Organising ADASS in a Pandemic
2020-11-09, 18:15–18:30, Times in UTC

ADASS (Astronomical Data Analysis Software & Systems) is a medium-size conference catering astronomers and engineers from all over the world. It is traditionally held every year in the fall in a different country, hosted by an astronomy organisation in that country. Or at least this is what has happened for the past 29 editions.

The 30th edition of the ADASS conference series was supposed to take place in Granada, Spain. We were supposed to bask in the sun enjoying southern Spain food and hospitality. Little did we know that our plans had to change dramatically because of a tiny threat with a long name. The "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2" has been causing havoc all over the world for a number of months already and has reached pandemic proportions.

It quickly became clear by spring 2020 that our hopes for a quick end to the pandemic were quite naive and that an in-person conference was simply not going to be possible. Not even in November. The ADASS 2020 LOC had to quickly pivot to an online conference format.

This talk describes in detail all the lessons learned in switching from a relatively advanced traditional conference organisation to an online event. It will hopefully be of use to future organising teams of other online scientific and technical meetings.


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