Client Story

Cambridge Conference: First hybrid event in 100 years

Ordnance Survey’s Cambridge Conference gathers leaders of the world’s mapping and geospatial agencies every four years since to explore innovation and collaboration in their field.

In 2022, with travel to the UK still prohibitively difficult for many delegates, they needed to update the format so overseas delegates could still participate.

Cambridge Conference has been a major event on the industry calendar since 1927, so for the Bray Lenio Events team, introducing hybrid elements to engage this discerning audience, both live and online, was a huge responsibility.

Originally scheduled for 2020 but delayed by Covid, this would be the first Cambridge Conference for six years. Bray Lenio Events would handle end to end delegate registration and management, transport and logistics, and production and delivery of both the live and online elements.

And while it would have been easy to simply live stream the conference content, our objective was to create a hybrid environment that would enable overseas delegates to genuinely participate.

So we implemented an experience that enabled a genuine sense of involvement and engagement, interactive content feeds hosted and delivered by rapporteurs, where questions could be submitted to speakers in real time.

We created opportunities for online networking and connection. Delegates were invited to manage their own on-platform profile and connect with speakers and participants using virtual chat. While virtual breakout sessions, hosted by facilitators who were physically at the conference, offered the chance to spark collaboration and continue the discussions.

In the end, both online and live delegates leveraged the platform for networking and collaboration, and to rewatch conference content on-demand.

For the first time in nearly 100 years, Cambridge Conference had become a truly hybrid event.

David Henderson, Chief Geospatial Officer at Ordnance Survey, said: “Bray Lenio Events did an AMAZING job and the event wouldn’t have been as successful without them. So many delegates have complemented the smooth running of the event – both online and in-person – and this is in no small part down to the collective efforts of your team. Thanks for being part of occasion.”