The past few months, everybody worldwide has been faced with the Covid-19 pandemic and has had to adapt accordingly. We hope everyone has managed to remain safe and has found a way to live in this new world that has arrived overnight. It has been a true challenge for everyone and we fear that it will keep influencing all our lives for the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, as organisers of the IABSE Congress Ghent 2021, we have decided to follow the unofficial motto of our city, which goes somewhat like “Do not complain, never give up”. So, we decided to stick to our original conference dates and to guarantee to all of our participants that the Congress will take place next year. Since we still have some time, we will prepare for a combination of a classical conference and an online format . Regardless of what the situation will be next year, we will try our best to organise a great IABSE event in different formats for participants to choose from to ensure their safety. Our online part will include live-streaming all sessions and will allow attendees and speakers to participate from home as well as on-site.

Because of this, we will also offer “online-only” registration at greatly reduced fee. Furthermore, abstract deadlines will be postponed till October 15, 2020, to allow everybody to participate, based on this new information. We will allow participants to decide whether they attend online or on-site as late as possible.

The past few months have been terrible times, requiring everybody to change their ways. However, we do hope that Covid-19 pandemic will not be the end of the conference experience we all know and like. It will require changes, some parts of the conference will shift online to limit travelling, but we intend to make sure that our organisation online as well as on-site remains a true IABSE event, allowing everybody to participate, network, meet other people, etc.

We will keep you informed with further details as they become clear. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the organisers.

Hans De Backer
Chair of the Organising Committee