“The future is digital” as a statement can often be heard and is true to a certain extent. However, the exchange and the interaction of people coming together, networking in person and spontaneous connections is invaluable. Friendships and collaborations do not start online and are more meaningful when they happen in real life. This is why we focus on an exceptional onsite conference, complemented with digital resources through our conference live studio

As a society we are not only conscious about presenting the best platform for science, for exchanging knowledge and networking, we also care about presenting the best form of education.

We acknowledge that sustainable conferencing has never been more important than today and are aware that conferences are associated with high energy consumption, high waste production and increased traffic: having thousands of participants traveling to a conference has a significant impact on the carbon footprint. To reduce some of this impact ESO has been donating EUR 25, 000 for its last two in-person conferences to “Trees for all” and their project“ Kibale Oeganda”.

ESO – as a conscious and responsible society – also needs to consider longevity and financial sustainability and needs to work wisely with its accrued membership and sponsoring funds. Holding a hybrid event presents twice the cost of a regular conference and cannot be financially sustained. We need to consider the longevity of ESO as a society and be accountable for all our additional initiatives which we supported throughout the year.

Therefore for 2024 we set our focus on a very attractive onsite conference, supported with digital information through our conference live-studio and availability of certain on-demand content for our members after the event through our eSTEP platform.