The AMSAT-DL Symposium was conducted two weeks ago. The TAPR DCC took place before that. Coming up this weekend is the annual AMSAT-UK Space Colloquium and the AMSAT Space Symposium is next weekend.

All virtual events this year thanks to the pandemic.

It’s a rich bounty of information if you can carve out enough time to take it all in, and even if you can’t, most events are recorded for later (non-live) viewing which makes it even more useful. Most could never hope to actually attend all these events during a single year given the amount of time it would take and the cost of travel so this is a special kind of bargain.

And even though the lack of face-to-face fellowship does dial back the camaraderie several notches, I suspect this is the new normal for all conferences. Events were already moving in this direction but the pandemic has sped the process and forever changed the way we will congregate going forward.

There will (hopefully) come a time when we can meet in person again, but with the technology firmly in place to stream events and with a willing audience, these things will continue to be streamed. And that option is bound to alter the plans for many who will find it more convenient to stay home than to attend.

And given that income from conferences constitute some portion of an organizations budget, successful groups will have to figure out how to monetize this new experience and make that normal too.