It is confirmed today that the Researcher to Reader Conference on 23-24 February 2021 will be online-only. We have been planning, throughout most of 2020, for a hybrid R2R Conference, aiming to provide both online and physical participants with a real conference experience. Despite good news about vaccines, the current infection rates and new restrictions in the UK (and many other countries) have now caused our BMA House venue to close, and have forced us to switch to an online-only event. This is a disappointment, as we were looking forward to seeing people at the venue, and were relishing the challenge of integrating our physical and online participants.
Our hybrid hopes during 2020 have been useful however, as ‘thinking hybrid’ has helped us to keep working on delivering a real, fully-interactive conference experience for our participants, not just a drab online webinar for a largely passive at-home audience. We are continuing to invest heavily in planning, facilitation and technology to ensure that R2R will be a real conference, even though online. The Conference will be supported by a web-based ‘online event platform’, which will help the participants to engage fully with all aspects of the programme, including support for live Q&A and networking. We will also have a professional audio-visual production team, who will ensure that multi-way communications are highly effective. This will be supported by our experienced facilitators, who will be encouraging full engagement for all participants.
The online R2R will still be an intense and absorbing two full days of interaction, conversation and collaboration.
In recognition that our venue costs are now capped, we feel able to share this saving with our participants, and so we are lowering our Standard registration rates to the same level as our previous ‘early-bird’ discount (which ended in November). All those who have registered at the higher rate in the meantime will automatically receive a partial refund. We remain very grateful to those who registered with us early, in October and November, even though the advantage of doing so has been somewhat eroded!
We look forward to collaborating with members of the scholarly communications community – online, but face-to-face – in February.
13 February 2021