CLIENT: The UK Evaluation Society (UKES)
NUMBER OF DELEGATES: 300
The UK Evaluation Society (UKES) was established in 1994. They are the principal professional organisation for evaluation in the UK.
Every year they host an annual member conference to share, knowledge, experience, and ideas. In previous years, the event was run as a hybrid with online sessions via Zoom. In 2023, they wanted to add another level of professionalism in line with their theme – “Rising to Challenges”.
Little did they know how fitting this theme would be…
The event had a specific goal:
Bring together a diverse group of UK & international speakers to discuss how the evaluation community is adapting to competing issues, crises, and uncertainty.
The UKES wanted to invite members in person or online to the three-day conference. The aim was to surpass the experience they’d had in 2022. The year before, they’d had five streams taking place and 70 sessions across the three-day schedule.
As a membership body, human resource was limited. They only had two members of staff on a part-time basis as well as input from the Board. The UKES required a partnership that extended this team and helped achieve their goals for the conference. They also needed support for the team in pre-event management, delivery of the online platform, and smooth running on the day of the event.
It was also vital that suppliers were aligned to their goals when producing the conference.
HOW WE’VE HELPED
Conference Care presented an all-in-one solution to work with UKES. This included:
- Managing venue & AV liaison
- Speaker management
- Delegate communications
- Managing the technical aspects of the hybrid event
Our team, led by Sophie Boreham, conducted onboarding & weekly calls. The team ensured both parties were aligned on deadlines, acting as the main point of contact for all elements of the event.
Sophie supported UKES on the live days, helping everyone feel supported.
All virtual speakers were given clear instructions, guidance, and briefing. Everyone was made to feel comfortable in the virtual environment. The in person sessions in the main auditorium were streamed on the online platform for days 2 and 3. This allowed contributions from both sets of audiences.
As it turned out, the partnership was essential to running the event, as there were several challenges. First, some of the planning was hindered by strike action. The online format ensured participants were able to join remotely if they couldn’t make it in-person. Next, a speaker fell ill. We immediately made adjustments to the event programme to avoid confusion. And finally, the big shock – a bus caught fire right outside the venue. Our on-site team and venue team were quick to handle this. So quick, in fact, that most of the delegates weren’t even aware of the problem! Thankfully, we’d undertaken a risk assessment before the event and were able to deal with the issue calmly and logically.
Feedback from the UKES was resoundingly positive. The virtual and on-site audiences both felt they’d been catered for:
“The tech worked much better, seamless, good quality. For a hybrid event I thought it was really good. Nice touch with the App as well.”
“Incredibly well organised and smooth-running operation”
“I wanted to say a personal thank you to you and the team for all your support over the past few months. I really valued having experts alongside me to act in both an advisory and support capacity. I can hand on heart say that the conference would not have been a success without you all.
Thanks also for the lovely flowers – it’s the little things that make you guys special.”
Planning a digital or hybrid event and need some extra support and advice? Get in touch to see how we can make your vision come to life: firstname.lastname@example.org