IUC 45 remote attendance options required

William_J_G Overington wjgo_10009 at btinternet.com
Tue Sep 28 12:07:57 CDT 2021

It is expensive too!

So even with remote access possible it is not an option for some people 
who are interested in the topics.

Could something be done like putting videos on YouTube please, perhaps 


------ Original Message ------
From: "Dominik Röttsches via Unicode" <unicode at corp.unicode.org>
To: "Mike Narducci" <mike at omg.org>
Cc: "unicode at unicode.org" <unicode at corp.unicode.org>; "Carol David" 
<carol at omg.org>; "rsheeter" <rsheeter at google.com>; "Peter Constable" 
<pconstable at microsoft.com>; "Mark Davis" <markdavis at google.com>
Sent: Tuesday, 2021 Sep 28 At 14:51
Subject: Re: IUC 45 remote attendance options required

Hi Mike and others,

I appreciate there's a step in the right direction and a remote 
connectivity option for speakers is useful. Thank you. Sharing of 
conference videos is finally happening, that's a good step as well.
Still, I think this solution severely lacks remote participation. I've 
attended conferences such as the ATypI Tech Talks 2021 or the Type Tech 
Meetup which were better set-up for making the conference attendance 
accessible remotely. The technology is there. Post event video catch-up 
is useful, but it does not replace, for example, a forum or chat room in 
which questions can be asked by the audience directly after a talk and 
brought to the room.

The numbers on participation being mostly US and even California centric 
lead me to think about survivorship bias. Perhaps there's a problem in 
itself in how this conference is set up, how it invites attendees and 
whom it makes excited to join? We may ask ourselves why the numbers are 
like that, and why the conference is not attracting a more diverse 
audience. The fact that the audience numbers so far have been North 
America centric or even California centric does not mean that the 
conference should be organized exclusively for that audience. Instead, 
in my opinion, it should be opened up wider and make it even easier for 
an international audience to attend and participate.

I find there are good topics and content that interest me in this 
conference, but I'd like to share my opinion here in the hope of future 


On Tue, Sep 28, 2021 at 4:22 PM Mike Narducci <mike at omg.org 
<mailto:mike at omg.org> > wrote:

Hi Dominik,

Apologies.  In the subsequent email exchanges, it looks like you were 
inadvertently omitted from the email thread.  Below is my Sunday reply 
to the whole group.

Hi All,
  Thank you for your patience.

We have a solution!  Now the long-winded lead up…

Let me start out by saying that we will not be offering a hybrid 
approach for attendees at IUC 45.  This has been planned as a face to 
face event, and to pivot to hybrid this late in the process would be 
difficult.  Not just from a staffing/logistics/financial  perspective 
but also from a, well, financial perspective…  What I mean by this is 
that this conference isn’t a large-scale conference with thousands of 
attendees, dozens of exhibitors, and many sponsors.  This is an event 
that in a normal year attracts 150-160  attendees.  A very small 
sandbox.  If you now offer a virtual option, you will very likely 
submarine your onsite attendee and speaker counts.  As soon as that 
option is posted/promoted, we know there will certainly be quite a few 
that decide to make the switch  to virtual.  Give a chance and it’ll be 
taken.  Not only does this impact the financial model in the form of 
attendee credits, but it also impacts our on-site preps like room sets 
and in particular food and beverage estimates each day.  We have already 
submitted  our f&b minimum numbers to the hotel so we are already 
committed to spending and delivering to these levels.

But there’s good news.   The majority of attendees are concentrated in a 
very specific geographical area.

Year over year, we average a minimum of 80% attendance from the US and 
Canada.  Of those North American attendees, we average over 70% from 
California.  This may sound like a Yogi Berra quip (NY Yankees Hall of 
Famer, known for his unique  quotes.  Look him up…) but 100% of the 70% 
are from the Bay Area.  All, with the exception of perhaps 1 or 2, are 
within commuter, walking, or in Mike McKenna’s case, bike riding 
distance.  This includes speakers as well, over 80% are from the local 
area.   We knew all along that we may run into issues with a few 
speakers that could not attend in person because of 
country/state/company/health restrictions.  And we have been preparing 
to still allow them to present remotely.  But these are one-off 
solutions to  accommodate speakers only.  We have heard from a few 
speakers that they cannot present in person and we have let them know 
directly that we will be back in touch with presentation remote 
connectivity.  This week we will also be sending a broadcast speaker 
note, giving everyone the usual speaker requirements and will be using 
that as a way to flesh out anyone else that may  not be able to present 
in person.  We’ll then coordinate the remote connectivity option with 
them individually.

Even with the expected drop in attendance, we are confident that the 
event will still be viable.  We have been targeting this as 
realistically being the first face-to-face event for most of us in a 
very long time.  This should be a reward  in a sense for those that were 
able/allowed to participate in person.  A large part of that reward is 
the opportunity to once again start networking.  It’s a huge component 
of every IUC event and we’re so happy that this will once again take 

As I said at the beginning, we have a solution!!!

Google will not only be supporting IUC 45 as a Gold Sponsor again this 
year, but they have beyond graciously offered to sponsor the recordings 
of all the Thursday and Friday sessions!  Post event, we will make the 
recordings available  to attendees for free and accessible for a fee to 
those that could not attend in person.  After 45-60 days, we will then 
post them to YouTube to be available to the greater community.  We will 
not record the Wednesday tutorials as these are more like training 
sessions and the speakers themselves may get royalties from the content.

Thanks to Rod and Dave from Google, we will be able to outfit each room 
with robo-cams, laptops, mics, and an AV tech with switcher and control 
panel to video record the speaker in room and toggle over to the slide 
presentation and back.   This will not only allow folks to view on 
demand, but it also maintains the structure and integrity for the IUC 45 
face-to-face attendee.



Mike Narducci
Director of Meetings and Events
Boston, MA, USA UTC-04
+1 781 444 0404; 104
mike at omg.org <mailto:mike at omg.org>

From: Dominik Röttsches <drott at google.com <mailto:drott at google.com> >
  Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 9:18 AM
  To: unicode at unicode.org <mailto:unicode at unicode.org> ; Mike Narducci 
<mike at omg.org <mailto:mike at omg.org> >; Carol David <carol at omg.org 
<mailto:carol at omg.org> >
  Cc: rsheeter <rsheeter at google.com <mailto:rsheeter at google.com> >; 
Peter Constable <pconstable at microsoft.com 
<mailto:pconstable at microsoft.com> >; Mark Davis <markdavis at google.com 
<mailto:markdavis at google.com> >
  Subject: Re: IUC 45 remote attendance options required

Hi again everyone,

I haven't received any response so far - could you please reply and 
explain how you plan to organize the conference in a way that prevents 
remote attendees from being at a disadvantage. I still find this 
essential with the background of  restrictive rules that still exist 
regarding entering the US at the time of the conference, in particular 
for an international organisation like the Unicode consortium?



On Thu, Sep 16, 2021 at 5:21 PM Dominik Röttsches <drott at google.com 
<mailto:drott at google.com> > wrote:

Dear Unicode Consortium IUC organizers, dear Mike and Carol,

I would like to inquire what measures are taken for international 
attendees and speakers to participate in IUC 45 if they are not able to 
travel to Santa Clara.

Schengen area (≈ European) residents and residents from a list of other 
countries (at least: China, UK, India, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, 
Iran) are still not allowed entry into the US -  as per US policy 
. This means, conference participants restricted by these travel 
policies are unfairly left out if there is no option to contribute to 
and attend the conference in some form of hybrid conference way.

Please let me know how you plan to address this in a way that prevents 
remote attendees from being at a disadvantage.

Thank you in advance,

Dominik Röttsches

Speaker for Session 10, Vector Color Fonts

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