Over the last few months we have all been getting used to what will probably become a new normal. Over most of my career I have taken part in international conferences and it has been a key part of my work. These have all stopped of late - can we really do without them?
Connections is one of the issues mentioned with the cancellation of physical conferences - the business that is done in the corridors and connections made over social interaction. Much of this has gone online in recent months. Can this be a long-term solution?
I had recently taken part in an online meeting of the Australia Chapter of the RPS. It would be unfeasible for me to ever have taken part physically, until I am out there on holiday (a post-Presidency plan). But on the 8th of July from my own home I attended a meeting of Australian members from across that large country. We met each other and showed images of both ourselves and our photography. Lots to be interested here as the landscape, flora and fauna is so different. I was particularly taken by the image of bioluminescent fungus by Brian Menzies.
So where does this take me? There are many more online events planned and I will participate in these. Longer term I plan to attend physical conferences again but I anticipate that whole industry will be at a lower level. Online may become our new normal, together with the enhanced connections this could bring.
But hopefully in a year or two I will physically meet these Australian members!