Raihan ur Rashid, Secretary for IEEE Bangladesh Section

To explore the challenges of organizing a Full Virtual Technical Conference, with the experience gained from successfully organizing IEEE TENSYMP 2020, IEEE Region 10’s first fully virtual flagship conference, IEEE Bangladesh Section organized Virtual Conference Organizers’ Panel (VCOP 2020) on 1st and 2nd July 2020. Virtual Conference Organizers’ Panel (VCOP 2020) was the first virtual online panel in IEEE Region 10 wherein all concerned stakeholders shared the expectations, challenges and possible solutions in a complete Virtual Technical Conference with respect to traditional face-to-face technical conferences.

The first day of the VCOP started at 7:00 PM (GMT +6) with a brief introductory speech from Prof. Dr. Celia Shahnaz, General Chair for IEEE TENSYMP 2020. In her speech, she shared the reason behind organizing this VCOP and her feelings on successfully organizing TENSYMP 2020. Then, Dr. Paul Cunningham, Chair of IST Africa shared his experience of organizing a virtual conference along with some of the important planning and decisions he had to make with regard to organizing a virtual conference for which he had no previous experience. Dr. Miriam Cunningham also shared some of her experience on organizing IST Africa. First day’s other two keynote speakers were Dr. S N Singh, Chair of IEEE India Council and Dr. Muhammad Mustafa Hossain, Professor of UC Berkeley, USA. Both of them shared some insights of organizing a conference in virtual platform and the differences in organizing a virtual and face-to-face conference. After that, Professor Shaikh A Fattah, Technical Program Chair for IEEE TENSYMP 2020 shared some technical aspects of a virtual conference and ignited the panel discussion session for the day.

The second day of VCOP 2020 started with Prof. Celia Shahnaz recapping the discussions of the previous day. Subsequently, one of the keynote speakers, Dr. Bozenna Pasik-Duncan presented her perspective as a virtual conference organizer and its differences as compared to face-to face conference. For the second day as well, Dr. Shaikh A Fattah ignited a panel session with a focus on organizing aspects of a virtual conference. As part of this discussion, Raihan Ur Rashid and S M Saiduzzaman, two of the Secretaries and S K Azmaeen Bin Amir and A N M Nasimunnabi, both virtual conference management chairs of IEEE TENSYMP 2020 shared some of the operational insights of organizing IEEE TENSYMP 2020. After the panel discussion, the second keynote speaker of the day, Dr. Ramakrishna Kappagantu, IEEE R10 Director (2015-2016) shared his technical perspective on virtual conference organizing and how this virtual conference may change the paradigm of future conference organizing. VCOP 2020 ended with a short closing ceremony wherein Dr. Lawrence Wong, Member of IEEE Region 10 Advisory Committee delivered a closing keynote and Dr. Celia Shahnaz concluded the event with her closing remarks. Detailed Article is available at the link given below: