There are many ways you can participate in an IACR virtual conference. Your participation is valuable and we encourage you to add to the discussion. Like a face-to-face conference, virtual conferences are only as good as the interactions that occur there.
We recognize that a virtual conference is not a 1:1 substitute for a physical conference. However, we believe there are distinct advantages to having a virtual conference. These include a lack of space constraints, travel is not required, and the ability to attend all talks since they are recorded.
All conference attendees must be IACR members. When you participate in Q&A, chat, etc, you must do so in such a way that you are readily identifiable (i.e. by using the name you are known by in your professional work). The code of conduct still applies in a virtual setting.
The conference is organized over 4 days, with approximately 4 hours per day. Sessions consist of live 5 minute presentations of the papers, which are grouped by topic, followed by a Q&A panel discussion with the speakers and session moderators. The conference will also feature invited talks, a rump session, and Ask Me Anything sessions. We recommend monitoring the conference program to see which sessions are upcoming.
We will be holding live Q&A panels over Zoom with authors multiple times daily. At these panels, attendees will be able to ask questions of authors about their work, or to encourage interesting conversation amongst authors. These Q&As will also be livestreamed on our YouTube channel and are available for later viewing. Links to the sessions will appear in the conference program if you are registered.
To ask a question during a session, we recommend using the relevant stream on Zulip. There is also opportunity to ask questions using the Zoom chat, but this is less convenient for moderators. The Zulip stream for each session will be linked from the program.
Much like at a face-to-face conference, we know that the best conversations can happen in the hallways or at coffee breaks. We encourage you to make use of the Zulip instance we have set up on chat.iacr.org to connect with other conference attendees. There are a variety of channels, organized by topic. You can also start small video chat rooms from Zulip. Chat is available via browser, but there are also desktop and mobile apps.
Jitsi (hosted on non-IACR servers) allows you to host watch parties, whereby you and others watch a talk or Q&A session together. Like chat, watch parties encourage discussion and interaction amongst attendees. We recommend starting these from Zulip on chat.iacr.org.
We have set up a variety of social events for each day at the conference, and have listed them in the program. If you'd like to start your own social events, and want to allow other attendees to join, post a link on Zulip at chat.iacr.org.
We are using Zoom for our live Q&A sessions. You do not have to install Zoom software to attend! If you plan to attend a session using your browser, it needs to be one of the following:
* Please note that Zoom officially recommends Chrome, Edge, or Firefox for full functionality.
If you wish to use the desktop client, there are options available for all operating systems. However, there are serious security vulnerabilities for each. The IACR does not recommend the installation of Zoom desktop clients at this time (10 May 2020).
How to enter a Zoom meeting with the web client.
We offer entrance to our sessions for both attendees with Zoom accounts and those without. When you log in via the browser client, Zoom will ask for an email. This does not have to be a legitimate email address. However, if you plan to use the desktop client, you will need a Zoom account.
We strongly encourage you to use the corresponding Zulip stream on chat.iacr.org or to ask it verbally during the session (when called on by moderators). Note that Zulip allows for other attendees to see your question and upvote it by reacting with emojis. Authors may answer verbally during the session or have a longer discussion on Zulip.
Unfortunately, due to the wide variety of time zones IACR members live in, we cannot accommodate everyone. We strongly encourage those who cannot attend live events to still participate in the conference asynchronously.
Live Q&A sessions and invited talks are streamed to YouTube and available for viewing after the fact. You can also watch any of the pre-recorded talks on YouTube, or participate in chat via Zulip. If you don't want to watch the talks alone, we suggest you to host a watch party for others in your time zone. Post watch party links on Zulip if you'd like to encourage others to join.
No. There was no perfect solution available, and we had a very quick turnaround time, so we opted for commercial options that had a high degree of reliability while offering the best user experience. The IACR acknowledges the security and privacy problems of each of these technologies, and our use of them is not to be considered an endorsement.
For future IACR virtual events, we hope to be able to host more services on our own servers.