Conferences during Covid19

✍️ → Written on 2020-12-05 in 513 words. Part of glt


Conferences usually take place as on-site events where people meet, discuss and share opinions. This includes academic conferences, business conferences as well as FLOSS (free/libre open source software) events. I am an organizer of Grazer Linuxtage; a free/libre open source software/hardware event taking place in Graz. But Covid19 hit hard globally. A list of events affected by Covid19 is collected on Wikipedia and shows the wide range of changes required due to the pandemic. For 2020, we had to cancel our event after various alternatives didn’t find a majority internally. For 2021, we are finalizing our concept.

Case studies

Be aware that the following events differ by the number of participants. Custom/self-made solutions can be provided easily for an event with <100 participants. But CCC with 17,000 attendees need to consider the effects on the network infrastructure differently. Not all events publish participants estimates, but the number of tracks stated (in combination of the number of days held) should give you some idea. Grazer Linuxtage recently had about 800 participants on-site.

Chemnitzer Linuxtage (2021-03-13 – 2021-03-14)

Speakers can pre-record their talk or use webcam+headset to present their topic live. There are multiple tracks simultaneously. BigBlueButton is used to handle talks. Virtual booths for projects and companies are also possible. CLT2020 has been cancelled.

Linuxwochen Wien (cancelled)

cancelled for 2020 and no information yet for 2021

Linuxwochen Eisenstadt (2020-04-24)

Switched to a virtual event. Small event with 3 talks. Custom setup was used (to the best of my knowledge) to run the live stream.

OSS Linuxday (cancelled)

cancelled for 2020 and no information yet for 2021

Linuxwochen Linz (cancelled)

cancelled for 2020 and no information yet for 2021

Linuxday Vorarlberg (2020-10-10)

Online-event with BigBlueButton and Jitsi Meet. Recordings are offered via PeerTube. 2 parallel tracks, 12 talks in total.

“Chaos Communication Congress” becomes “Remote Chaos Experience” (2020-12-27 – 2020-12-30)

Unlike other events, CCC with 17,000 attendees is huge. Technical details unclear.

Privacyweek 2020 (2020-10-26 – 2020-11-01)

Jitsi is used for talks. BigBlueButton was also used inofficially/community-organized. offers recordings. pretalx is used for conference management. Mostly one track.

PQCRYPTO 2020 (2020-09-21 – 2020-09-23)

The only academic conference on this list. But it also serves as a usecase due to its similar structure (and because I attended it). It was postponed first and then held digitally. 1 track. BigBlueButton was used for the talks. Mattermost was used for discussion.


Most conferences seem to use BigBlueButton. Because its interaction capabilities are limited, often other chat solutions are used in parallel.

One interesting talk I came across (during my research) is „Skalierung von Videokonferenzdiensten“ (de).