The format and structure of each meetup is at the discretion of the local organizer – different models might work well in different places and may afford an opportunity for experimentation and innovation. Some elements that could potentially be included are listed below, and the programs for the 2021 and 2022 meetups may also spark some ideas. For example, schedules are available for events in Boston, Hong Kong, Scandinavia and Singapore.
The goal of these discussions is to promote face-to-face interaction. One approach is to ask each person in each group to introduce themselves to their group and to describe what they are working on. The groups could then be shuffled to ensure that everyone gets a chance to interact with a wide range of attendees.
Some of the content may overlap with content presented at the main conference — for example, researchers who are presenting at the main conference may appreciate the chance to discuss their work in person with a local audience. But the workshop need not focus on work submitted to CogSci 2023 — the workshop may provide an opportunity for researchers in the local cognitive science community to share work presented at other conferences, or simply to discuss their latest ideas.
This session could provide a chance to plan local community-building activities and events. A session along these lines was an effective component of the Singapore 2021 meetup.
This session might involve small group discussions in which early career researchers discuss their next steps with more senior researchers. To make this happen the registration form for the event would need to ask participants if they’d like to participate in a mentoring program. A mentoring program was included as part of the Boston 2021 meetup.
If multiple people from the same city are participating remotely, they may wish to book a room with a projector at a local university so that all of them can watch content from the main conference site. Presentations from the main-session room will be streamed live every day. Recordings of all conference sessions (including sessions in the main room) will be available within 24 hours.
An informal gathering at a local restaurant or cafe.
The date, location and target audience are also at the discretion of the local organizer. Some possibilities are described below.
Date: Holding a meetup during the conference (July 26 - 29) will make sense in many cases, but meetups may also occur outside of this period. For example, scheduling a meetup for after the conference may allow people who travelled to Sydney to also participate in a local event.
Location: Meetups with an academic component may take place at a local university using conference rooms and lecture theatres that are accessible to the local organizer.
Audience: A meetup may be designed for people who participate regularly in the annual CogSci conference, but in some cities it makes more sense to target the broader cognitive science community, including people who currently have no real connection with the conference. Regardless of the target audience, a meetup group should be open to all — no conference registration is required unless an attendee is presenting work at the central conference, in which case they will register like any other conference attendee.