Although virtual conferences have become commonplace in the age of COVID-19, this format poses both challenges and opportunities for organizers to design, implement, and engage participants in productive and connected ways. We created this brief to share an example of the process and lessons learned as we designed and hosted a virtual NSF-funded conference called: Mapping Connections Between STEM and Social-Emotional Development (SED) in Out-of-School Time (OST) Programs. This conference focused on identifying outcomes at the interface of STEM and SED in OST research and practice (e.g. afterschool programs, museums, summer camps, etc.). However, the strategies used and lessons learned are applicable to many disciplines and projects. It is our hope that readers will find this brief useful in creating virtual conferences— especially during challenging times.
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