(Republishing due to a technical issue!)
ICANN has announced that their first public meeting of 2022 will not be “in person” and that they will stick to the “virtual” format.
They have, however, stated that they want their June meeting, which is scheduled to be held in The Hague, to take place with a “hybrid” format.
ICANN is notoriously conservative, so this announcement is probably not that surprising to many ICANN regulars.
However many bigger events are going ahead in person already. Web Summit was held in Lisbon last week with over 40 thousand attendees from around the world. CES will be going ahead in Las Vegas in January and that event usually attracts over 150 thousand attendees.
So why is ICANN being so slow to move back to face to face events?
Part of this is due to a feeling in some quarters that everybody should be able to attend, which could prove impossible in the short to medium term due to travel restrictions. Puerto Rico, where the first meeting of 2022 was scheduled to take place, is part of the United States and that country was closed to foreign travellers until today. While travel restrictions have been eased they have not been removed entirely.
Full details on the ICANN announcement here.