In Our View Daily: covering an online conference, fast

Socitm’s annual President’s Conference usually takes place over two days somewhere in Britain. This year, the renamed President’s Week took place over five half-days somewhere on Webex. That longer duration provided the chance to try something new in covering the event.

On each of the five days I wrote and edited a four-page PDF newsletter, In Our View Daily, published at the end of the afternoon. This required significant preparation in advance, followed by intensive work every day by Socitm’s staff and myself.

Highlights included Thursday’s panel session, where council IT heads discussed how they plan to bring staff back to the office (cautiously and in small numbers); Martin Ferguson transporting his audience to cricket and beer in St Albans; and Nadira Hussain discussing the stress of having to repeat information about her parents’ health given a failure to join up records.

Online events are not the same as real ones, but they have advantages such as ease of attendance, with President’s Week welcoming virtual delegates from around the world. And because they tend to be spread over a longer period of time and can be covered from a home office, it is much easier to publish fast detailed coverage that can work as part of the event, rather than something that follows later.

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