At week 13.9.-18.9. our first major virtual conference, the 32nd IEEE International Symposium on Power Semiconductor Devices and ICs – ISPSD 2020, took place. Let’s take a look at how the conference was prepared and how it went.
Preparations, changes and new planning
During the spring months, when the COVID-19 epidemic began to be addressed, we still hoped that the ISPSD 2020 conference would take place in its classic form. We have postponed the date of the conference from the original May to September. However, with the arrival of June, it became clear that our plans would change rapidly. When the conference was cancelled, we started communicating with the client, sponsors, speakers, and participants. We announced that the conference would take place in a virtual form at the beginning of July. Although for many it was a new format, interest in registration did not decrease and for us, it was a sign that the conference would take place.
We communicated changes with sponsors and exhibitors and offered them a new solution – virtual exhibition and networking. We turned the original offers into virtual ones and kept the package structure for companies. Companies could get the display of the logo, product sheets on the screen during the conference, and the possibility of chatting with participants because of these packages. Of the original 32 confirmed sponsors and exhibitors, 18 took part in the virtual exhibition. We take this as a success and a sign that companies are also interested in this form of presentation.
Tailor-made platform for virtual conference
The question of the platform on which the virtual actions will run is very important. In the case of ISPSD 2020, we decided to build a tailor-made platform. Participants were able to register for the virtual conference by using a unique approach. Then they could choose which section or virtual stand to visit. Everything was clear and easy to use. A technical support team was available in case of technical or user difficulties.
Conference in process
Testing is the key to success. The last two weeks in August included testing the speakers, their possible connection, and access to the virtual platform. More than 50 speakers took part in the rehearsals according to the prepared program. As the conference was attended by speakers from all over the world, pre-recorded presentations were requested from all speakers as a back-up plan for the smooth running of the conference.
The ISPSD 2020 virtual conference was opened by the keynote speaker, Dr. Oliver Häberlen directly from our virtual studio at GUARANT International in Prague on Monday the 14th of September. The conference lasted 6 days, the program included conference courses, 2 parallel sections, and poster sections.
A total of 582 participants (including exhibitors) were registered and at one point up to 320 were connected. Japan, the USA, and Germany had the largest representation. Participants expressed interest in interacting with Q&A, where more than 1,300 questions and answers were asked and participants exchanged more than 1,600 direct messages.
We would like to thank our client for their trust in organizing the ISPSD 2020 conference in virtual form. We also thank the sponsors, exhibitors, all participants, and project manager Pavla Hlinková and her entire team. We believe that the conference was a success.