The Researcher to Reader Conference has announced that it is continuing to plan on the basis of offering a hybrid event on 22-23 February 2022, at the London venue and online everywhere. Despite rising Covid infection rates in The UK, the event organisers are optimistic that the current wave could be declining by February, and so are continuing to plan to offer the option of having both physical and online participants at the highly-interactive and collaborative 2022 Conference.
Around this time last year, R2R announced that the planned hybrid 2021 Conference would be switching to a fully online format, in response to rapidly rising infections and hospitalisations. While it was disappointing for the R2R community not to be able to meet in person, the online Conference was very successful, with 100% of survey respondents saying that the event was Relevant them professionally, and 98% saying it was Valuable use of time. The online R2R was still a highly interactive and collaborative conference, not a broadcast webinar like some events, and participants volunteered that:
“the degree of interactivity was truly surprising”
“the production was very professional”
“the platforms really helped, and were easy to use”
“this was by far the best conference experience since COVID-19”
The 2022 Conference has been planned from the start to be a hybrid event, aiming to offer the same high-quality experience, and same value to both physical and online participants. Because the event is agnostic about how participants will attend, with a common tariff for online or physical attendance, and a real focus on interactivity for all participants, R2R is able to be confident of delivering a good Conference whatever the pandemic situation is at the time. All registered delegates will be free to choose whether to come to the London venue or not (subject to the prevailing regulations). The event is also helped greatly by the support of the long-term venue, BMA House in Central London. Firstly, the British Medical Association is, of course, providing us with excellent guidance on how to make both the venue and the delegate experience ‘covid conscious‘, and R2R will be following their direction to keep people as safe as possible. In addition, the venue has been extremely flexible regarding the specific scale and terms of the Conference booking, which allows R2R’s organisers to continue to offer flexibility and choice to the delegates, even at this late stage.
R2R remains very conscious of the continuing pandemic, the recent increase in infections, and the threat that covid still represents for many people. While very optimistic about the possibility of being able to welcome participants to the venue, with appropriate precautions, R2R also recognises that many people may wish to choose the online option, and the Conference aims to continue to offer a hybrid choice.
7 January 2022