Issue 604: Make SIG meetings more sustainable
Post by Erin Canning (7 July 2022)
- The SIG to meet in person once a year at the CIDOC conference (with some overlap in schedules to avoid extremely long trips).
- The SIG to meet online twice a year to accommodate members who cannot travel and strengthen the community with wider representation across different time zones.
- Consider a federated SIG, where regional meetings take place either online or at a location thus reducing requirement for travel. These could be led by a member of the editorial group. Decisions at regional meetings will be sent for offline review and discussed by the editorial board in separate meetings either in person or online. Right for veto to remain at global level.
Post by Rob Sanderson (7 July 2022)
Agree 100% with 1 and 2. Perhaps broadening 1 to "a relevant conference, such as CIDOC / ICOM". The meeting would need to be shorter than the 4 day marathon pattern however.
Federation via regional meetings is hard, especially amongst a relatively small community, and multiplies the logistics burden. I don't think we have the scale for it at this stage.
Post by Pat Riva (12 July 2022)
I think the tension between in-person and online meetings will remain for some time. That does argue for an annual schedule that has some of each.
I think we have found that there are kinds of issues/business that runs well in the Zoom format. I think of specific issues that don't require much explanation, editorial correction of scope notes, examples. Giving presentations and reports works too.
But there are logistical drawbacks in addition to the timezones. Because of the timezones, we actually have fewer meeting hours over a 4-day online meeting than an in-person meeting. And it is much harder to stay available for all the sessions when one is at one's normal office. Plus distraction with other things the rest of the day. Speaking for my experience, of course.
I do not find we have MORE people in attendance online at any one time than we had at in-person meetings pre-pandemic, but it is not all the same people. Bringing in the different participants is good.
For the in-person meetings, I favour the stand-alone meeting, long enough to justify the travel time, rather than trying to extend some other event with a SIG. Attempting to extend another conference will make the entire trip very long. And too many different responsibilities conflicting for those active in the main conference, possibly not allowing the most active SIG members to concentrate on CRM because of their CIDOC duties, or CIDOC conference host duties, or presentations to give during CIDOC. For many years we have tried to extend IFLA to carry out standards work, and at best you can extend by one day, it can be hard to find a venue unsupported by the main conference, and everyone is already exhausted and often unprepared. Also, no matter what basic conference we attempt to extend, there will be a number of SIG members who do not find it relevant and would not be going.
In summary, I agree with the mix of online and in-person, but not necessarily the formula for the in-person meeting. Like Rob I hesitate regarding the regional meetings, as adding too much logistical work and making the groups much too small to have the critical mass of expertise.
Post by George Bruseker (12 July 2022)
My two cents.
I like the proposal regarding sustainability and its recognition particularly of the financial realities and the potentials of technologies / new methodologies and how they relate to our working practice. (Not to mention ecological questions)
Setting a standard number of meetings a year sounds good and three sounds like an adequate number to me. I also think mixing hybrid and in person makes sense with having one in person being realistic.
Regarding the colocation, I think I agree with Pat that it probably won't work, especially if this is the only in person SIG meeting that will happen. In that scenario, the SIG will take up its full number of days and will necessitate being run very efficiently to keep it up to date. So I would think the one in person meeting would remain a meeting to be held in its own right. I think shortening the one in person meeting down to one day is likely not realistic.
Obviously the above would be a significant update to the SIG's working practice and so is definitely something that I think we should hear from everyone about and fully understand the pros and cons of before making such a significant structural change.
Post by Martin Doerr (12 July 2022)
I support your arguments below. Actually we had more attendants in some virtual meetings than in most personal meetings on one side, but we have more absence of participants not interested in topics based on the agenda. The latter is not ideal, because attending the arguments and learning about other subject matters is for my understanding a very valuable educational experience for anybody interested in using the CRM and in conceptual modelling.
All the best,