Reflecting on a new mode of FLANZ conference

Conference logos

Feedback from the FLANZ 2021Conference has been overwhelmingly positive, thank you. That said, there is still a lot we can do to improve.

Delegates have endorsed the blended approach to conferencing trialled at the FLANZ 2021 Conference.

Feedback from the conference survey has, overall, been very positive. That is not to say we got it right first time. There is much we can do to improve our communications and enhance the scope of the presentations.The most encouraging feedback has been the overwhelming endorsement of the blended conference mode. The approach, which brought together five venues across three online meeting spaces, was a hit with delegates. Feedback also indicates the MC, Greg Ward, was the special factor that brought the concept home. A key learning from this experience has been the importance of dedicated coordination and facilitation for each blended space.

A busy programme

With three concurrent streams of presentations, there was enough space in the programme. There are opportunities to better arrange the presentations to align themes to streams and provide a relevant range of topics. The messaging to prospective presenters in the lead up to the conference should be precise about expected alignment with streams.

The best bits

The networking opportunities, the flexibility of access, the overall value, the keynote addresses and the facilitation in the Plenary stream have been identified as highlights of the conference. The principal venue, Victoria University of Wellington, enabled great face to face networking and fantastic spaces to both engage with presentations and to present from. Satellite venues provided a vibrant space at key moments; for keynotes and presentations delivered from the satellite. Feedback on the satellite experience was very positive: it will remain a feature of future FLANZ conferences.

Conference communications

Using the conference website to provide updates to the programme and proceedings works well if the supporting communications (predominantly by email) are timely and received. Work is required to ensure the all-delegate email does not get blocked by filters and is available when needed.

There is more to come

Part of the shift to a blended conference is the capture of the presentations. Work is underway to edit the stream recordings and provide a web-based environment for delegates and, over time, others, to find and engage with the FLANZ 2021 Conference presentations. We will be in touch with delegates when that space is live.

A big shout out to our Sponsors

Without sponsors, we would not be able to provide this event. Thank you Massey University for being the Principal Sponsor. A big thank you to our other sponsors:

  • Open Polytechnic
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • Echo360
  • Otago University
  • Blackboard
  • Examsoft