As regions around the world continue to assess the potential COVID-19 health risks associated with live social activities, virtual events are still the most popular way to gather within our current global context. In anticipation of the virtual version of the 48th World Chemistry Congress (WCC) and 104th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (CCCE), we have assembled essential pro tips to help you make IUPAC | CCCE 2021 an excellent conference experience.
Familiarize yourself with the technology
As we approach the mid-point of another year of remote work, most people have become familiar with the basic elements of remote events. Yet navigating a new virtual platform can be especially frustrating if you’re unfamiliar with the hosting platform or simply don’t know how to get the right help.
For IUPAC | CCCE 2021, we’ll be using our main conference platform for the technical program. In this platform, you can:
- Upload a photo of yourself, add a short bio, and make sure your conference “badge” has all the right info;
- Catch the plenary sessions streaming during their broadcast times (available after as recordings to accommodate all time zones);
- Watch all the pre-recorded oral presentations anytime;
- View posters and accompanying pre-recorded flash talks anytime;
- Participate in the live Q&A sessions through built-in Zoom rooms;
- Attend live workshops through built-in Zoom rooms; and
- Learn more about sponsors and exhibitors.
We’ll also be using a fun, secondary platform, Gather.Town, for networking, social events, and the live exhibition. You’ll be able to create an 8-bit avatar and, as that character, walk around our virtual conference spaces, interact with objects (like exhibition booths and posters), and organically encounter other participants and video chat with them.
To help overcome possible platform frustrations in either the main or secondary platform, we have some suggestions:
- Try out the secondary platform anytime using the Gather.Town test link. You can learn how to move through the platform using your 8-bit character;
- The main conference platform will open up a week before the live events start. We recommend logging in early to get comfortable with navigating the platform, create your itinerary, and watch pre-recorded talks;
- The live sessions in the main platform will occur in built-in Zoom rooms. We suggest downloading the Zoom application to your desktop in advance to ensure you can access all functionality;
- The main platform works best using Google Chrome, so if it isn’t the browser that you normally use, you may want to download it in advance;
- In the main platform, you can watch pre-recorded talks and post discussion questions and comments in the message board for each talk before and during the live event. These discussion boards allow you to engage with the technical content at your convenience. If you’re a presenter, make sure you respond to questions on the discussion board for your talk.
Stay connected and easily engage with conference participants
In the world of virtual conferences, we know that regular life doesn’t stop when the conference starts. That’s why our main platform offers flexible ways to watch the top-notch scientific content. But it wouldn’t be a conference, even virtually, without exciting ways to connect with other participants. Here’s how you can directly connect and with speakers, industry partners in the exhibitor hall, and other conference participants from the comfort of your home:
- Live Q&A sessions: Invigorate your conference experience by taking part in the interactive live question periods with the speakers. Each presentation will only have one live Q&A timeslot, so you won’t want to miss it.
- Discussion boards: If you can’t make the live Q&A, you can always leave a comment or question on the discussion board associated with each talk to have it addressed by the assigned speaker.
- Gather.Town networking socials: Navigate the exhibitor booths, participate in the poster sessions, and safely connect with conference attendees in an engaging digital forum with your customized 8-bit avatar.
- Plenary sessions: Build community by watching the plenary sessions live and asking your questions at the post-plenary Q&As.
Further assistance or directions required during the day of the conference? Email us at CCCE@cheminst.ca anytime to connect with our national office team members to address any other issues.