Finland's largest virtual conference under the aegis of Tampere
Nearly the same size have been the BrainSTIM conference on neurosciences, hosted by Aalto University in June, and the 6G wireless summit held at the University of Oulu in March. According to preliminary data compiled by the Finland Convention Bureau, the IAMCR2020 conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research, hosted in Tampere, is the largest virtual event organized in Finland to date.
The IAMCR conference was originally scheduled to take place in Beijing, but after the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, Tampere offered to host it.
At first, a conventional conference of more than a thousand people was to be held in the Tampere Hall, but after the corona virus expanded into a pandemic, the meeting place became virtual space and the onsite conference was transformed into an online conference.
The plenary sessions of the conference in mid-July were open to all, discussions among scholars on issues such as Internet governance and the media experiences of the corona crisis. The main part of the conference, aimed exclusively at members of the Association, consisted of video presentations compiled by 26 divisions as well as 680 peer-reviewed scientific papers by the members, grouped into 153 panels. The entire program was recorded online after the premiere, where a limited discussion for members will continue until mid-September. The plenaries will remain permanently online.
The biggest exposure was attracted by the plenaries such as the inaugural session, which recorded nearly a thousand net visitors. The closed panels dealing with specific themes were only small groups as in conventional conferences. However, the total number of participants in one and a half hundred working groups rose to more than thousand. The countries with biggest amounts of participants were China and the United States.
Professor emeritus Kaarle Nordenstreng, kaarle.nordenstreng [at] tuni.fi