The International Medieval Congress (IMC) was recently held as a virtual event, due to the restrictions put in place as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The event is usually held at the University of Leeds, UK, but this year it was hosted via a digital app that was produced by the University of Leeds’ conference and events facilitator, MEETinLEEDS. The app enabled 3,000 attendees to virtually attend the IMC as it celebrated its 27th year.
Bringing together medievalists from over 60 countries ranging from Canada to Australia, the virtual IMC featured 500 speakers, and included an array of individual papers, roundtable discussions and even a virtual disco. The event also featured two keynote speakers; one from Spain and another from Korea, as well as keynote presentations covering new research in medieval studies by prominent academics.
The digital platform was available via both Android and iOS, as well as being accessible via a website and the digital platform provided a virtual meeting space via Aventri.
Sales and marketing manager from MEETinLEEDS, Harriet Boatwright, said: “The event app enabled us to bring together a large, international group of medievalists, and truly facilitated live discussions and the sharing of research in the face of a global pandemic. We were keen to ensure that the event still went ahead, not only because so many people already carried out their research, but also to provide positive encouragement to the global medievalist community and generate that much-needed connection during these difficult times. Whilst we received such positive feedback from the virtual event, we look forward to welcoming back physical events and natural networking when the time is right to do so.”
Director of IMC at the University of Leeds, Axel Muller, added: “Thanks to the hard work of the IMC and MEETinLEEDS teams, we were able to create a successful virtual event, and we received fantastic feedback from delegates. It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the work and research that had been undertaken, and we are excited to welcome the physical event next year.”