March 23, 2022

AI UK 22 Hybrid 2 Day Event

BY London Filmed

March 23rd, 2022

Overview

Event type: Hybrid with 4 stages over 2 days

Event platform: Hopin

Workflow: In-person & virtual > Vimeo > Hopin

In the making: 3 months

Date of event: 22.03.22 – 23.03.22

Duration: 2 days (10 hours per day)

Company: The Alan Turing Institute

Speakers: 200+

Attendees: 3000+

The project:

We’ve worked with our long-standing client The Alan Turing Institute to deliver a number of different events across a variety of formats, including the virtual AI UK 2021; however, AI UK 2022 was the biggest event to date!

AI UK is the national showcase of artificial intelligence (AI) and data science research and collaboration. The unique and diverse programme was structured around the UK’s National AI Strategy, with a broad range of interactive content across four stages. The event attracted a global audience and included a variety of world-class insights from academics, industry leaders, and the public sector.

We worked closely with the Alan Turing team to help source a venue in a quiet central London location. We opted for the Park Plaza, Victoria as it was well equipped for hybrid events with a robust internet connection, and the appropriate equipment and lighting. It also suited the event type, content, and audience. We worked with the Alan Turing team to design the set and curate the in-person experience around the four different stages with all the required equipment.

AI UK 22 opener
Pre-recorded event animation – Climate action opener

Client review:

“I wanted to reach out and congratulate everyone on the monumental effort that’s gone into making the past couple of days a huge success for everyone connected to the Turing.

I overheard a comment from a programme director today saying that this was the most successful hybrid conference I’ve ever been to (and as an academic she will have been to many!). I’ll pass on as much feedback as I can over the next few days/in a debrief, but for now, thank you all so very much and there is no doubt we will be working together again soon!

You are all absolute warriors!”

Events and Marketing Officer, The Alan Turing Institute

Challenges:

  • Finding an appropriate venue in the right location with the correct infrastructure was a challenge from the outset. Given the complexity of a hybrid event, we needed an environment that would cater across the board. Alan Turing also had a number of speakers that needed to stay on-site so the space needed to be visually appealing given the number of high profile government speakers.
  • The event was to be split into four stages, each with a different theme (see below). This meant building out the agenda and managing the speakers accordingly. The panellists were a mix of in-person and virtual speakers, which had to be fluid given the ever-changing COVID landscape.
    – Stage 1: The Conversation
    – Stage 2: Public Policy
    – Stage 3: In The Lab
    – Stage 4: Climate Action
  • Given the volume of speakers participating in the event, technical preparation for in-person and virtual panellists posed a time challenge, especially due to the high calibre of speakers each with demanding time schedules.
    Due to the size of the event, clear communication between the London Filmed team, Alan Turing team and the speakers on-site was of the utmost importance.

Solutions:

  • We collaborated with the Alan Turing team to find a suitable venue space and worked with a number of our partners to source options to view. After deciding on the Park Plaza in Victoria, we made several additional site visits to plan the set-up and run extensive technical checks.
  • Running four stages simultaneously was always going to be a logistical challenge. To help overcome this, we created a smart agenda, shared with the Alan Turing team, that gave us a clear overview of the who, what and when. This ensured both parties were on the same page throughout. We also rehearsed with the Alan Turing team during the preparation day (21.03.22) to ensure the agenda worked smoothly, as well as contingency preparation in case anything adverse cropped up (it didn’t!).
  • For the speaker technical preparation, we created separate written instructions for the in-person and virtual speakers and ran two blocks of 4-hour drop-in sessions for the virtual speakers to drop-in and ask questions or rehearse and dedicated time on the preparation day for the in-person speakers to do the same.
  • Communication was critical to the event’s overall success. We made it our duty to communicate often throughout the process, but especially on the event days. We had a dedicated London Filmed station in the venue where people could connect with us, as well as separate communication channels on Unity Intercoms, supervised by our production manager and technical lead.

The result:

“AI UK 2022 appeared to be a mammoth effort at the start of this process, considering the number of stages, speakers, and technical aspects we needed to manage. However, we broke the project down into bite-size portions to successfully project manage the event. We felt tremendously prepared the day before the event, to the point that the Alan Turing crew commented on how comfortable they were about it all. We matched our internal team around the event and its requirements, which altogether resulted in one of the most successful hybrid events we’ve ever presented!”

– Thomas Mahon, Co-Founder London Filmed