Archive for April 16th, 2010

JISC Conference 2010

Friday, April 16th, 2010

We attended the JISC Conference 2010, held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, nr. Parliament Square in London, this week (April 12 & 13th). Two months into the Greening Events project it gave us an ideal opportunity to use it as a pre-case-study; to observe how a large scale event (750 attendees physically attending and virtual attendees too) in a large venue runs in practice, to talk to organisers, delegates, venue staff and exhibitors, observe the integral use of live video streaming and twitter in the conference.

JISC Conference 2010

The questions and factors we were looking at included; direct impacts of the event, such as how attendees travelled to the event, whether they stayed overnight and/or spent money in the local area, what aspects of attending the event were valuable to attendees and exhibitors, whether they had used attending the event as an opportunity to do other things, such as organise other meetings, attend other events, etc., how ICT might be used to help reduce the impacts of attending or add value to attending, e.g. by providing support for sharing of transport or enabling more effective networking opportunities and their thoughts about differences between virtual and face to face attendance. People were very interested in the topics and very happy to talk about the issues, experiences and ideas.

Grace Porter (JISC’s Events Coordinator) and Malcolm Bachelor (JISC’s Evidence & Evaluation Manager) have been fantastically supportive and helpful, in making sure the event was as useful as possible to our project, including agreeing to linking to a Greening Events questionnaire from the main conference evaluation questionnaire. The QEII Conference Centre have  also been  very helpful; the event’s venue manager took time out of what (as you can imagine) was a very busy time during the event to be interviewed.

As a pre-case study the event has already been very useful in helping to identify factors and issues that we hadn’t come across previously, and as we go on to review the results we it will certainly help shape our thinking and define the foci and boundaries of our research as we move forward.