OFC 2020 Embraces Two-Way, Remote Participation

By David Plant, Jun Shan Wey and Shinji Matsuo, OFC 2020 Technical Program Chairs

After 18 months of planning the OFC 2020 program, we had to rethink how to deliver the program in the two weeks prior to the start of the conference. As the conference drew closer, it became apparent to all of us, the onsite participation at OFC 2020 would be significantly impacted by COVID-19.  

This presented us with an enormous challenge and opportunity to determine how to deliver the high-quality program that we had been planning. We quickly realized that we needed remote participation technology so that our colleagues from all over the globe—including those who would be onsite and those who would be unable to attend physically—could still participate and interact. 

With the fast-changing situation, we had less than two weeks to re-plan the conference delivery method and to work out the logistics. This included installing the required equipment in all 11 meeting rooms, setting up the presentation delivery methods, and building the OFC App for attendees to access the sessions no matter where they were based.  

All hands were on deck. The entire Team OFC went into action.

The feedback from many onsite and remote participants has been extremely positive. 

As an example of the use of virtual technology, offsite presenters delivered their talks using the Zoom tool to an onsite and online audience. After presentations, live and interactive Q&A was conducted. Another example is the livestreaming of both the Plenary Session and the Fiber 50 Celebration Keynote.  

OFC 2020 presented a unique opportunity to be creative with digital programming options. In exploring these options, we were able to successfully disseminate the high-quality program the OFC community has assembled. 

We are thankful to all the OFC 2020 stakeholders for helping us to make OFC 2020 successful under the current circumstances. We look forward to 2021, 28 March - 1 April in San Francisco, when we can all come together again. 



Posted: 13 March 2020 by David Plant, Jun Shan Wey and Shinji Matsuo, OFC 2020 Technical Program Chairs | with 0 comments

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