As we approach our first hybrid meeting in more than two years, I want to provide you with an update about the ICANN organization's technical preparations for ICANN74 in The Hague, Netherlands. While we are excited to offer community members the opportunity for in-person participation, we are equally thrilled to continue implementing the valuable lessons learned during our virtual meetings. This will ensure that we provide the best meeting experience for both in-person and remote participants. Below are some highlights of what we have been working on to get ready to return to a hybrid meeting format and what you can expect as a participant:
Our state-of-the-art meeting equipment has already arrived in the Netherlands.
- It contains a wide variety of gear, including network equipment, conference microphone systems, camera systems, remote participation and registration equipment, and universal power strips.
- ICANN org Meeting Technical Services, Global Meeting Operations, and Security Operations staff had an opportunity to power, upgrade, and test the equipment prior to shipping. The hybrid meeting format was also tested.
- The equipment will arrive at the event location, World Forum The Hague, on 5 June. Then the various teams will set up the ICANN Meetings Network and participation equipment, the health and safety center, and welcome desks, where participants can retrieve their registration and print out badges. On-site registration will not be available at ICANN74.
The technology we employ won't change with the return to a hybrid meeting format. What will need to evolve, however, is the way we use these platforms.
- Zoom will play a critical role in bridging the gap between those on site in The Hague and those who participate virtually.
- All attendees, regardless of their physical location, should join via Zoom, to access the speaking queue and take advantage of the chat features.
- The Raise Hand feature in Zoom will allow us to form a single speaking queue, providing a more equitable meeting experience.
- To ensure transparency, all attendees should join the Zoom sessions by using their full name (e.g., first and last name).
- Updated participation guides will be published for on-site and virtual participants.
- We have also implemented enhanced cleaning protocols for microphones and other in-room audiovisual equipment.
The switch to virtual meetings more than two years ago presented us with the opportunity to further innovate and advance the way we get together as a global community. Since then, we have significantly enhanced the meeting experience for participants from around the world. We look forward to blending the knowledge gained through the virtual meetings with the option of in-person participation to make ICANN74 more inclusive and equitable for all who attend.