Open Sym this year was held online. My collegues from University of Washington, Seattle and me handed in a paper about an evaluation of the ontology I developed during my phd. The conference was organized in a different manner than last time. There were no parallel sessions and the presentations were rather short, abut ten minutes. Each session consisted of two to three presentations of the respective papers. Through this format, it was possible to get all presentations and the discussions were quite nice.
The social event was held via Mozilla Hubs. I think this was a good idea, but it is not the same as meeting with the people in person. It was also not that easy to have a real private talk within the virtual room, since everyone was able to hear what the others were talking about, although it got more quiet the further you were away from the people.
All in all, I think we should soon try to get back to face-to-face conferences. The discussions of the articles were rather interesting, but most of the time it is way more interesting to talk with people over a coffee or at a social event about stuff. All this was not possible. On the other side, we might use corona to think if it is necessary to conferences at the most exotic places attract people, or rather on less exotic places and save travel costs and time.