AIEC goes hybrid in 2021

We are excited at the prospect of being able to host you in person at AIEC 2021 on the Gold Coast this October.

Plans to host a COVID-safe hybrid conference remain in place, despite the ongoing uncertainty created by sudden interstate border closures and ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdowns. If 2020 has taught us anything, we know we have to be prepared for any scenario, so this year we will offer a virtual alternative that will include all hallmarks of a great AIEC event – networking, engagement, learning and fun.

Themed ‘new horizons’, this will perhaps be the most important AIEC of our time. We must come together – in person or online – to learn and share our experiences, find ways to support and enable our international students to continue on their education journey and strengthen our sector. We may not have all the answers, but we know a new era is dawning for our sector.

What is a hybrid event and what does it mean for AIEC?

A hybrid event combines a live ‘in-person’ event with a ‘virtual or online’ component. It includes live streaming of sessions, delegate interaction such as polling and chats, a virtual tradeshow and a library of on-demand content.

For AIEC 2021, this means that the main in-person event will be hosted at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, and sessions will be broadcast from the venue to virtual attendees via the Cvent powered virtual platform, a.k.a. Attendee Virtual Hub (or VAH):

  • As a virtual attendee, you will have the opportunity to watch sessions in real time or view recordings on demand. You will also be able to connect with colleagues, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors via the Cvent-powered virtual platform.
  • As an in-person attendee, you will be able to participate all the in-person conference program sessions, social functions and physical exhibition on the Gold Coast, and you will also have access to the virtual platform.

For delegates

Before the conference

Approximately 10 days before the conference starts, all attendees (in-person and virtual) will be given access to the virtual platform. You will be able to:

  • create your attendee profile
  • see who’s attending
  • build your personalised agenda by selecting which sessions you want to attend live, and which you want to watch later on demand
  • watch pre-recorded content such as ‘Inspire' videos market insights and sponsored videos
  • book appointments with registered delegates, speakers and exhibitors you want to connect with during the conference
  • browse the Braindate marketplace and create topics for braindates or join other attendees’ braindates

During the conference

During the week of the conference (5 to 8 October) the two audiences, in-person and virtual, will be able to interact with one another to learn, share, network and make meaningful connections via the Cvent powered virtual platform and app.

For in-person attendees For virtual attendees
  • attend sessions live at the venue or watch them as they are livestreamed via the virtual platform
  • watch livestreamed sessions: two streams per day will be livestreamed, and other streams will be recorded and available on demand after the conference
  • network with other in-person attendees over four days of conferencing
 
  • interact with virtual attendees via the app or virtual platform (the app and virtual platform are integrated)
  • interact with other virtual and in-person attendees via virtual platform (the app and virtual platform are integrated)
  • participate in interactive sessions by submitting questions in-person or through the app or participating in polls
  • participate in interactive sessions by submitting questions through the virtual platform or participating in polls
  • attend the in-person social events (Welcome Reception, Happy Hour and Conference Dinner)
  • attend the virtual social events (Welcome Reception, Happy Hour and Conference Dinner)
  • interact with physical and virtual exhibitors during exhibition hours (physical exhibitors and virtual exhibitors) or online via the virtual platform
  • interact with virtual exhibitors during exhibition hours (all exhibitors will have a virtual booth), either by pre-booking a 1:1 appointment or by dropping into their booth ‘chat room’
  • share your feedback in real time through polling and surveys
  • share your feedback in real time through polling and surveys
  • join and participate in in-person braindates (at the physical Braindate Lounge) and/or virtual braindates (on the virtual Braindate platform)
  • join and participate in virtual braindates (on the virtual Braindate platform)

After the conference

Both in-person and virtual attendees will be able to:

  • watch (re-watch) sessions on-demand three months post the event on the virtual platform
  • download exhibitor resources

For sponsors and exhibitors

If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the conference, we have developed a suite of packages that include online and physical components.

Exhibitors have the option to exhibit in-person (at the physical exhibition at the Gold Coast Convention an Exhibition Centre), or virtually (via the Cvent virtual platform).

All exhibitor and sponsor registrations included in the packages are all-inclusive, which means you will have access to the full program as described above in the delegates section.

Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities

For speakers

This year the conference program will include speakers who are not physically on the Gold Coast. They will present from their locations live, or as a recording. All online speakers will be able to interact live with the in-person and online audiences through chats and polling. Interactive Q&A sessions will also allow speakers to answer questions in real time.

Due to the complexities that come with livestreaming and broadcasting sessions, speakers, chairs and session coordinators will be required to prepare full session outlines and participate in session briefings and speaker briefings.

Information for speakers