How to EGU22: the first hybrid General Assembly has the best of both worlds!

How to EGU22: the first hybrid General Assembly has the best of both worlds!

Since the first EGU General Assembly in 2004, the European Geosciences Union’s annual scientific conference has welcomed thousands of researchers from all over the globe, every year. As the event grew in scale, we found a home in Vienna, Austria, attracting scientists, science for policy researchers and journalists from around the world, to discuss the latest developments in the Earth, planetary and space sciences.

In 2020, EGU held its first ever virtual conference EGU20: Sharing Geoscience Online built in six weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021 we returned to a fully virtual format with vEGU21, trying new technologies and learning a lot in the process! Both conferences opened the door to new ways of presenting research, networking with peers and industry, and for interacting with one another during the event. And now, for the first time ever, EGU will host a hybrid version of the General Assembly – open to participants both on-site and virtually.

EGU22 will be the first step on our journey to a complete hybrid meeting that will bring aspects of the traditional in-person General Assembly together with the online innovations developed over the last two years.

What does this mean for the future of the conference, and more importantly, for participant experience? Let’s find out!


A more global community

Before 2020, participants could only attend the GA on-site. While this drew in tens of thousands of attendees each year, it had its limitations too. Some researchers were unable to attend because of conflicting schedules, both professional and personal. Others – particularly scientists from non-EU countries – did not have the time or resources to ‘take a break’ from their regular jobs and travel to Vienna for the week, or were making commitments to fly less which made the meeting too much of a distance to travel. For many, the structure of an on-site meeting was not well suited to their needs, presenting too many barriers to participation. With the new hybrid model, EGU22 is more open and accessible than ever. Now attendees across geographies and time zones can join the meeting, with the option to attend both in Vienna and virtually. If you haven’t yet registered for the meeting, you can do it here now!


Technology for convenience

Whether you’re presenting at EGU22 or just attending the sessions, this year’s General Assembly promises greater convenience, thanks to our purposeful use of technology. For example, all sessions will be streamed live via the Virtual Conference Center so that virtual attendees can fully participate. In addition to the Conference Assistant support live interactions during the session presentations, you will also be able to speak directly with authors, using individual text chat rooms hosted in the author’s display materials space.

Do you want to present online, but are worried about how to get questions from an in-person audience? All presentations, including the Union Symposia and Great Debates, will have microphones set up in the room to allow online presenters to interact with in-person attendees. What about if you are an in-person Presenter worried about your online viewers? They will be able to ask questions in the text chats that can be asked aloud by the session moderator.

Speakers at the scientific sessions can upload their presentation materials during a two-month period starting on 1 May 2022.  Your display materials can have an upload of your presentation slides and a full length video recording of your talk, in addition to the talk that you give live, so make sure you take advantage of your display materials space to get the most out of the hybrid format.


A session for everyone

Taking lessons and inspiration from the previous years, EGU22 will once again offer some of our most-valued and exciting formats, sessions and events. Regardless of your scientific discipline, area of interest and career stage, we’re sure you will something that interests you! Some of the things to look forward to at this year’s General Assembly include:

Due to hygiene restrictions, we are unable to hold the poster sessions and vPICO sessions that are usually such a vibrant and dynamic space to discuss your science, in the open halls this year. But bear in mind that the EGU22 format is NOT intended to replace the poster and vPICO presentations and does not in any way diminish their value, given EGU’s commitment to the equal importance of the various presentation formats.


One format for all

This year, there will only be one format for presentations. All presentations will be short orals with between 15 and 20 abstracts per 1.5 hour time-slot. All sessions will host a mix of in-person and online presentations, all of which will be able to be viewed either in-person or online, giving greater accessibility for all sessions. Read more information on this year’s meeting format here.


For the last two years the EGU community has faced many hardships and challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic and many other extreme events and circumstances, but we have consistently managed to keep finding new solutions to an ever-evolving situation. This year, we hope to continue to learn new ways to bring our community together in a sustainable, accessible and inclusive way as we embark on our journey to EGU22 and all our meetings in the future. Despite the many uncertainties unfolding around us, our aim is that the hybrid EGU22 model will allow us to incorporate unexpected changes along the way, but we hope that you will remain patient with us as we go through this next stage in our transformation towards a fully hybrid General Assembly. We can’t wait to see you there!

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Gillian D’Souza is Media and Communications Officer of the European Geosciences Union. She oversees the Union's blog writing, press interactions and external communication. She has been a science writer on various subjects including health and the environment for close to a decade, and has an M.Sc. in Food Microbiology and Biochemistry from Mumbai, India.

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