Online Academic Conferences – The Next Version of Traditional Conferences
Online Academic Conferences
Going online is not a new thing for this generation. Most of us are well acquainted with live chats, video calls, conference video calls, podcasts etc. So Online Academic conference is not a big thing, that can’t be done. Also on the other hand we can save a lot of money and valuable time that were being wasted in travelling and arranging other things. Along with that it can also ensure a good amount of attendees as no travel is required. No limitations for seats. So this is the future of all academic conferences.
Organizing a conference involves a lot of things to look after. Sometimes the organizers have to arrange the flights, car rentals and hotels for the attendees. Apart from that they have to think about the catering services, the room set up with all required arrangements and the registration process too. But with the use of new technology in Online Academic Conferences all these steps can be omitted and not required too. So it can minimize a substantial amount of time and money for organizers too.
What we need for this?
The first thing we need for an online academic conference is a good quality and un-interrupted Internet connection. Other tools are – Webcast, Slide-Cast, Podcast, Audio-cast etc. The list can be extended as per our need and the availability of new technologies. Webcast is a transmission of an audio or visual or combination of audio visual media file either live or off-line. Slide-cast is a set of presentation slides broadcast over the internet with some audio and visual effects. Podcast is an audio file that can be downloaded and listen off-line. Audio-cast is a telephone based conference consisting of a presentation that usually includes audio based question and answer sections.
How it differs from traditional academic conferences?
While organizing a traditional conference, the organizer first thinks about a location. A location that is suitable for the conference is not an easy thing to search. Secondly, if you got a nice venue, you need to be sure about its availability during your planned time. Else you need to change the location or move your dates. Apart from that, the venue need to be located in a good distance from airport, railway station etc. or you may have to arrange local transportation for attendees. After that you have to look after the catering services, audio video equipment in the conference hall, Wi-Fi connectivity etc. All these things not only need time but also affect your budget.
On the other hand online academic conference also includes most of the above things like the presentation, speaker, question and answer sessions etc, but no facilities are needed. You also don’t need the catering services. No need to search a specific location/venue. You don’t need deposit money. The travelling and transportation cost is not there. You save a lot time as well as your attendees.
However the only disadvantage of this online academic conference is the internet speed. To attend a live conference, you only need a computer, some software and a good internet connection. But in some countries, the speed of the internet in remote areas is not good enough to attend a live conference.
Finally if we compare the advantages with disadvantages, we must vote for online academic conference over the traditional one. We can solve the internet speed issue in near future with proper planning