Case study

ACPGBI Hybrid Event – July 2021

  • Hybrid conference

  • Over 150 speakers, chairs and panel members, over 100 live and 50 virtual

  • A virtual 900-delegate audience over 3 days.

  • Harrogate, UK

We have a long and successful relationship with ACPGBI

The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland (ACPGBI) have been a client since 2014,holding a live annual congress for around 900 delegates each year.

By late 2020, the project needed clear direction, but at a time when guidance was evolving, taking decisions for July 21 was difficult. For some time, we all expected the event would need to be virtual, but as time went on, vaccinations advanced in the UK and things began to improve. So, when President Steven Brown confidently pushed for speakers to be together in Harrogate, we were ready to deliver.

A swift pivot!

Drawing on our 3,000+ virtual event experience from 2020, we swiftly pivoted ACPGBI’s planning to hybrid, and with the support of Harrogate Conference Centre, the Crowne Plaza Harrogate, and our expert technical crew, we delivered our first live event since the pandemic began.

The meticulous process of evaluating platforms was fundamentally important, and in this case, we searched comprehensively to find the best product, to facilitate the many facets needed: registration, abstracts, posters, Simu-live and Live presentations, Q&A, Interactivity, exhibition, branding, parallel sessions, and registration. Sorted!

Ensuring the event was Covid secure was important

To make sure the event was Covid secure, we undertook a rigorous risk assessment, following government guidelines and consulted with the local authority to implement the right Covid measures to keep attendees and staff safe. These included planning hand sanitization, cleaning and signage considerations, social distancing & people-flow through to ensuring the catering was styled for single-serve/safe-service.

Speaker management

ACPGBI invited all speakers to present live from Harrogate (within government guidelines), but travel restrictions meant that this was not always possible, so some speakers delivered virtually.   To negate any possible connectivity issues, we arranged pre-recording of virtual presentations.  Speakers were able to book their pre-records via a central electronic booking system.  In the pre-recording session, the speakers ‘met’ our technician in a virtual room, who recorded their presentation.

We liaised with the chairs of each session regarding their required format (e.g. Q&A/panel discussion requirements) And kept them up to date on how speakers would participate for their session. With just days to go, we handled the unavoidable need for a few isolating speakers to switch from a scheduled live appearance to virtual participation. We quickly arranged briefings to pre-record their presentations or were this was not possible to live link to their session.

All virtual speakers were invited to join their session via live link for the Q&A portion of their session and in one instance a live panel and virtual panel discussion was facilitated in one session.

Speaker questions were either asked via the text chat from the virtual audience and via questions from the live audience in Harrogate.  Chairs were given individual I pads for their session in order to manage the text questions coming through from the virtual audience; they were briefed to then relay these questions to either the speaker on Harrogate or the virtual speaker on the screen.

Comprehensive, bespoke housekeeping notes were sent to all Chairs ahead of their session, reconfirming virtual speakers and the technical requirements.


The result?

We were on hand to set up each session in the desired format and – on event days – sat discreetly alongside to offer support so that our clients could focus fully on their sessions and being together after all this time.

The result?  Total success, and a very happy President!

We are already looking forward to getting planning underway for their 2022 hybrid meeting at EICC in Edinburgh.

  • Teamwork:
    Close client communication, guidance & support to Committee and London Secretariat, liaison with Harrogate Conference Centre (HCC) and Crowne Plaza hotel Harrogate.
  • Find:
    Platform evaluation and securing technical solutions for hybrid. HCC re-booking, HIC and Crowne Plaza Covid-safe feasibility.
  • Plan:
    Venue Covid-safe space and overall planning, site visits, platform development for exhibition, abstracts and more, WIFI & bandwidth requirements.
  • Promote
    Delegate e-marketing and conference website, content production, platform branding, virtual exhibition advice & sponsor virtual platform ROI as well as support of onsite sponsor activities.  
  • People
    Bespoke registration journeys live and virtual; speaker management including technical briefing, logisticscheck-ins to familiarise speakers with set-up  accommodation bookings 
  • In charge of:
    Project tracking & updates, risk assessment, monitoring legalities & Government guidelines, financials – budget/payments/cashflow & reconciliation.
  • On location:
    Production and technical delivery of a streamlined coordinated programme broadcast online, combining live and virtual speakers as one; full live event management, speaker briefings, registration.


The meticulous process of evaluating platforms was fundamentally important and we searched comprehensively to find the best product.