Conferencing and Events staff stand outside the Technology and Innovation Centre

Conferencing & Events blogBack to Business

Crikey, it’s November already! We’ve been a bit quiet in terms of blogs lately, because the last couple of months have been a whirlwind - where to start? We (finally!) reopened at the beginning of September and, with the number of events gradually increasing, October saw us host our largest hybrid event (so far) in TIC, plus another fantastic event for University colleagues in our virtual venue.  There was barely time to blink before we welcomed an influx of delegates to the campus during COP26, so it’s safe to say that the team is back up and running at full pelt! Although we’ve been supporting our first in-person graduation ceremonies for two years, we have slowed down a little and are getting a chance to draw breath.  We may be a little weary, but after the ups and downs of the past 18 months, we wouldn’t have had it any other way!

Two conference delegates taking part in discussion using virtual event platform OnAIR

We were delighted to work with our colleagues in the University’s Continuous Improvement team to provide a virtual venue for the Lean HE International Online Conference 2021.  Using our OnAIR platform, we gave more than 250 delegates the warmest of welcomes for their three-day ‘visit’ to Glasgow .  John Hogg, Director of Continuous Improvement sums it up in his very own blog – why not give it a read if you have five minutes to spare?

Lean HE was followed swiftly in the last week of October by the 17th European Space Weather Week (ESWW).  Their first fully hybrid meeting - and our largest to-date - ESWW is the main annual event in the European Space Weather calendar and is an international meeting organised in collaboration with prominent members from that community. 

Arriving a whole year later than originally planned, those who were able to attend ESWW in person enjoyed a conference dinner in Merchants House, as well as a welcome drinks reception in the beautiful Trades Hall.  And don’t worry, virtual delegates weren’t left out either, thanks to Glasgow Convention Bureau’s  Hybrid Glasgow Toolkit!

A slide from Glasgow Convention Bureau's Hybrid Toolkit displaying information on University of Strathclyde's rankings

And then it was here! COP26 finally arrived in Glasgow! After months of planning, postponing and rescheduling bookings, we welcomed over 40 events within two weeks including the 16th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Youth as well as the International Chamber of Shipping, the NetZero Technology Centre, Planet Pod, Climate Compatible Growth, the Under2 Coalition General Assembly and Greenbackers to name but a few. Our team also played a pivotal role in a very special visit to the new Strath Union from former President of the United States, Barack Obama, in what was a real honour for the University. It was great to have so many events taking place across the campus, particularly since the focus was on the impact of climate change and the importance of  sustainability; something we put at the heart of everything we do as a team.

Barack Obama

The events landscape has changed so much since we bade farewell to our final few delegates on 17th March 2020.  With the team split between home and our city centre campus, we’ve had to find new ways of working and communicating to ensure our approach remains as joined-up and customer-focused as we hope it’s always been. Above all else, we’ve been working hard on measures to keep our clients, delegates and our staff safe and comfortable, and we’ll keep those in place for as long as we need to. With the majority of clients looking to run hybrid events, our team has adapted very quickly, working closely with our colleagues in the University’s IT and AV teams on flexible, user-friendly solutions to support people’s rapidly changing needs. The last few weeks haven’t been without their challenges, but we’ve worked together to overcome them, and we hope that we continue to go from strength to strength doing what we do best - bringing people together to enjoy meaningful and memorable experiences.

It’s brilliant to be back and we can’t wait to see more of you over the next few months! If you’d like to find out more about how we can support your event, whether virtually, face-to-face or a mix of the two, we’d love to hear from you!