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Commsverse 2021 is IN-PERSON – What You Need to Know?

Mark Vale
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We have some amazing news to share. Commsverse, a dedicated Community Conference about Microsoft Teams will finally be an in-person event in 2021!

On Monday 22nd February the UK Prime Minister announced the UK’s exit strategy out of lockdown and the pandemic. Under the planned timelines, indoor events will be able to restart from May 17th with limited capacity to either 50% or a maximum of 1,000 people, whichever is the least number.

What this means for Commsverse? The venue is a 1,200 person building. This means we can welcome up to 600 people per day including Exhibitors, Speakers, Delegates and all staffing. So we are aiming for 400 pure delegates.

Being a small and targeted event is our advantage. We are able to run an in-person event that has high value to our delegates and sponsors in a safe and controlled environment.

We are very aware that some people having spent so long in isolation will find it unsettling and anxious about coming to an in-person event so soon. Your safety is yours and our primary concern and if you do not wish to attend this year, then we support your decision. You will not be forgotten though, we have a plan to include virtual attendees in our event too!

We are also aware that relaxation of restrictions are under constant review and further easing could be delayed beyond the suggested date of May 17th. If stage 3 is delayed beyond May 17th we will have to delay our event until September 15th & 16th 2021. Either way Commsverse 2021 will happen in-person.

It is our desire however, to press ahead with our primary dates of June 29th and 30th in hope that indeed sufficient progress has been made that allows Stage 3 restrictions to be enabled. The Prime Minister has laid out a further date of June 21st that could see all restrictions removed. This date, being so close to our event is something we can hope for. However, we are planning our event around the limitations in place on May 17th.

Therefore, as of now, Commsverse 2021 is confirmed for June 29th & 30th 2021.

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If you are interested in attending, we recommend you read the below to understand what to expect.

What are the Restrictions?

The Government has proposed that indoor events can begin from May 17th. If this date remains the same this means we can welcome you all to Commsverse for both days.

It is anticipated that mask wearing and 1m social distancing will still be required at this stage along with sanitization and enhanced food saftey measures.

From May 17th the plan is to permit international travel again, but countries listed on the UK “Red List” will probably still be required to Quarantine on entry.

We are working with the venue to come up with a more formalised plan of what we can do. However, as you can appreciate, this is very early following the announcement and there are still many questions yet to be answered.

What Can I Expect If I Attend?

Things will be a little different. We are basing our plans on the restrictions of May 17th even though possibly 21st June sees all restrictions removed. If they are then some planned conditions may be lifted for the betterment of the event.

Conference Attendance Days

Pre-Covid we were a 2 day event and tickets purchased permitted entry to both days. This is still the case.

The days and the activities remain the same however, we have themed the days so that people can maximise their gain from a single day if they wish.

The days will be themed and content targeted to appeal to attendees of certain backgrounds. Therefore, you can get the most out of the conference bsed on your interests.

Collab Day – June 29th

Collab Day is all about team based collaboration, team and personal productivity and business process optimisation. Sessions will be curated to cover Teams elements such as document collaboration, governance, compliance, using Teams better together and leveraging the Power Platform to optimize and automate business workflows to improve business efficiency.

Config Day – June 30th

Config Day is all about design, deploy, enabling and operating Microsoft Teams and companion services. Sessions will be focussed on the technical “back-end” such as Direct Routing, Contact Centre, Teams Management & Lifecycle, Meeting Rooms and Devices.

What If I want I only want to attend one day?

All sessions will be recorded and will be available on-demand for all ticket holders as they are premiered. This means that you can watch a session at the same time as it is being delivered live or at a time that suits you.

Some sessions will be live streamed and you will be able to attend as a virtual attendee connected directly to the room. This means you can be an active audience member and participate in room Q&A directly with the speaker.

Will the Same Sponsors Be There Both Days?

Yes. All sponsors will be there for both days so you will not miss out on anything.

What Will I Need to Bring With Me?

You will need to wear a mask during the event (unless restriction lifted on 21st June) so bring one with you just in case.

We will have hand sanitizer at various points within the venue for you to use, but please bring your own pocket canisters to use when handling furniture and fittings.

There will be Coffee and Tea available as well as filtered water from coolers around the venue. We request that you bring your own thermal flask to use as we will not be providing disposable water cups.

If you have alcohol based wet wipes, please bring these with you and use to wipe down surfaces and fittings you may have touched or going to touch. These will be cleaned regularly, but this reduces yours and others risk.

Badges & Passes

We will not be issuing conference badges or lanyards. Instead you will have a digital pass that will be available on our mobile app. This pass will have a QR Code that will be scanned on check-in for both event and session room.

Swag

We plan on having some swag and are currently researching the most appropriate gifts.

Walking the Exhibition Floor

There will be a strict one-way system enforced around the exhibition floor. 1m social distancing must be maintained at all times. Only 2 attendees can enter each exhibitor booth space at a time. No queuing or loitering will be allowed. If a booth is occupied you must continue to walk around the exhibition floor and re-enter at the entrance.

Exhibitor & Attendee Information Exchange

If you wish to exchange contact details with an Exhibitor you will be able to do this contactless. Using our mobile app you can choose to connect and share your details with an exhibitor and they can do the same.

Asking Questions in Sessions

We had planned on using Catchbox throwable microphones for audience Q&A with the speaker. Instead, these will be placed at a single point in the room and you will need to walk up to the microphone and ask your question hands free.

In addition, the venue may have their own restrictions in force which must be adhered to.

Will There Be A Virtual Alternative?

Yes. All our sessions will be available as they are delivered on our online platform. There will be some online only sessions and content as well to enrich your attendance experience.

Some select sessions will be streamed from the venue with remote audience participation in Q&A.

Do I have to Buy A Ticket to Access Only the Virtual Event?

No, we will be offering the virtual event out as a free to watch event. However, you will not be eligible to enter any competitions or promotions that are exclusive to paid ticket holders. Paid ticket holders will also have priority on joining the live streamed sessions.

Can I Attend?

We want Commsverse to be as safe and secure for everyone as we can be. Therefore, it is imperative that you check your eligibility to attend below.

If you live, have visited within 14 days prior to the event or your journey to Commsverse has connecting flights through any country on the UK “Red List“, you must not attend Commsverse.

If you have had symptoms, been in contact with anyone who has symptoms either direct contact (1st party) or secondary contact (contact with a person who has been directly exposed to a symptomatic person) within 14 days of Commsverse, you must not attend.

If you have underlying health conditions or have been identified as a high risk person either medically or self-assessed, we advise you not to attend Commsverse unless you have been vaccinated and deem yourself fit enough to attend.

If you are travelling from abroad from non-red list countries you are advised to take all possible precautions along your journey by limiting interaction with others, maintaining 2m social distancing and wearing a mask for your entire journey.

If you are travelling from the UK, we advise you to make sole journeys to the event by car if possible and limiting time spent in public places such as service stations down to the bare necessities. When in public spaces or using public transport please follow UK guidelines for social distancing, mask wearing and santization.

If you suspect you may have contracted covid and have been for a test, the results must published to you before 29th June. If you are still awaiting the result by the day of the event, you must not attend Commsverse. For the avoidance of doubt, if your test returns positive, you must not attend Commsverse.

Do I need to be Vaccinated to Attend?

No, you do not need to be vaccinated to attend Commsverse. However, you should be in good health and have passed our attendance criteria above.

Do I need a Negative Test to Attend?

If you suspect yourself to have contracted Covid we recommend you arrange to be tested at your nearest covid test centre and await the result.

For attendees living in the UK, you won’t be required to produce a negative test result in order to access the event.

For attendees travelling from abroad, the UK Government requires you to produce a negative test result take within 72 hours (3 days) of your entry. More information here

For international attendees, proof of this test must be produced during check-in.

If proof cannot be produced, you will be required to take a lateral flow test outside the venue before being permitted entry. Lateral Flow tests can be self administered and results visible within 15-20 minutes. You will be required to pay for your test at a cost of £30.00

What if Someone has covid at the Event?

Everyone will be required to sign up to the UK Track and Trace system. Upon check-in you must scan the venue QR Code to register yourself as being on-site. This is a condition of entry and one of our staff must witness you do this. If you do not or refuse, you will be asked to leave the event immediately. No Exceptions.

By using Track and Trace you will be notified if someone has subsequently tested positive after the event so that you can take the appropriate measures to ensure your health.

If you suspect that you may be developing symptoms during the event, you must alert one of our organisers. You will be taken to a secure location to be assessed and this will involve a lateral flow test.

If the test is positive, you will be required to leave the event immediately. During your trip home, you must maintain strict distancing measures, mask wearing and santization. If you are an international attendee, you must alert the appropriate authorities and possibly quarantine in the UK until you have recovered before travelling home.

This post will be updated once more information is available. We hope that you feel confident enough in our approach and measures to attend our event. We look forward to welcoming you.

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