Join CUPGRA's first real-virtual hybrid annual conference
As you will be aware, owing to COVID-19 restrictions, CUPGRA ran the two summer Members’ Days as virtual events this year. After much discussion and planning by the CUPGRA Executive Committee, it has been decided to go ahead with a hybrid real-virtual conference on 15th and 16th December 2020 to continue the unbroken run of 30 successful CUPGRA Cambridge Potato Conferences. A great line-up of speakers has been secured and the event looks set to maintain the high standards of previous years, albeit without the networking and dining opportunities that the real conference offers.
Within the theme of the overall title - Potato growing and supply: reset post COVID and Brexit - speakers will discuss subjects including nutrition, climate science, future retailing, education, labour, soil and water resources, research strategy, breeding and storage on Day 1.
On Day 2, there will be two workshops: one on zoning field operations and the second one on virus control. Delegates will be able to participate in both workshops.
LIVE and ONLINE
The presentations on Day 1 will be filmed live and go out online. Delegates will be able to access the video feed via a password supplied after registration. All delegates need is the ability to view video on a PC, laptop or phone.
Each session will have all the speakers in the auditorium at the Sophi Taylor Building at NIAB Park Farm. These will be run by a Chair and a Facilitator, together with a small invited audience, allowing compliance with existing COVID restrictions on gatherings, but provide the feeling of a real event and promote discussion. There will be a Q & A period at the end of each session where delegates will be able to submit written questions during the presentations which will be read out by the Chair. The speakers and associated staff will change with each session. The papers have been kept shorter than normal with one hour breaks between sessions to allow delegates to break away for periods during the day to reduce screen fatigue.
Day 2 will be run as a Zoom event, with speakers presenting remotely. With the use of facilitators for each workshop, we hope to allow verbal questions as well as written. Similar to Day 1, a remote login and password will be supplied to registered delegates.
To cover part of the high costs incurred in streaming high quality live feed video, CUPGRA has enlisted the support of three previous sponsors, Frontier Agriculture, Grimme UK and Syngenta to help. CUPGRA Members will be charged a £60 attendance fee to participate in both days, whilst non-members will be charged £80. We feel that this is a realistic cost for the quality of the speakers, the live video feed and overall event.
In the event of further restrictions imposed by COVID regulations, we will run the same programme, but with all the speakers and Chairs being in remote locations and no real audience.
Following application and payment, you will be supplied with registration and passwords for each day of the Conference. We trust that setting a low cost for attending the event will encourage honesty: please register and pay if you wish to participate in the event and do not re-circulate passwords. We will have the ability to exclude people who have not paid, but we would rather not have to apply this.
We hope many of you will join us in December and encourage non-members to apply to view the event to demonstrate what CUPGRA offers. We hope to return to a ‘real-real’ event in 2021.