The Visual Media Conference has fallen victim to the pandemic and will be restaged as an online only event, although with a broader scope, on 16 September.
The event, planned originally as a combined conference and exhibition, for 8 September at the Rose Bowl in Leeds, had already been revised in wake of the lockdown to be a hybrid of real life sessions and streamed online event to enable social distancing to be respected. However, last week the decision was taken to change focus and become online only.
The event will also be broader in scope to capture the potential of a larger audience and instead of Fake it or Make it, takes Future Focus as its new theme. The event has gained a wider range of supporters combining the VMC ethos of being where the Yorkshire based creative and print sector could meet. Boss and the BPIF, along with Creative England, have come on board. European print industries federation Integraf will promote the event through its 20 national association members.
Alongside the presentations and discussions, a sectioned off session will host the BPIF’s annual general meeting. This had been scheduled for the federation’s members day in July, which culminates in a reception in the House of Lords as part of the All Parliamentary Print Group, but was cancelled shortly after the lockdown began.
The event is using an online meetings technology that includes virtual exhibition space, networking areas and a match making service to link people with shared interests.
Organiser Robert McClements explains that the data was moved back a week to accommodate schools returning and to maximise the potential audience. “We had to move to a completely virtual event for a number of reasons,” he says. “We have also changed the theme to Future Focus so that we can feature what is happening in the industry now, and what should be happening. We are putting on something that is fresh, innovative and relevant.”
The Visual Media Conference will this year be a virtual only event as any hopes of being able to put on a hybrid conference combining real life and streaming sessions have been dashed.