A Virtual Meeting to Beat All Virtual Meetings
We are in the first stages of developing our plan for our society’s annual meeting. We decided earlier in the year that the meeting this summer will be virtual (Auckland is postponed until 2022). Today, we are asking our membership for volunteers to help organize and deliver SMBE’s first (but probably not last) virtual meeting.
This is your opportunity to help shape not only this year’s meeting, but future inclusive, distributed, and carbon-friendly society meetings!
What will the virtual conference look like?
Our 2021 meeting will take advantage of a Hub model, which will allow us to reach and engage our global community. We will have THREE geographically distributed Hubs, one in Australia/Asia, one in Europe/Africa, and one in US/Canada/SouthAmerica. Each Hub will coordinate roughly ⅓ of the Symposia (which will be solicited as normal), which will distribute the timing of the symposia themselves across time zones and encourage as much synchronous participation as possible.
I want to help organize SMBEv2021! What role can I play?
There are lots of ways for you to get involved! You can volunteer to be a Hub Coordinator, a member of a Hub Team, a Symposium Coordinator, or to help during the conference to ensure that symposia, Q&A, and poster sessions run smoothly.
We are now inviting proposals for Hub Coordinators and Hub Teams. (Deadline 15 December 2021)
Hub Coordinators and Hub teams will take on a role similar to the local conference organising committee of in-person meetings, but without the hassle of booking local venues! Hub teams will:
- Collaborate with each other and with liaisons from the SMBE council for decision-making as to online platforms and other logistical aspects (e.g. timing of symposia and plenary talks, planning “social” events) of SMBEv2021
- Collaborate to solicit symposia and distribute these among Hubs
- Deliver ⅓ of the conference, including ensuring that symposia within that Hub run smoothly, that members behave with respect and decency, and that they, along with all symposia organisers within their Hub, are trained appropriately to manage any aberrant behaviours.
- Hub Coordinators will also be members of the scientific committee that, together with Beth Shapiro, Mary O’Connell, Harmit Malik (representing SMBE Council) will select the symposia, with an aim to ensure (1) quality of the symposia and (2) diversity of symposia that represent our community’s broad demographics and scientific interests.
Note that Hub Coordinators and Team Members cannot also propose to organize symposia, as they will be in charge of selecting the symposia that will be featured at SMBEv2021. However, teams that are not chosen to be HUB coordinators will be strongly encouraged to participate as symposium organizers!
Symposium organisers will lead the submission of symposium proposals. Selected symposia will be assigned to a hub, which will determine the timing of the symposium during the conference. Symposium leaders will have all the usual responsibilities of a symposium organiser, but without a budget. In addition, they will:
- make sure that all talks are received ahead of time, functioning on YouTube, and accessible
- be responsible for ensuring quality of talks and that timing is kept precisely
- moderate discussions online for both the talks and associated poster session
We are hoping that the call for symposia will be released in early February.
I want to be a Hub Coordinator or Hub Team Member. How do I apply for this awesome role?
We are currently soliciting proposals for Hubs! If you would like to be part of a hub, please:
- Identify a Hub Coordinator and 3-5 Hub Team members who will work together within your geographic region.
- Check your calendars! While we don’t anticipate that this will be even close to the amount of work that it takes to organize an in-person meeting, there will be some busy times. We will need to set aside time in January/February for selecting symposia, and in March/April to select talks and posters And the conference will be held 4-8 July 2021!
- Work with the Hub Coordinator to answer the six questions below, and submit these (along with any supporting information) to firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE SEND IN YOUR APPLICATIONS BY DECEMBER 15, 2020. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at email@example.com
QUESTIONS FOR HUB TEAMS
1. Please provide your name and contact details.
2. Where in the world are you based, and what time zones are you comfortable working in?
3. What previous experience do you have organizing meetings or workshops? Please describe one or more challenges that you experienced, and how you overcame these challenges.
4. What previous experience do you have organizing online events including (but not limited to) meetings or workshops? Please describe one or more challenges that you experienced, and how you overcame these challenges.
5. Please name and describe the experience of the 3-5 person local organizing committee who will form your core "team."
6. What are three key innovations you would like SMBE2021 to feature to be more successful, engaging, and inclusive?