User:Econterms/Draft report on WCNA 2021

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Figure 3. Attendees by country (from email addresses? or IP addresses?)
  • Objectives: We committed ourselves early in a series of weekly meetings to certain goals or frames for the conference:
  • (a) making the event inclusive, especially to Spanish speakers, by arranging captions or audio interpretation across languages, which would be new to the WCNA conferences;
  • (b) a theme of global-and-local frames implemented in several ways;
  • (c) supporting local events and being able to sponsor attendees who needed funding to make time or get equipment to attend
  • (d) offering workshops and training for both new and experienced editors, not just one-to-many broadcasts of presentations.

Technologies, platforms, suppliers

Figure 2. Attendance and chat activity by virtual room

Many software platforms and services were involved:

  • Hopin: Stages, sessions, expo room
  • Kudo:
  • Tlatolli:
  • Pretix:
  • Slack:
  • Telegram:
  • YouTube:
  • Zoom: Used in a couple of sessions, because a session organizer was already set up to use it, and/or would invite people who were not otherwise attending the conference.
  • Unfinished: processing videos and making them available on YouTube and on Commons.


Figure 1: Attendance on Hopin by time (Eastern time)

We had about 65 scheduled items on our Schedule. (Describe their types)

  • Attendance: See Figures 1-3. (We may not be able to replicate these on meta, depending on copyright stuff, but we can cite them.) Overall over 300 registered, but this includes a number of duplicates and people who could not or did not actually attend. 186 logged in to our Hopin event at some point. The peak attendance at one time was 92 people, early on Friday afternoon, possibly when Carmen was giving her invited talk. In the first chart, attendance never drops near zero even at night because there was no need to log out. On Thursday evening we invited attendees for a social/test time on the platform.
  • (Three?) editathon events linked from the conference program were held on Zoom. These gathered perhaps 20 participants overall, most of whom were also conference attendees.
  • English/Spanish interpretation: In (about half) of the sessions, those on Hopin's "stages" (our red and blue tracks), attendees could click for interpretation and select a language, English or Spanish. It went well overall, with some glitches. The systems are complicated. Show diagram. Interpretation services were offered in the large presentation rooms, which we called Stage Red and Stage Blue, but not in the "breakout rooms" for workshops, editathons, unconference discussions, or lightning talks.
  • Safe space matters:
  • Local events: We had in-person events on Sunday afternoon in various locations. NYC picnic (photos) and Mexico City, funded by the grant. A parallel picnic was held in San Diego. Our grant anticipated having more local events. There was less interest than anticipated, and we did not push the point; there was interest in the online event, and caution about the ongoing covid pandemic.
  • Budget: Our original budget was set by a grant (link). Our actual expenses varied from this, exceeding the budget by perhaps 15-20%. We had small unexpected revenues from selling t-shirts and mugs with the WCNA 2021 logo.

The effort to scale up to over 200 registrants and English/Spanish interpretation raised our costs over other conferences. We made decisions late in the process to scale up, getting Hopin's "business plan" (which lasts a year and includes some support), and the high-end Kudo software service to integrate interpreters. These raised costs but it was not clear we could succeed with smaller-scale, lower-end components.