To ensure a series of crucial two-and three-day revision courses for 25 students located across the UK and in London could still take place, 15Hatfields quickly adapted its approach to host a number of educational hybrid events on behalf of Campbell’s College over five weekends last year.
The critical courses being held for ICSA professional development in governance qualifying exams had originally been booked as in-person events when the London venue was a tier two location, but despite the resulting COVID-19 lockdown, were still successfully delivered in a hybrid format featuring both live and virtual elements.
Challenges and execution
Having originally been planned as a series of live events during October and November while London was a tier two location, with a second lockdown announced in the middle of the ICSA revision five-week event, the team at 15Hatfields worked tirelessly and in unison with Campbell’s College to provide up to date government guidance to ensure they were able to offer the most effective solution for the students, while adhering to the latest regulations.
Swiftly adapting their approach to meet the government’s latest guidelines, the resulting courses were transformed to a hybrid format, with those who were travelling from far taking part virtually, while physical attendees were still able to attend, as educational and training events for up to 30 attendees were still permitted to still go ahead.
To ensure both live and virtual attendees could both clearly see the tutors leading the revision sessions, the positioning of the camera to maximise visibility was key. An initial video call was organised with the event planning team to determine the best angles, with out-of-shot areas being marked out clearly in the venue.
15Hatfields’ modern and flexible event spaces were divided to create two separate lecture rooms. Combining its Earth and Water rooms, and then Fire, Sustain and Air to create the second room, the venue’s foldable panelling was used to split the spaces, as required by the event organisers, and assist with social distancing.
Thanks to its recently installed state-of-the-art AV facilities, including a built-in Intelligent Crestron control system and an Integrated Polycom HDX 8000 HD Video Conferencing Suite, each revision session was recorded with ease. And, with the fastest internet speeds of any purpose-built conference venue in London, sessions were seamlessly streamed to the virtual attendees.
A Wacom Intuos Pro graphic tablet with Wacom Pro Pen 2 Stylus linked to the white board and a shared Zoom screen, allowed the tutor to conduct the courses without interruption, and the Sennheiser E835 roving radio microphone and built-in venue audio, ensured nothing was missed by both live and online students.
Each of the educational revision courses were delivered without interruption despite the lockdown restrictions.
Campbell’s College felt the last-minute change in format and live-streaming capability was so successful, they are planning to continue using the hybrid approach when social distancing is no longer needed to allow them to have a wider UK and international reach. Another event was also rebooked for May 2021.
“The staff at 15Hatfields have gone beyond the call of duty to develop a system that works for us. There is a great deal of additional administration to contend with plus the need to deal with students who need to change from attending live to attending by Zoom. But everything has been dealt with promptly and with good humour. Thank you!” said, Jane Hamilton, Head of finance and IT at Campbell’s College.
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