iecon20: Dawning of a new adventure

For obvious reasons, we had to cancel our conference in Estonia so we decided to turn it into a web conference. Can we count on your support?

Let’s meet online! (Image: Medek)

What a strange idea, that an IE conference with all its deep experiences, personal exchanges and many jolly hours together might be replaced by online sessions. It took us some time to get acquainted with this concept. We started with thinking how we could adapt our familiar conference elements to the obvious limitations, but then we also began to explore new elements that could balance the lack of in-person exchange. We now feel rather excited about this new challenge.

How could heritage communities present themselves in action? Could short statements of site visitors be recorded and discussed? Would it be possible to win key people who might not otherwise come to an IE conference for short interviews or even online panels with other key players? What options do we have for virtual coffee breaks? And how about podcasts, allowing attendees to leave their screens and maybe prepare a meal or continue other activities whilst listening?

If you look at www.interpreteuropeconference.net/programme, you can find our answers to some of those questions. ‘Spring walk’, ‘My favourite site’, ‘From my home’, and ‘Old skills’ are some of the new formats – but they need your contributions before the conference. An important deadline is 26 April 2016. By then we need to receive your recordings. You can find the guidelines on how to record and submit your content on the conference website.

Furthermore, we will open the opportunity to organise plenary discussions or create spaces, such as fishbowls or thematic round tables, to provide the opportunity to explore burning subjects. So, if you feel the need to get into an exchange about the current challenges we have to face, or if you have an older presentation that seems to be more relevant than ever, please let us know. We will do everything possible to provide space and search an appropriate format for that. This will not replace but add to the keynote speeches and to the 52 workshops and presentations that were already accepted before the lockdown. All presenters have already been offered the chance to record their presentations in advance. In order to avoid technical flaws, we will use those recordings for all speeches and presentations, while only the subsequent discussions will occur live. Since we don’t expect you to sit in front of your screen for four days, these elements will remain available to watch until 31 May.

Please, help us to make our first IE web conference not only a benchmarking online experience reaching beyond our own network but also a way to foster future in-person events.

Obviously, our call for support is not addressed to those who are immediately burdened by the current situation. If you or your loved ones have serious issues, please stay focused to cope with them. To get and to stay healthy is crucial for overcoming this global crisis. We address those among you who feel they might have free capacities and start to suffer from the cancellation of their professional activities, from the consequences of social distancing, or even from the home office blues. If you seek to experience a short but intense joint activity, you could also join our organising team. Here is your opportunity to unleash your power!

One special call goes to those who are a bit more gifted in technological terms. We have booked two communication platforms and have Adi Kasumovic from 2MB (our previous conference organiser) as our expert on board. However, we need more members to become familiar with our tools so that they can support when we need to change between platforms and media. If you are interested in this and are able to offer your help, please contact: adi.kasumovic@interpreteuropeconference.net

For all other questions, contact nuria.mohedano@interpreteuropeconference.net. Nuria is our web conference manager and will also follow Bettina Lehnes as Events Coordinator.

Some intense weeks are ahead of us. Register at https://interpreteuropeconference.net/registration to get on board and join us on our virtual journey!

Due to the conference moving online, the IE General Assembly cannot take place in May. The Supervisory Committee is in consultation, and we will inform you of the decision in due course.

If you can give your son or daughter only one gift,
let it be enthusiasm.

Bruce Barton