In a move that surprised absolutely nobody ICANN has yet again announced that an upcoming event will be online only.
ICANN’s second meeting of the year is scheduled to take place in June. Originally this was meant to be held in The Hague, but due to the ongoing issues with COVID 19 it will be held online only.
ICANN switched all of its events to online only last year in response to the Covid pandemic.
While the decision to switch the first meeting of 2020 to online wasn’t made until a few weeks in advance of the meeting, the decision to switch other events to online was made far enough in advance for the schedule to be changed to reflect the medium. So far ICANN has chosen to run the meetings on the timezone of the originally chosen location, so the meeting being held this week and next is on Cancun time. I assume they’ll be running the June meeting on The Hague’s timezone, though other events have taken a different path entirely. In the case of Namescon, for example, the event organisers switched to an almost 24 hour format with tracks for Asia, Europe and the Americas.
The 3rd meeting of 2021 is still scheduled to take place in Seattle at the end of October. At this stage it’s looking unlikely to take place “in person” and if it does the number of attendees will be greatly reduced, as travel restrictions and quarantines are unlikely to have been relaxed.
While the change to online has resulted in some significant changes in how the meetings are conducted the online events are costing the organisation a lot less to run.