MEETinLEEDS has worked in collaboration with the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies to host a virtual version of the 4th Arabic Linguistics Forum (ALiF 2020), 30th June – 2nd July on the new University of Leeds Event App.
ALiF 2020 was initially to be held on campus however due to the outbreak of Covid-19, MEETinLEEDS’ assistance was sought to manage and produce an online version of the event. The virtual forum was comprised of 5 keynote lectures, 60 presentations and 10 Q&A sessions. The format is a mixture of pre-recorded videos made available on youtube and live sessions hosted on Blackboard Collaborate. The Q&A sessions offer an opportunity for live interaction and discussion on the pre-recorded content.
To provide a central “meeting place” in which attendees can browse and select their own programme, view presentations, access virtual meeting rooms, message fellow attendees, view speaker information and network, the Aventri platform was used. The platform is an app, available for apple and android products. It is also possible to access the app as a website.
The conference was expected to attract 60 – 70 attendees, however over 160 people have participated in the event, with nearly 50% of attendees joining internationally.
Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager at MEETinLEEDS, commented:
“It has been great to work alongside the organising team for ALiF2020. The agility the team showed in pivoting last minute to a virtual space was fantastic. Whilst a fully virtual conference is the safest and most accessible option at this moment in time, we very much look forward to offering a blended conference experience in the coming months – combining all that is great about a physical conference with the undoubtable benefits of a virtual offer.”
Feedback from the event has been excellent, with the committee praising both the organisation of the event and the technology used to support its delivery.