The Event Awards 2022 and Venue Awards 2022 presented the Gold award to AFEA, for organizing the flagship global space research and technology conference of the Committee on Space Research, the 44th COSPAR Scientific Assembly in Athens in July 16-24, 2022.
Businesses that have invested in infrastructure and competitive services to host and compete for high-quality events participated in the big celebration of the industry, the Event Awards 2022 and Venue Awards 2022, organized in December 2022 by BOUSSIAS.
AFEA prepared the nomination file of the 44th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, and Athens prevailed over the nominations of Warsaw, Lausanne and Prague. It is noteworthy that Athens was selected from the very first election, during the 42nd COSPAR Congress in Pasadena, California, USA.
More than 2,000 renowned space scientists from universities and research centers around the globe, as well as representatives of the largest international Space Services (NASA, ESA, CNES, JAXA, CSA, etc.) attended the Athens Conference. The largest companies of space technology products were also present, with exhibition stands of their own.
The plan was clear, yet challenging: 30 parallel meeting rooms, 7 full conference days, 5 full set up days, 140+ scientific sessions, more than 2,000 in person participants, 500+ virtual attendees, 3,500 scientific announcements, 8 thematic sections, 600 posters in 2 conference venues.
The COSPAR international conference became a significant case study on international level, since it was the first hybrid conference (a combination of physical and online participation) in the history of COSPAR, but also one of the first international conferences worldwide to balance online and physical presence on such a large scientific scale (30 parallel rooms for 7 full conference days).
At the same time, the conference presented a high-end sustainability profile, with numerous actions based on the sustainability strategy of COSPAR Association, implemented during the conference. One of the highlights, was the screening of the emblematic concert “Alpha Mission-ΔEli’s: the [uncertain] four seasons”, a Vivaldi concert that took place in the island of Delos, the archaic, timeless birthplace of Artemis and Apollo. The event marked the convergence of humanity, arts and technology with the universe itself and the great message of Delos arrived in Athens, with the very purpose of changing the way we think and act on the human induced climate crisis – the ultimate goal of preserving the only home we have. The screening was presented during the Closing Ceremony of the 44th COSPAR Scientific Assembly.
We are grateful to the Local Organizing Committee and COSPAR for this unforgettable experience and collaboration and we are extremely proud of our team for this achievement. The best is yet to come! The distinction at the Event and Venue Awards is a recognition of our efforts to constantly adapt and evolve to the new conditions in the meetings industry and at the same time to invest in important collaborations on a worldwide scale.