On June 10th, 2020 I attended the IGC Grains Conference, an internationally-recognised event for the raw materials and commodities industry that features experts discussing the forecast for the upcoming harvest year as well as various challenges the year may bring.
The event is formally hosted by the International Grains Council, based in London UK. Milling and Grain magazine attend the event on an annual basis and collaborate very closely with the council, but this was the first year that the conference was exclusively online, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was my first time attending the event this year, as on the date of the 2019 rendition I was off in Köln, Germany, hosting the GRAPAS Innovations Awards at VICTAM International, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the event was perfectly tailored to an online audience. 14 sessions, featuring between three and six presentations each, were available on-demand for attendees to watch at their leisure, whilst live panels and Q&A sessions also ran throughout the day for attendees to get in touch with industry experts with any queries they may have.
I have been attending a great deal of webinars hosted by companies whilst in lockdown, but this was my first example of a conference taking place online that was originally expected to take place at a physical venue. And I must say, the event was impressive. Whilst the networking aspects of these events are sorely missed, I found it much easier to take in information through this channel of communication and really take the time to explore each and every session without interruption.