Blended BiCon: a hybrid event

This year, for the first time, BiCon will be a hybrid event, blending in-person and online sessions and entertainments.

As the first in-person BiCon for three years, we will be strongly focusing on running a good event for those people who have missed in-person events in the past couple of years, many of whom find on-line events difficult. At the same time, there have been two very successful on-line BiCons in that period, which have brought in people who wouldn't normally be able to come to BiCon and which are, for many, a more accessible option. We don't want to lose those people, and we want them to feel very much included in this year's event, if they want to come.

We acknowledge up-front that as this is our first year doing it, and as we have limited resources compared to some other event that have tried this, there may be teething troubles and we hope you'll bear with us while we sort them out. It's an experiment, and we'll all be learning as we go along.

We also need to say that our policy around cameras and photography apply to any online presence at the event. The online event must not be recorded, and where there are in-person sessions being streamed, only people who have agreed to be on-screen will be visible.

In outline, our plans include:

  • Live streaming of the opening and closing ceremonies
  • Some other sessions running as blended sessions with an online presence. We think panels will work better than discussion sessions for this, but may try more.
  • In-person-only sessions with no online component. Full disclosure: because of the tech challenges of running blended sessions, we're currently expecting the majority of sessions to be in-person only.
  • Online-only sessions, held over Zoom. People attending BiCon in person will be able to join those from their rooms, and we may have a couple of other rooms set aside for that purpose if there's enough demand. We're expecting there to be fewer of these than at the last two BiCons, due to it being a smaller event.
  • A blended Decision-Making Plenary. This has several challenges, not least arranging the voting for a mixed in-person/online electorate, but we feel that it's important for everyone attending BiCon to be able to come.
  • A shared online/in-person Silent Disco
  • An in-person Ball with a Zoom event running alongside it
  • A shared online Gather space available for mixed socialising

We're offering both in-person and on-line ticket rates here: . Anyone who attends in-person will have access to the online events if they want to join in on their phones or laptops.

The team is very excited about running a blended BiCon, and look forward to welcoming you, virtually or as a physical presence, as it were.