Background We explored perceptions and preferences regarding the conversion of in-person to virtual conferences as necessitated by travel and in-person meeting restrictions. Methods A 16-question online survey to assess preferences regarding virtual conferences during the COVID-19 pandemic and future perspectives on this subject was disseminated internationally online between June and August 2020. Findings A total of 508 responses were received from 73 countries. The largest number of responses came from Italy and the USA. The majority of respondents had already attended a virtual conference (80%) and would like to attend future virtual meetings (97%). The ideal duration of such an event was 2–3 days (42%). The preferred time format was a 2–4-h session (43%). Most respondents also noted that they would like a significant fee reduction and the possibility to attend a conference partly in-person and partly online. Respondents indicated educational sessions as the most valuable sections of virtual meetings. The reported positive factor of the virtual meeting format is the ability to re-watch lectures on demand. On the other hand, the absence of networking and human contact was recognized as a significant loss. In the future, people expressed a preference to attend conferences in person for networking purposes, but only in safer conditions. Conclusions Respondents appreciated the opportunity to attend the main radiological congresses online and found it a good opportunity to stay updated without having to travel. However, in general, they would prefer these conferences to be structured differently. The lack of networking opportunities was the main reason for preferring an in-person meeting.
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