Why The Time for Virtual Academic Conferences Is Now!

How Modern Business Press Has Developed a New, Better Model for Academics to Showcase Their Research

David Wyld
Mar 30, 2020 · 13 min read
Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

With much of the US population, and indeed much of the world’s population, sheltering in place in their own homes during the current coronavirus pandemic, we know that much of what we did up until early March of this year will change forever after this outbreak is over. From the way we work to the way we shop to the way we socialize and yes, to the way we learn and teach, countless aspects of our lives — both professional and personal — will be transformed coming out of this event. Social distancing will linger as we all become germaphobes to one degree or another. Home delivery of basically everything will become almost the preferred way of shopping and dining. And finally, yes, much of what we “do” in all those meetings could have been handled through a video conference — or just a simple email.

On that last note, we’ve all seen memes and cartoons expressing just that — the truth that each of us knew long, long before the weeks of quarantine that all those meetings, conversations, and presentations that it seemed so crucial to be present in-person for could be handled better from the comfort of our own homes online. And yes, now the same is true for academic conferences — and the current pandemic, which has wiped out many, many scheduled conferences in the remainder of 2020 will likely spark a new debate over the worth of the traditional conference model. And the answer is clearly indisputable: The academic conference is dead. And it was dead long before the current COVID-19 pandemic. But now, in late March 2020, as we see the world change before our very eyes on our multiple screens and by looking out our windows at empty streets, we can now officially declare that the academic conference as we knew it — a physical gathering of academicians at a hotel, resort, or — as a last choice of course, another university — is dead, dead, dead!

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The Way Things Were With Academic Conferences

Remember your last academic conference? Well, now it’s likely going to be your last. However, what do you remember most about it. Sure, you might have had a couple of very good meals — hopefully on your university’s dime! Hopefully it was somewhere you wanted to go — maybe Orlando, maybe Las Vegas, or maybe a European city that you always wanted to go and explore — and again, hopefully on your university’s dime! Maybe you were able to hit the middle-aged sweet spot and been able to basically subsidize a couple’s getaway or the family vacation with support from your institution — all for just taking an hour or two to present one of your research projects. Maybe you got to reconnect with a couple of former colleagues or friends from your graduate school and catch-up with them on “things” (a minute amount might actually be research related).

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And what did you actually present there? Maybe, and in many cases more likely than not these days in the business and social sciences, you just had to present an Abstract — which translated into reality often means “Hey, I (and maybe a couple of colleagues) sat around the day before the conference submission deadline and came-up with the required 250–500–1000 words on something we have/might/might never do so that we could get our way paid to make this trip we wanted to go on!” Or better yet, maybe it was a poster session, where you just had to stand by your poster like a kid at the middle school science fair?

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Maybe though you really travelled to a conference to get feedback on your research. But then when you went to present in the hotel conference room, you were surprised that your session was in a small room in a hallway far from the big ballroom. And rather than a packed audience waiting to listen to your presentation in rapt attention, with learned colleagues from all over the country and maybe even around the world who would then provide you with actionable feedback on how you could perhaps expand on your project and branch into other areas and consider new variables and factors in your findings, you found something else. In fact, you found quite something else. If the conference was in Orlando, Las Vegas, a beach resort, etc., 70–80–90% of the attendees were likely not in sessions at any given time, opting for the lure of the locale over the love of learning — well, except if there was a happy hour, a lunch, a dinner included with the conference fee (never ever stand between academics and free booze or food!). However, more than likely you came away disappointed with the engagement you had with the conference experience itself (but hey, maybe some great memories or at least some great photos for your Instagram and Facebook feeds!).

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The Poor ROI of Traditional Academic Conferences

So, let’s get real here with three key questions about traditional academic conferences:

  1. What were the real costs of attending that conference and who paid them?
  2. What will the real, lasting impact of presenting at that conference be for you?
  3. What was your real ROI for going to that conference?

Yeah, you might have had a break from the “daily grind.” Yeah, you might have had a good time with your wife, significant other, and maybe even your kids if you did manage to turn it into a non-solo trip. Maybe you did make a single connection or get a single piece for feedback that will prove to be useful. But — and here’s the thing — whether you paid all or a significant part of the many bills — for the travel, for the conference registration, for all the “ancillaries”…., the real answer to those questions — if you are being completely honest and objective in your assessment of the real ROI of your efforts/money/time, etc. spent toward delivering that presentation.

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And finally, let’s say that you have the best possible travel funding situation and that your university supported 100% of your travel costs. Ok, so you’re not paying for anything out of your own pocket. For most of us in higher education however, and especially for junior faculty and even doctoral students, that’s not the case when it comes to conference travel, as we might be picking up a significant part — and maybe even all — of our travel expenses for conferences. But whether you paid 1% or 100% of the costs associated with your attending and presenting at that conference, ask yourself a simple question: What was the real, lasting impact of that presentation?

Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

And that is the true question to ask yourself when it comes to academic conferences today. Whatever the count of people that were in the room that day, how many were actually listening to what you had to say (and we can all define “listening” very differently today with the easy tech distraction in our pockets!). But beyond that one time, single shot presentation of your research, did your presentation have any lasting impact? Was it videoed, and if so, can it be freely seen on demand online — or is any video made of your presentation only available to conference registrants or those willing to pay for a site membership for the organization and/or that specific conference? Did the conference actually publish a proceedings with your paper included in it? If so, can anyone actually find it anywhere online or in-print, for free?

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The long and short of it is this — the old model of academic conferences is outdated and broken — and basically dead. Today, it is vital that knowledge not be limited to just those hearing a presentation at one time in one hotel conference room. That was never a very efficient model, and today, in a time where new norms will be established for how we do a whole range of work and non-work activities, the time is ripe for a new model of academic conferencing. Modern Business Press has that model — and it is ready for you to use to present and showcase your research to the world today!

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A New Model for Academic Conferences

My name is David Wyld, and I am the founder and publisher of Modern Business Press. We have developed a truly different — and better — approach to academic conferences that will provide you with a platform to share your work with the world! We are a group formed by academics, for academics, and we want to help you in your academic career all the time — and especially in this time!

I’m proud to announce that Modern Business Press has a new online conferencing platform — Modern Business Press Conferences — that offers you an opportunity to present your academic research in a new and innovative way! We have developed a unique platform that is perfect for you to present your work at a time when “normal” academic conferences may be disrupted for many months to come — or perhaps even years. As such, we are fully operational and ready to help you disseminate your work. And yes, we all know it’s likely that your institution will not stop your “tenure clock” and that your “publishing expectations” will not change, no matter the circumstances!

At Modern Business Press, we believe that our virtual conferences offer not just the most affordable option out there for you, but the one that will produce the most “return on investment” for you! As you will see, Modern Business Press will showcase you and your work in an unparalleled manner — enabling you to reach further and build your personal brand!

Source image: Google

The 4 Ways We’re Different — and Better — Than Traditional Conferences

Modern Business Press is truly reimagining the academic conference — and making it work better for all! We offer a different model than any other organization offering academics a chance to showcase and share their work — period! What makes us different — and a “best choice” as an outlet for your work? It comes down to four basic qualities:

  1. Our Reach
  2. Our Production
  3. Our Permanence and “Shareability”
  4. Our Affordability

Our Reach

Modern Business Press offers you an unmatched global platform on which to showcase your work! Our conference platforms provide scholars and practitioners across all fields of inquiry who hail from all over the planet the opportunity to feature their research and to connect on a global level! We provide you with a top-quality finished product that is permanently featured on our site. Your presentation, your slides, and your abstract will be available for all to see — and easily shareable AND searchable — making it easy for you to connect with the world through social media. You will be proud to share with your Modern Business Press Conference presentation with your own network and use our packaging of your work as a prime example of what you can do — and the value, expertise, and knowledge that you can deliver!

Our Production

The team at Modern Business Press will work hard to make each and every presentation you make on our asynchronous conference platform nothing less than a career highlight! We will create a unique page featuring your presentation for our virtual conferences that will be readily sharable — and you will want to do so! That’s because what you will be sharing is a product unmatched in the conference market today!

Upon publication, your conference presentation will have a unique page on our site, featuring each of the following elements:

Your Presentation

You control how the world views your presentation! That’s because you decide how, when, where, and in what form to deliver your presentation in a video you supply to us. Want to present to colleagues in a conference room? Want to make your presentation to students in an auditorium — or in a park? On the other hand, if you just want to record yourself talking through your slides on the computer — that’s fine too! Want to create a “video spectacular” with production value — maybe with the help of tech savvy colleagues, students, or friends? We leave that up to you — and to your imagination! Your video will be featured both on your unique conference presentation page and on our YouTube Channel — and so it will be both shareable and searchable to the world!

Your Abstract: We will feature your abstract on your presentation page. It will look spectacular, as it will be formatted in the style of the Modern Business Press Journals! Your work will be available for viewing and downloading by interested parties on your presentation page. Additionally, if you choose to do so, your work will be featured in the Conference Proceedings — all free to view, free to download, and most importantly, free to share!

Your Slides: We will (optionally) post your presentation slides (PowerPoint/Prezi or anything else that come down the pipe!) for viewing/download on your presentation page. This provides interested parties with the ability to better follow your and your work, as well as providing you with a platform to showcase your ability to organize an effective presentation. Your slides to are made available for viewing, downloading, and again, most importantly, sharing!

Your Contact Info: We make it easy for interested parties who visit your presentation page to contact you! We will include as much info — or as little — as you want to make that possible. Want to include your social media contacts? Want to include your bio and/or photo? We make the contact section as much as you want it to be to make it your personalized “business card” for the world!

Our Permanence and “Shareability”

Each and every virtual conference produced by Modern Business Press will be permanently archived on our site. Your presentation, your abstract, your conference proceedings will be there on the page we create for you — for you to cite, for you to share, and for people to find both you and your work. It will be available for free to all interested parties — permanently. No one will ever need to be a member of our organization, register for our site, or pay any conference fee — or any fee whatsoever — to access your work and build your influence. In short, your presentation with us can be a signature “calling card” that you can use to advance your career! And who know who will “discover” you and your work through the magic of Google and other search engines?

Our Affordability

We believe that our virtual conferences offer not just the most affordable option out there for you, but the one that will produce the most “return on investment” — both in terms of your work effort and your monetary outlay. As you will see, Modern Business Press will showcase you and your work in an unparalleled manner!

For the services we provide to you, featuring your presentation, your abstract (both on the site and in the conference proceedings), your slides, and yourself on a uniquely created, permanent page on our site, the total investment on your part is just $250 (US). And if you submit a second abstract for the same conference, that will only add an additional $100 (US) for the same services!

Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash

Conclusion — Join Us!

Over the long term, we want you to be involved not just as a virtual conference author and presenter, but as a contributor in the Modern Business Press Journals. We have a variety of outlets, and one is likely to be the perfect venue for your work! If you choose to submit your fully-developed conference paper as a completed journal submission and it successfully passes through our review process to be accepted, we will reduce the publication fee by $100 (US)!

Finally, I wanted to make you aware that we have an introductory offer that we have extended for all of 2020 that will make publishing/presenting with us half-off through the end of the year! For details, please see the link below:

I look forward to working with you to meet your academic research goals — both this year and well into the future! As you will see as you explore all of our site, we have conferences and journals geared to whatever your area of business might be!

At Modern Business Press, we’ve reinvented the publishing process so that it works better for you — let us help you today in this time of a global health crisis and into the future as we get to what the “new normal” might be for all of us! And do feel free to pass along this email to your colleagues/graduate students who may be looking for a great new outlet for their academic works in this critical time.

Please contact me directly (david@theideapublishing.com) with any questions — and do stay well!

Email: publisher@theideapublishing.com

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David Wyld

Written by

David Wyld (dwyld@selu.edu) is a Professor of Strategic Management at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is a noted business consultant and writer.

Modern Business

Stay abreast of the latest in business, tech, money, and careers!

David Wyld

Written by

David Wyld (dwyld@selu.edu) is a Professor of Strategic Management at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is a noted business consultant and writer.

Modern Business

Stay abreast of the latest in business, tech, money, and careers!

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