Dear Interspeech participants, dear speech community

While we recognize the challenges for our Shanghai colleagues that had to turn Interspeech 2020 to virtual mode, we were hoping that 2021 would bring improvement on the COVID front and that we would see the speech community physically in Brno, our beloved city. Unfortunately, the situation at the beginning of 2021 is not that positive, with high numbers of new cases, strict Government regulations, lock-downs and actually stopped cross-border travel. We hope the situation will improve as we approach summer, but with the current (slow) progress with vaccination, and travel bans some big companies and Universities have issued, we would be naive to think that our Interspeech will be a “normal” one.

We have therefore decided to opt for a hybrid Brno Interspeech with a back-up option of fully virtual one.

How will it look like ?

  1. The paper submission and review will proceed as usual, with the deadline of March 26. Despite the restriction, we encourage our community to submit quality papers !
  2. At registration, we will ask participants to select physical or virtual presence at the conference. Both physical and virtual participants will have the same access to the talks and posters at the conference. Of course, we can’t provide the excellent Czech beer to virtual participants... The registration fees for virtual participants will be half of the physical ones, with no penalty for switching from virtual to physical (with surcharge to full physical fee) and very little extra when switching from physical to virtual. More details about conditions will be available on registration website.
  3. We have cancelled the large BVV conference center and booked a conference Hotel International right in the historical center of Brno. The tutorials will take place (also in hybrid mode) at the Faculty of Information Technology of BUT. Out of the usual 12 parallel sessions. Part will run in hybrid (virtually and physically) and part in only virtual mode. We will do our best that they have the same level of interaction. The selection of papers into hybrid sessions will be based on who comes physically to Brno, we will try to respect the usual topicality of sessions, but might have a bit more overlap than usually.
  4. As we move forward with Interspeech-2021 logistics, we will continue to stay connected with those organizing ISCA satellite workshops and special events. We look forward to a technically inspiring Interspeech program with complementary workshops.
  5. The author registration deadline June 15 will be important - in the unfortunate case of having too few participants able/willing to come to Brno, we will have to “pull the emergency brake” and switch Interspeech 2021 to fully virtual. Therefore, we kindly ask everyone to wait with purchase of air-tickets until the decision is done (around June 20). At the same time, we are closely watching related international events as well as similarly sized events in Czechia to be able to do the most informed decision.

We are sorry for any inconvenience and uncertainty, please stay with us while we’re trying hard to make Insterspeech 2021 (in any format) a success. We hope to see you in Brno in August/September !

Hynek Heřmanský
General Chair
Honza Černocký
General Chair
John H.L. Hansen
ISCA President
Sebastian Möller
ISCA Conferences
Margaret Zellers
ISCA Conferences

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