An online conference is different to an in-person conference, but here are some things that you can do to help you get the most out your Annual Conference experience.

Don’t leave things to the last minute
Book your conference ticket by 15 March so that we can link you to your session in the virtual event platform well ahead of time. This will mean that we will be set-up and ready to go swiftly on the day of your session.

Getting to know the Virtual Environment
The conference will take place on a virtual event platform called Aventri, which is an established, secure platform used to supporting large online events. All sessions will take place using a webinar presentation set-up, which is very similar to that of Zoom webinar; convenors and the speakers presenting at the time will be able to see each other and speak onscreen, and other session speakers and general attendees will be able to use the live Q&A and chatbox functions during the papers. Like with an in-person event, paper presentations will be delivered in pairs, i.e papers 1&2 will be presented then a break, papers 3&4, then a break etc. This is to reduce demand on bandwidth (lessen the chance of connectivity fails) and to reduce screen fatigue. Convenors and speakers will have a chance to login to the virtual event lobby one week before the conference and familiarise themselves with the programme and options available. Convenors and speakers will also log-in half an hour before their session and before each ‘pair’ of papers. Convenors may want to hold a ‘round-up’ with all speakers and themselves onscreen at the end of the session. Each session will have a dedicated conference assistant who will be there, online, in the session with them throughout, and who will be trained to support the session. We’ll also have specialist Aventri tech support person on hand throughout the event.

Click here to view a short demonstration of how a speaker accesses and presents on the Aventri platform.

What we can and can’t do, and why
We will make every effort to make your 2021 Annual Conference experience as easy and valuable as possible. We will strive to make as much as possible live, but live presentations do come with more tech risks, and if these occur we’ll do our best to deal with them as swiftly as possible. Because of the size and nature of this event, and with multiple sessions taking place simultaneously we have to prioritise online stability and connectivity, this means that Sessions will be presented in Webinar mode, so only the speaker presenting and convenors will be visible on screen, the other session speakers and audience will not. For smaller workshops and meet-ups we can make everyone visible and audio present. We are aware that people will want to ‘meet up’ and connect, and chat about sessions and papers online and it will be possible for delegates to set up online conversations (chat groups) with other delegates on the virtual event platform. We will try our best to make this online event as conducive to delegates needs as possible, with what is permissible.

Tech, Tech, Tech
Online conferences depend on tech, so ensure that your computer is working and software is up to date. If you are presenting a paper check your battery, plug your computer in, test your audio and if needs use an external mic and headphones to help ensure that you can been seen and heard clearly online. 
If you loose connectivity, using your mobile as a hotspot or having access to a dongle would be useful.

Here are some top tips from the platform provider Aventri: Speaker Support Pack


Test your Tech
When you enter the virtual event platform you will be prompted to ‘test your machine’ this will do an automatic connectivity, audio and mic check. PLEASE DO THE TECH TEST.


Everyone is really busy right now, and doing everything online seems to generate more, not less work, however, we strongly encourage you all to practice presenting your paper on screen – ideally record yourself and play it back. Check that you can hear yourself, see yourself and that you keep to time. Ideally, you can use this dry-run to create your pre-recorded back-up version.


Your Pre-recorded back-up version
Live presentations are best, and are what we will be striving to deliver. However, with over 350 live presentations to deliver we also want to deliver quality as well as quantity. We want to ensure that if a speaker’s connection fails, or there is a power cut, or they feel unwell, we have a pre-recorded back-up version that we can use in place of the live presentation. This is a best-practice approach for all online events and one that we use for other online Association events too. We are encouraging but not enforcing all speakers to provide a back-up version by Monday 29 March 2021. Your pre-record should be saved as a MP4 and saved as your name and the session. Your Session Convenor will inform you where to send or save your pre-record.

Your Live Presentation on the Day
If you want to show a PPT during your live presentation, your file should be less than 100mb and Aventri highly recommends saving your PPT deck as a PDF. 

For your live presentation Aventri recommends that any video clips or animations in your presentation are uploaded separately and not embedded within the Powerpoint. All you will need is the URL for your video or animation.

Collegiate Communities
You tell us that one of the best things about the Association’s Annual Conference is networking and meeting old and new colleagues who share common interests and with whom you can exchange ideas and interests. Networking online is different, but still possible. There will be opportunities online, over the four days to ‘chat’ in the sessions and also form private chat groups outside of the sessions to carry on conversations or start new ones. With all online chat we kindly ask that 2021 Annual Conference attendees keep conversations polite, collegiate and appropriate. And keep questions clear and concise. Please note that we won’t be recording sessions and papers (they are the intellectual property of the speaker) so please respect this fact. We may record keynotes and make these available with the speakers permission – no bootlegging please!








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