Global Pathogen Variants Meeting
An inaugural meeting to develop a network of Covid research projects encouraging collaboration and the sharing of ideas to prevent future infectious disease outbreaks.
To bring world leading scientists from four corners of the globe to an intimate hybrid meeting in Cape Town, where strategic breakouts and carefully planned sessions stimulated networking and brainstorming in the fight against the spread of covid. Bringing together individuals from 14 countries spanning 5 continents required complex travel logistics and a strong understanding of international visas and entry requirements.
Once registration had commenced, we worked alongside a dedicated travel team to book flights, arrival & departure transfers and accommodation whilst developing a bespoke agenda for the delegates.
The catering is always a key element of the event. We wanted to kick off the event with an opportunity for delegates to meet each other in an informal setting. The gorgeous terrace of the hotel’s Tobago Restaurant was chosen as the setting of the informal dinner, and a set menu carefully curated that would show off South Africa’s vibrant flavours whilst removing any high carbon ingredients such as beef.
Dinner on the second night was planned as a three-course gala dinner inside the Harbour View Room, which lived up to its name by offering striking views of Cape Town’s harbour. Delegates would be offered the choice of two set menus which contained delicacies such as Mussel Cappuccino soup and South Africa’s decadent Malva pudding.
Zentive created a dynamic, streamlined registration site to capture all data necessary to arrange logistics for the event, as well as provide detailed information on the meeting’s location and agenda.
As is sometimes the case with events, the weather could not be predicted. Delegates arrived into Cape Town as an unexpected storm was taking place. Although spring had started in South Africa, this storm was one of the most violent the city had seen in years. As a result, several decisions had to be made onsite to mitigate the storm’s effect.
The first of these was to move the welcome dinner from the outdoor terrace to a semi-private area indoors. The venue team were flexible and managed to execute the new plan effortlessly. Communications were sent out to attendees informing them of the change and they arrived at networking drinks and dinner in good spirits despite the rain.
The first day of the meeting got off to a great start with a varied agenda split up by networking sessions fuelled by nutritious healthy food and drink. Digital signage was displayed to direct attendees throughout the venue. Online attendees joined via an online meeting platform and were able to participate through the use of cameras and tech in the room. After lunch, the main plenary was split up into breakouts using a partition wall with online participants involved in an online breakout room before coming together to share ideas. The dinner for this evening was set up in the Harbour View room offering delegates a far-off view of the ocean.
The sun finally came out on day 2 of the meeting and delegates took the opportunity to enjoy this with breakout sessions on the sea view terrace. After a focused two days of meetings, attendees finished with photos and networking outside Table Mountain before heading off on transfers to the airport. Following the conference, all food surplus was redistributed through the hotel’s partners.
“Thanks again Dominic, Lee and Patrick for running the event so brilliantly – knowing you had every detail of the meeting logistics covered meant we could make the most of the networking opportunities and focus on the science, which will really help in getting the most out of the project.”