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Hundreds of conferences have been cancelled, postponed or moved online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical meetings can be replicated virtually to some degree, and this has many benefits, including making access easier for people who have limited budgets, family commitments or disabilities. Some people are also quick to point out that moving meetings online can save attendees time and reduce their carbon emissions. But although video-conferencing technologies are becoming more familiar, critics say that they don’t allow the chance encounters and networking that take place at face-to-face events.