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Indico: 20 years of event managing

The CERN-developed open source software, Indico, is being chosen by a growing number of users worldwide. As it celebrates 20 years, find out what new features are planned for 2024


Indico's 300 active servers shown on a worldmap

(Image: Pedro Ferreira/CERN)

Thanks to 300 active servers located in 52 different countries, some 400 000 users can experience the powerful and user-friendly features that Indico offers to any event organiser. Born about twenty years ago with the “Event 0” – the CHEP 04 scientific conference – today Indico serves not only the large community of particle physicists working at CERN but also a plethora of other institutions, including the JACoW.org conferences and the UN.

Indico started as a follow-up to the AgendaMaker tool that a small team of developers had created for the ATLAS collaboration, which today is still one of the most active users of the platform. “Following that initial request, a funding request was made to the EU to evolve from a meeting-oriented application to a catch-all platform where we could host a one-hour meeting as well as a one-week conference with parallel sessions,” recalls Jean-Yves Le Meur, in charge of the early developments of Indico. “Since the beginning, Indico was designed to be modular, and I am amazed to see today how the successive managers of this system have extended and enriched its features in all directions.”

In 2023, the Indico application managed some 145 000 events worldwide and accommodated a regular flow of requests coming from the community, whose members also contribute to the development of the open source software package. Last December, a big release – Indico 3.3 – was made available on the CERN-managed instances, and the release for the general public will follow in the coming months. “The release has brought a lot of improvements compared to previous versions,” explains Adrian Mönnich, Indico's project manager and lead developer. “For example, thanks to contributions from the UN, we have improved the accessibility of Indico. Indeed, the application is now more suitable for visually impaired people who use screen readers. The existing Indico check-in mobile application has also been completely rewritten, and Indico now supports the generation of fully customisable PDF documents, including receipts, certificates of attendance and any other document that the user might need. Once generated, the documents can be downloaded from the registration page.”

The continuous Indico upgrade never stops, and here is a sneak peek of what we can expect in 2024: “We plan to release a brand-new conference timetable interface, which will replace the current one that dates back to 2008,” says Pedro Ferreira, leader of the Conferencing Technologies section. “The team is also working on a new integration with the next-generation conferencing rooms, and we hope to make significant steps towards a refreshed Indico user interface including greater mobile friendliness.”

Indico is a CERN-developed open source software. Since last year, a new governance model has been in place to encourage contributions from partner institutions. Find more technical information here.   

Events and you

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