The leading global 6G event was transformed into a virtual one
As the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic and the world began to go into lockdown, the organisers of 2nd 6G Wireless Summit 2020 decided to transform the leading global 6G event to a virtual one – in less than five days. Sharing of 6G visions, research results and challenges could be realised virtually, the organising team in the Finnish 6G Flagship programme concluded.
Attending a virtual event, the more than 400 registered participants could stay safe in their homes or offices while having online access to a total of 161 presentations: 7 keynotes, 37 invited presentations including 20 recorded videos and 10 slide presentations with audio, 75 technical papers including 29 recorded videos and 45 slide presentations with audio, and 42 posters. In addition, the presented papers would gain a wide global audience even before their publication in IEEE Xplore.
The virtual event was launched in the morning of 17 March 2020, as originally planned for the physical event. “It was made possible by a seven-member team including students, technical staff and myself as technical programme committee chair,” said Nandana Rajatheva. “We worked nearly around the clock in a highly time-constrained scenario as we also wanted to ensure a high-quality outcome.”
Until now, very few major events organised with technical support by IEEE – world’s largest technical professional organisation – have taken place online. “We have received positive feedback from different parts of the world stating that this was truly a landmark achievement leading the world towards other similar events realised virtually,” Rajatheva said.
The turnout left no questions about the timeliness of the discussed topics as 610 experts from 42 countries explored the online material. The website tool and browsers caused some challenges, for sure, but the statistics demonstrate a strong participation. Each presentation also has its own discussion forum and there are also general forums. All registered participants were able to create topics, raise questions and answer them. In six days, by 22 March, experts had written as many as 414 posts in 87 topics.