SPICE Issue 92 Autumn 2021

Page 51

Case study

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used to create the feeling of a larger live audience. Giuffré says the feature “opened up a portal to the rest of the world that felt more visceral than it had felt in the past”. In between the main stage sessions, attendees could choose from dozens of interactive discovery sessions, where they could learn a new skill, meet the speakers or chat with other attendees. Highlights included yoga classes, coffee demonstrations and backstage interviews. “We wanted to recreate the elements of learning and interaction that we know our community loves at the physical events,” says Giuffré. “Each of these 27 discovery sessions required a producer and a technical set up somewhere in the real world. It was a complicated beast.” The INVNT team worked out of a 16-person studio to ensure each discovery session was successfully broadcast throughout the day, while other team members were on site at the main stage studio to help the whole event run smoothly.

The key learnings

FAST FACTS What: TEDxSydney 2020 Where: A Sydney studio and online When: 6 November 2020 Who: 3,000 registered virtual attendees, 88 in-person attendees spread out across four main stage sessions

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According to Roberts, one of the main challenges with taking the event online was upholding the TEDx reputation. “With TEDxSydney a renowned brand and leader on the global TEDx stage, it was important we uphold its reputation, while bringing TEDxSydney’s tight knit community together to share ideas through a highly connective, emotive event experience, all in a COVID-19 safe environment,” she says.

“We overcame these challenges by moving swiftly to communicate how the event would change, and got working on the technicalities involved in the shift to a virtual – and somewhat hybrid – experience months in advance of the new November date, while ensuring engagement and connection was possible in multiple ways.” Safety and hygiene were the top priority for the INVNT team, which was managed through an extensive COVID-19 compliance plan. This included a COVIDsafe check-in system, temperature checks on arrival, providing masks and hand sanitiser and COVID-safe signage. Staff at the event were briefed on the COVID-safe plan before their arrival, while COVID-19 marshalls patrolled the site throughout the day.

The results According to the INVNT team, the event was a success overall, with 3,000 registered attendees from around the globe and an 80 per cent rating of ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ following the event. In their feedback, attendees commended organisers on the format and smooth delivery of the event, while others commented that the use of the live ‘wall of faces’ created an engaging experience. The team at TEDxSydney were also extremely pleased with the end result. “It was epic and I feel very proud of our team and all of our partners for digging so deep to deliver something special for the benefit of our precious TEDxSydney community,” says Giuffré. n

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