Hybrid Annual Lecture Attracts Global Audience

Client: The Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge.

Type of event: International Lecture

Date: October 2021

Venue: St Catharine's College

The McGrath Centre at St Catharine's College, CambridgeMain Court at St Catharine's College, CambridgeSt Catharine's College McGrath CentreHybrid Meetings at St Catharine's College

The Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) enables interdisciplinary dialogue across faculties and departments at Cambridge University. Each year it holds an Annual Lecture, most recently as a hybrid event at St Catharine’s College. 

Attended by 50 people and a further 140 online, the organisers chose hybrid as a safe option for attendees in the light of COVID-19, as well as to encourage global participation.

First hybrid event

Although CRASSH had held previous events at the College, this was its first at the 
McGrath Centre and also its first hybrid event post-pandemic. The Lobby was used for pre-event arrival coffee, followed by the Lecture in the auditorium. 

The Event Organiser for CRASSH was Irene Galandra Cooper, Research Project Administrator who liaised with the Conference Team at St Catharine’s College. A pre-event online meeting was held, as well as an on-site recce, attended by Venue Audio Visual who provided technical support. 

Delegate participation

Irene says: “The team were really professional and we all felt very safe during the event. Our online audience was able to participate remotely and we made sure they had a clear view of the speaker and slides. When it came to the Q&A session, we alternated between in-person and online so that everyone felt involved.

“Safety measures included a reduced capacity in the auditorium – 50 rather than 155 – disinfecting microphones after each question for the Q&A, enhanced cleaning and hand sanitisers throughout the venue. To avoid gathering, we purposely chose not to have a reception after the Lecture.

Technical support

“Holding this at a venue which had already established a successful partnership with technical support specialists worked really well and the College dealt with the supplier directly in terms of invoicing. Everything ran very smoothly.

“Feedback from delegates was very positive. I would be very happy to organise another event at this venue or attend as a delegate having had such a successful experience.

 “We now envisage that our Annual Lecture will remain as a hybrid event for a range of reasons, not least being able to open it to overseas participants.”

Image shows Professor Gina Neff, Executive Director of the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy and Professor Steven Connor, Director of CRASSH.

Credit: Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy.

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