How your MINEXCHANGE SME Conference & Expo experience will change in 2021
by Chee Theng
Before the pandemic, in-person conferences and exhibits were the norm. Not anymore. As we adapt to the new realities of social distancing and masks, conferences are taking to cyberspace. It is a whole new ballgame, and the old rules don’t apply. We interviewed Cori Knasinski, SME’s Director of Meetings, to give you an advance look at some of the ways the MINEXCHANGE SME Annual Conference & Expo will evolve with a move to a virtual event in 2021. SME is stepping up to the challenge. Are you up to the challenge too?
Q: Why did SME make the decision to move to a virtual annual conference & expo in 2021?
A: While we would prefer to hold our flagship meeting in person, SME is having to pivot away from our normal face-to-face meeting for several reasons, including the availability of convention center, legal requirements, space restrictions, and for the safety and health of our membership.
Q: What are the dates for MINEXCHANGE 2021?
A: Technical programming, a virtual Exhibit Hall and re-imagined social functions will take place March 1 – 5. Attendees can attend a live keynote session and a fresh selection of technical sessions daily. Individual committee meetings will take place during February 22 – 26.
Q: What will the virtual conference schedule look like?
A: We are excited to bring the rich technical programming SME is known for into a convenient, virtual setting. Details on the program will be available in October.
Q: Will I be able to see content if I am in a very different time zone?
A: Yes, while most sessions will air live during U.S. daytime time zones, the majority of sessions will be available for rebroadcast at a time convenient to each attendee. Additionally, the virtual trade show will have information accessible 24 hours per day.
Q: How will award winners be recognized?
A: Honoring industry excellence is important. All award winners will be recognized during the conference. More details will be forthcoming.
Q: Are you publishing conference proceedings?
A: Yes, SME will provide the digital preprint proceedings for registered attendees.
Q: Will there be a bookstore?
A: Yes, SME will feature a virtual bookstore. Watch for incentives to purchase a book during the event.
Q: Will there be an SME Foundation Silent Auction?
A: Yes, you can continue to support the initiatives of the SME Foundation through a virtual silent auction. Details will be provided later.
Q: Do you have a message for SME members?
A: Watch for more details and registration information next month! Registration for MINEXCHANGE 2021 is expected to open in early November.