With the support of Tourism New Zealand and the Auckland Convention Bureau, the Ministry bid for and secured the right to host the conference in May 2020.
Originally planned as an in-person for the wide-reaching community that is the International Association of Women Judges, COVID restrictions meant it had
to be redesigned as a hybrid conference for its 1090 delegates.
Fortunately, when the Conference took place in May 2021, 295 New Zealanders and several Australians were able to gather in-person while 790 delegates from 75 countries joined online via the virtual platform which we managed in-house.
Project in depth
International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) Conference 2021
On its own the preparation for this multi-lingual delivery was significant and was further complicated by the need to manage the mix of in-person and virtual presentations on the day. All the while we were very aware of the importance of creating two seamless experiences – one for the in-person delegates and the other for the online audience – but connecting the two so they all heard questions being asked and answers given.
On the day 13 of our team, some based in the venue managing the in-person environment and others in our offices in Auckland and Sydney managing the virtual platform (we always use at least two locations in case of internet or power failure in one), ran the programme which commenced at 6am and ran through to 10.30pm so there was content available in time zones suitable for most.
Despite all the challenges this project presented for the Organising Committee, our team and the suppliers, the IAWJ’s Executive considered it a highly successful Conference. Virtual delivery meant that judges who might not have otherwise been able to attend an in-person conference were able to participate, every session drew on viewpoints from different parts of the globe, resolutions to support the women judges in Afghanistan were not only drawn up but subsequently actioned and IAWJ’s reputation as a truly global organisation uniting its professional community was further enhanced.