The logistics behind the ICANN public meetings are truly impressive. To hold a meeting with remote participation, simultaneous interpretation and other features requires both skilled staff and literally tonnes of equipment. After every ICANN meeting the equipment is packed up and shipped to the next meeting venue.
Unfortunately last month part of ICANN’s meetings equipment was destroyed in a a fire onboard a ship in Hamburg. The Arauco caught fire and it took firefighters several days to get the blaze under control.
In a blog post ICANN’s head of meetings Nick Tomasso goes into some detail about how this impacts the upcoming meeting in India.
Short version: the impact is minimal. ICANN’s staff had a full list of all the equipment so they’ve been able to get replacements.
Longer version: they won’t be able to take advantage of Akamai’s CDN caching which has helped to speed up internet access for attendees at past meetings. The more interactive “remote hubs” that have been used in the past also won’t be possible for the India meeting. That doesn’t mean that “remote hubs” won’t be possible, but the “dial in” and more interactive side of it won’t be available.