the South, where individuals' access to a good internet connection may be a challenge, are invited to consider becoming an IPC 2021 Satellite Hub, where those interested in the conference can gather to jointly view sessions and participate in the discussions and IPC 2021 activities. IPC 2021 Satellite Hubs are a way to encourage dialogue with scholars, program managers, and policymakers in your community around population matters.  They can also serve to strengthen and forge new networks across institutions and disciplines in your region.

 

Research Leader Sessions and Sponsorship:  A small number of slots on the program will be set aside for individuals and institutions to propose a Research Leader Session as was done for the 2017 Cape Town Conference.  We will be sending out a call with more information in the New Year. 

 

Exhibits and Side meetings: As with in-person conferences, there will also be possibilities to have a booth in the Exhibit and to organize Side meetings. For the PopPov conference, the virtual platform offered exhibiters a live chat and a virtual live meeting room (Zoom meeting room) where those visiting the booth could drop in to meet live with exhibit representatives.  Exhibits included a welcome video and allowed exhibitors to post an unlimited number of documents for conference attendees to browse or download. Information about IPC 2021 Exhibits and Side meetings will follow.

 

We are looking forward to you and your colleagues' participation in our virtual IPC 2021. Don't forget the deadline to submit your abstract is 15 May and the website to upload abstracts and papers will open 1 March.

 

Important Dates and Deadlines 

  • 1 March  2021 - Website opens for submissions 
  • 15 May 2021 - Last date for submission of abstracts
  • 15 September 2021 - Author notification / Conference website opens for registration 
  • 15 October 2021 - Deadline to register to confirm paper slot on the programme
  • 1 November - Expiration of  early bird registration fee
  • 5 December 2021- Conference Opening Ceremony
 
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