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Event Case Study: George Think 2022

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Imagine running 15 hybrid events in four countries, over three days. Welcome to George Think 2022!

An independent medical research organisation, The George Institute for Global Health (TGI) conducts world-class research on non-communicable diseases, including heart and kidney disease, stroke, diabetes, and injury to help improve the lives of millions of people around the world. The global conference connects staff in India, China, Australia and the UK for a series of keynote talks, discussions and celebrations which aims to:

“Explore, reflect and develop new ideas and collaborative processes that can be transformed into real action to achieve our goals in alignment with our institutional values.”

Until this year, George Think was held bi-annually, with mainly Associate Professors and Senior staff attending, but in 2022, it was expanded significantly to involve everyone from researchers to finance staff, admin to operational staff. The goal was to create a more inclusive experience and outcome, that also reflected and represented the Institute’s diverse workforce.

Delivering a hybrid event (with dual online and in-person attendees) when you can’t be on the ground is a challenge in itself, multiply that by 15 and add a bunch of different time zones and we had one of the more complex event briefs we’d seen in a while!

A short planning timeline of just two months, and a packed three-day program (20 – 22 July) that was only finalised two weeks prior, presented further hurdles along the way – requiring epic project management and problem-solving skills, and an incredibly high level of organisation and attention to detail, supported by fortnightly client meetings and more than 450 hours of planning work alone!

Led by Georgia, Opal and Emily, with support from Heidi, Bella, Justin, Julia, Victor, Chloe, Lou and Melinda on event days, JTPM delivered 15 events in total: including three global events and one regional event per country each day. Each event consisted of a variety of keynote speeches, panel discussions, breakout and networking sessions, enabling colleagues in different countries and locations to come together and interact in real-time. Some sessions were even delivered in a language other than English.

We had 454 conference attendees registered, with anywhere between 150 – 190 online (depending on the day and session), and up to 200 in-person guests at any given time across all five locations including:

  • Sydney: TGI offices (the HUB – a dedicated plenary space)
  • Delhi: Eros Hotel (across 4 rooms)
  • Hyderabad: Radisson Blu (across 2 rooms)
  • China: TGI offices (in their boardroom)
  • UK: Scale Space, White City, London (a cool collaboration and pitch space)

While we didn’t get to choose the venues, we prepared and provided detailed tech plots and floor plans to guide the team on the ground and organised trial runs on our event platform. Emily and Georgia flew to Sydney and were based in the TGI offices for the duration of the event, where the one of the MCs was also located.

Conference Highlights:

  • Early Career Presentations – it was inspiring to hear about the ground-breaking research people are working on; the passion and dedication was incredible to see and hear.
  • Speed Networking – a function of our online event platform that matches people up at random for a few minutes at a time; a great icebreaker activity or way to meet new people.
  • Sustainability in Health – it was fascinating to hear about how a large medical organisation is looking to tackle sustainability; something we are also committed to at JTPM.

Here are our top three tips for running international events:

  1. Have at least one event facilitator on the ground at every venue or location.
  2. Run in-depth training, briefing sessions and LIVE run-throughs with offsite staff in advance.
  3. Include captions for different languages – something we will include in future!
    Bonus tip: Remember there are just some things you can’t control – like internet connection.

Are you looking to connect people at multiple sites, cities or even countries? Want to produce a truly global and inclusive event experience, that is unaffected by the challenges of travel costs and COVID restrictions? Thanks to innovations in event technology and some creative thinking, anything is possible!

Give our expert event production team a call to discuss your unique event needs and goals today.