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Afterthoughts of e-Rum2020 in The R Journal

The conference scene has been revolutionized since e-Rum2020 took place, almost a year ago.

Nowadays virtual conferences are the new normal, and e-Rum2020 was a forerunner not just in the R world but overall, having been hit by the pandemic in the middle of its organization.

e-Rum2020 virtual conference

e-Rum2020 Organizing Committee, in which Miraiers Francesca and Riccardo had a significant role, has collected its thoughts and lessons learned in the article “e-Rum2020: how we turned a physical conference into a successful virtual event”, that we are happy to summarize with this post.

A first element is the fundamental role played by the promotion of the event on social media. Once the conference was moved online, the Organizing Committee adjusted the promotion strategy, creating new content (promotional videos and podcasts with keynotes) and opening up a YouTube Channel, which resulted in a strong increase of followers. The higher visibility has undoubtedly been one of e-Rum2020 key success factors.

The turning point was the decision of making the virtual event free: this opened up the doors of e-Rum2020 to a much wider audience, not bound by geographical boundaries or income barriers, making it a truly accessible event for everyone. In the end, a total of 2000 tickets were issued for the event, with attendees from all over the world!

Finally, the organization of CovidR as pre-conference event, which was actively brought forward by Miraier Riccardo, turned out to be essential for the success of e-Rum2020. The event served as a dry run of the platform, testing the required technology and setup, and as a final check for the organization of the main conference event, ensuring a smooth experience for organizers, speakers and attendees.

As co-organizers and partners of e-Rum2020, we are happy and proud to see our experience and efforts around the event summarized and shared in The R Journal, in the hope that it will serve as food for thoughts for future conference organizers.

If back in June 2020 you missed the chance to attend the event live, or if you would like to listen again to any of the talks, you still have the possibility to re-watch online the many contributions that were presented at the conference.