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How to make the most of your Virtual ICRA 2020 experience

Dear friends of ICRA 20,

The current pandemic has forced us to switch to an all-online event. The huge part of an in-person conference is actually meeting friends and colleagues, and connecting with our fellow researchers of the community. We are naturally sad to let this go but we have been working very hard to make your virtual ICRA experience a most compelling one.

Given the circumstances, and the huge variety of timezones covered by our participants - 16 hours from California to Japan - it appeared that trying to stick to the original in-person schedule isn’t the best option. Considering 1600 paper presentations, plenaries, keynotes, and +70 workshops and tutorials scheduled to be held in 20 parallel tracks, we have opted for on-demand presentations and to provide efficient interaction tools for technical exchanges. We have also carefully planned our plenaries to allow for real-time interaction: every day at 1PM (UTC), the talk will be broadcast on IEEE.tv followed by a live Q&A with the speaker.

The virtual conference uses 3 different tools, and you’ll need different credentials for each: slack, Papercept, and InfoVaya. If you accept cookies on your browser, hopefully you’ll have to login only once. Attendees will receive their login instructions by mail prior to the conference. If you already have a login on Papercept or InfoVaya and have used the same email in your registration, these will be automatically linked. 

The conference system will go online starting Sunday May 31.

All technical papers are presented with 5 to 10 minutes videos supplied by authors. Each paper is linked to a slack #channel for  Q&A and interacting with the authors asynchronously; just join and start the discussion, you'll be read.

Links to presentation videos and slack #channels will be available through our  online hub (InfoVaya), as well as from our proceedings on Papercept. Proceedings are organized following the original conference schedule - please ignore times and locations, every paper will remain available from 31 May to 31 August.

Please do reach out to the authors on Slack for any comment or question - the success of the online conference depends on the quality of the interactions. We give you the tools, and sincerely hope that you'll make the best out of them.

Authors will be notified to populate their Presentation pages and bios on InfoVaya Conference Hub. Please take some time before the conference for this task. You can also join your paper's slack #channel, present yourself and drop any additional information to kick start a compelling discussion of your work. You can also announce when you'll be available for a live meeting: we provide several tools in this extent, please see below.

InfoVaya is a cloud platform for academic events, used by major IEEE conferences in recent years, including the last three ICRAs. It is a robust, responsive, and secure environment designed to help attendees make the most of their time at the conference. It comes complete with a companion mobile app to cover users on the go. ICRA 2020 is using InfoVaya as its virtual venue, a central hub where attendees can convene online to browse the sessions, presentations and people’s profiles, and find information of interest.

Each presentation will be hosted on its own page containing the abstract, links to online videos and chat sessions, the full paper, authors’ profiles, on-demand videos, author-uploaded poster and/or slides, author-typed additional information, and the ICRA-Digest summary of their work. Each attendee will be given a professional page containing their contributions to the current conference as well as past events. You can also choose to share contact details, a short bio, and a resume.

There will also be a Virtual Industrial Exposition and a European Research Showcase featured on InfoVaya. Exhibitors look forward to interacting with you in their own slack #channels.

Slack provides a workspace for all interactive aspects of ICRA 2020. If you are not familiar with it, a short video here covers the basics.  Also, a good advice to keep the discussion easy to navigate is to use threads, and to pin important messages.
Beyond textual communication, slack provides some more powerful tools. You can share documents, by uploading from your device or directly from Google Drive or Dropbox. You can initiate a video conferencing within the channel, automatically inviting all participants, using these commands:  /jitsi , /zoom , /hangout and /webex . Among these, jitsi does not require an account, is open source, securely encrypted and works fairly well; you’ll need a personal account on others to initiate a call.
Another useful app integrated in the workspace is /loom. It lets you record quickly a screencast with voiceover and your camera. It’s a quite easy way to communicate and to answer questions, consider checking this out. You can also use it to record presentation videos. Loom videos play directly in the channel, making them a practical way to share pre-recorded presentations. Additionally,  /poll creates simple and quick polls, very useful to get feedback. Finally, /doodle is also available directly in the channel. It can help you to set up real-time encounters for a more efficient exchange.  If you need help, message directly @SlackBot.

In your slack workspace, you’ll see the  list of all participants - you are allowed to privately message others, but please respect everyone’s boundaries. A strict adherence to IEEE code of conduct is expected. Please report abuse or any issues immediatly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or dm @ICRA20 on slack.

IEEE Conference Code of Conduct

IEEE believes that science, technology, and engineering are fundamental human activities, for which openness, international collaboration, and the free flow of talent and ideas are essential. Its meetings, conferences, and other events seek to enable engaging, thought-provoking conversations that support IEEE’s core mission of advancing technology for humanity. Accordingly, IEEE is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment to all participants, including staff and vendors, at IEEE-related events.

IEEE has no tolerance for discrimination, harassment, or bullying in any form at IEEE-related events. All participants have the right to pursue shared interests without harassment or discrimination in an environment that supports diversity and inclusion. Participants are expected to adhere to these principles and respect the rights of others.

IEEE seeks to provide a secure environment at its events. Participants should report any behavior inconsistent with the principles outlined here, to on-site staff This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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