Here is an excerpt from the above article:
Fixing academic conferences is not rocket science. Most early-career scholars would likely welcome it if future conferences were hosted in universities instead of four-star hotels. The next generation would probably also not mind if parts of conferences went virtual. We suspect that very few would protest if cocktail receptions, banquets and dance nights were dropped to invest more in conference grants.
Unknown faces would come to these conferences, not just the academicbourgeoisie. Meanwhile, more rigorous peer-review of conference abstracts may decrease the number of participants, but could help to ensure that the work presented is thought-provoking. These types of conferences may even impact policies.
Slowly, academics have started experimenting with the current conference format. Seminar leaders at World Water Week now feedback presentations prior to the conference to enhance their understandability. Meanwhile, the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association of the UK and Ireland will hold a conference that is entirely virtual this early September. Many more of these initiatives are needed, though.
Most academic conferences are oversized. Even the privileged few that can attend them rarely find at them what they hoped for. The academy frequently claims that it is a champion of social justice and diversity. But the academic conference business underscores the hypocrisy of this claim.
What do you think?