Based on our experience from organizing LCIC 2018 as a physical and LCIC 2020 as a virtual conference, we are convinced that we can bring both worlds together and create a unique conference experience for both, physical as well as virtual conference participants.

Having said that, we believe that while program elements focussed on the consumption of information can work in hybrid form, this does not apply to interactive program elements. Hence we will offer workshops and barcamps only either to physical or to virtual conference participants!

In addition, we currently plan the following:

Presentations:

While we recommend presenters of accepted abstracts for oral presentation to join us physically in Berlin, we also offer the possibility to provide them presentation virtually. All presentations will be recorded during the event and made available to conference participants afterwards.

Workshops:

Workshops can either be offered to physical conference participants in Berlin or virtually to participants all around the world. Workshops will not be recorded but we will make short summaries of workshop discussions available after the conference.

Barcamps:

Topics for the physical barcamp sessions can be presented to conference participants at the beginning of the conference by providing a 30sec intro presentation into the topic. The audience in the room will then indicate an interest in the topic through voting.

Topics for the virtual barcamp session can be presented at the start of the conference on the virtual conference platform and then voted on.

Topics with the most votes would then be allocated a dedicated time slot for a group discussion. A set of discussion rules will enable a streamlined discussion format that also works virtually.

Posters:

Traditional poster presentations of posters available physically in Berlin can be made during a specific session allocated for their presentation.

Virtual poster presentations can be done in pre-recorded form. Virtual poster authors will get the chance to upload their standard poster along with a 3min video presentation describing the highlights of their poster. Alternatively, a recorded 3 min presentation could be based on e.g. a few Power Point slides or based on the use of a tool such as Prezi. During the virtual poster presentation session participants can virtually “go” to each poster and discuss the poster with the poster authors. Next to each poster a dedicated comment section for questions and answers will also be available.

We fully understand that in addition to the scientific and workshop program, networking is one of the biggest reasons to attend our conference. Our focus on innovative formats around interaction and networking is what sets LCIC apart from other conferences.

We will use a digital conference platform that is tailored to enable conference participants to engage with the whole group or 1:1 and include dedicated virtual networking sessions.

LCIC 2020 is a highly international conference with more than a third of non-European participants. In order to enable participation from around the world, we have significantly revised our program schedule to accommodate as best as possible for different time zones. As such, the official program will take place between 1:30pm and 7pm CEST.

We are well aware that this is still a long time for conference participants to stay engaged and concentrated. However, as we want to keep as many live sessions as possible and not run too many program items in parallel, our ability to rearrange the schedule is limited. After many conversations with the LCIC 2020 Organizing Committee as well as our Board of Directors, we are convinced that the revised program schedule offers the best balance.

Having reviewed various technical solutions, we have finally decided to run our live conference sessions with Zoom. Zoom offers the best combination of features, usability and convenience for our participants. Many conferences, universities and other event organizers around the world have run their events based on Zoom and thus instead of requiring participants to learn how to operate a new tool, we have decided to use a tool that offers most of what we would like to have and conference participants are already familiar with.

We will enable presenters to choose, whether or not they would like their presentations to be available as a download, or not. Thanks to the FSLCI’s webinars, we have experience in restricting content as best as possible only to those who should be able to have access.

We also encourage presenters who do not want to make their presentation available for download to put „do not record“ stickers on their slides to discourage content copying as it is difficult to completely prevent the circumvention of technical restrictions. In this case presenters should also ensure that they do not include material they do not wish to share publicly.

As a small non-profit organization, FSLCI e.V. relies heavily on the income generated through our bi-annual conference. Our conferences and events enable us to promote life cycle innovation globally and a significant decrease in projected revenue would put the sustainability of our organization at risk. We understand that a virtual conference would on the one hand side come with reduce operating costs, but we also estimate a potentially slightly lower number of participants.

Having said that, we understand that a virtual conference cannot replace a physical meeting, especially one such as our conference built around interactivity and personal connection. Hence, we have decided to reduce the participation fee for a virtual event by:

  • 200€ for Standard and FSLCI Member Tickets
  • 100€ for Student and Non-OECD Tickets

These rebates reflect the reduced expenses for a physical meeting, and also help to ensure the future of the FSLCI e.V. as the host organization.

The unprecedented situation of the global COVID 19 pandemic presents us with a huge financial challenge. As a small community-based non-profit organization, FSLCI e.V. has two main revenue streams: Memberships and Events. Revenues from events such as workshops, our summer school and our conference represent around 2/3 of our annual budget. As such the current situation already represents us with an enormous challenge, given that we are already limited in our ability to organize planned events and also expect fewer people to register for LCIC 2020, even if we were to be able to organize it as planned in Berlin at the end of August.

Given the uncertainty around the possibility of organizing LCIC 2020 as a physical conference, we are trying everything in our power to reduce our financial risk if we have to switch to an online conference. To this end we would provide compensations that reflect on the one hand site the reduced expenses for a physical meeting, yet on the other hand side also ensure the future of the FSLCI e.V. as the organizing organization.

If we have to switch to an online conference and would have to provide full refunds or vouchers to all conference participants, it would put our organization under enormous financial pressure and at risk for the future. As such we sincerely hope that by providing you already with as much transparency as possible about our alternative plans, you will decide to register for the conference now and keep your registration active in case we have to switch it to an online conference. To assure FSLCI’s future, we count on your continued support and hope that you join us in our effort to accommodate these unprecedented circumstances.

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