The event was under construction and the trade and AV build underway when the New Zealand Government announced a move to COVID Level 2, banning events with over 100 people. It was just 24 hours to the start of the first session.
“Within a few hours we quickly confirmed that we needed to convert the meeting to a virtual platform as it was obvious this meeting could not run under Alert Level 2 restrictions. The academic convenor, Peter Chapman-Smith, reconstructed the programme and within four hours, event manager Leon Olsen and the team from Conference Matters, had cancelled hotel bookings, flights for speakers, rental car bookings, and updated the conference website and app with a new schedule.
Instead of delivering conference bags to guests on arrival in Christchurch, they sent them via courier to each of the attendees.
The event used three broadcast studios from Thursday 8.30am to Sunday 4pm. There were more than 30 video calls with 91 presenters with 330 viewers watching 3,347 sessions in total.
“The conference was delivered without a hitch, thanks to Shipley’s skilled technical experience, having run our previous virtual meeting in June, and their better than professional attitude. Shipley’s managed all aspects of speaker management for the Zoom calls, ensuring our speakers were well briefed and relaxed to still deliver quality education that was well received by the attendees. Without the experience, professionalism and attitude of Shipley’s, flipping the meeting from in-person to virtual in 12 hours would not have been possible.” Says Olsen.