Does it make sense to sell tickets for a scientific conference?

Today we’d like to share some thoughts with you that may not be considered central when organizing a conference and may even not be shared by all conference organizers but (as you may well know) the devil is in the details and, if we aim to create flourishing and lively scientific communities, we must start the change from the inside.

So, today we are going to discuss the role of the participants, and it may look like just semantics at first, but we will show you how it can make all the difference in your events.

When you start planning a scientific event, you envision the different types of tickets that will be available, according to the different types of attendants you will have – participants, speakers, sponsors, guests…) and this will be reflected on all your communication materials. But, if you think about it, you may just have started on the wrong foot here.
The word ticket is used a lot these days by entertainment businesses that sell seats to shows (music, media, sports…) where the attendants are spectators. To facilitate communication, some scientific events softwares have also adopted this nomenclature. But does this really work in science´s best interest?

If you look it up in the dictionary, a spectator is someone who watches something, an observer, a passive receiver of information. The Cambridge Dictionary goes a little further and describes “spectator” as someone who watches a show without taking part.
In a scientific event, we strive to create a dynamic and pulsing environment where participants actively share ideas, techniques, discoveries and knowledge – in their communications (oral and/or panels), in coffee breaks among colleagues and throughout the social programs – enriching and evolving the state of science as we know it today.

So let´s enroll participants instead of selling tickets so we can seed in every scientist this will to contribute to the flourishment of science, one conference at the time.

Here at Sci-Meet, we decided that we can play a part in this mindset change, starting with the way we present your events to the world, so our software doesn´t sell tickets. Instead, you´ll find enrollment and participant registration areas. Does this make sense to you?