Innovative Approaches for Organizing an Inclusive Optics and Photonics Conference in Virtual Format

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The COVID pandemic is forcing the renewal of scientific conferences, offering opportunities to introduce technological and inclusive developments. Our analysis focuses on the implementation of inclusive practices for female and early-career researchers in a virtual scientific conference. This organization approach was applied in the XIII Spanish Optical Meeting (RNO2021), which was also characterized by avatars interacting in an online metaverse. The effectiveness of inclusive policies and novel technological tools was evaluated using the participation data and a post-conference survey. Our study reveals the high impact of inclusive actions and a strong interest in the scientific community to explore conference advances.