Better online meetings for researchers, scientists and the academic community

Meeting online has a wealth of benefits, but event organisers and meeting attendees all agree that it’s challenging to design online events that are engaging, truly participatory, and that provide moments of serendipitous interaction.

We’re here to help you change that. We offer experience design and professional online facilitation and moderation that makes virtual academic conferences and meetings a viable alternative to flying half-way around the world.

Better online meetings for researchers, scientists and the academic community

What we offer

Running an academic meeting or conference online has many benefits, but we’re all aware that there are downsides, too. Attendees and organisers report that engagement and participation suffer in virtual settings, there are fewer opportunities for networking and collaboration, and serendipitous conversations fall by the wayside.

As professional facilitators, moderators, and experience designers, we have designed and delivered hundreds of virtual meetings and sessions across a wide range of platforms. We’ve also participated in many online conferences as attendees, so we offer a range of services based on what we know works – from both sides of the meeting! We tailor the way we work to what you need.

The easiest way to figure out if we can help is by booking a call

You can also take a look at some of the services that we offer


Whether you’re organising an intimate gathering or a huge, international event, here are a few ideas of how we can help. Long story short: if you want to design an online academic meeting or conference that is engaging, full of poortunities for people to participate and network, and that puts the attendees’ expereince first, then we can help.


You’re the expert in planning and organising events for your academic or research audience. We can complement your knowledge by giving you insights about event platforms, collaboration tools, activity ideas, networking formats and more. We’re full of ideas and you can dive into our expertise as and when you need it to help you in your thinking, planning and execution.

Experience design:

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to attend a virtual academic conference or meeting that leaves you interested, engaged and smiling from ear to ear. That’s what our experience design brings to your meeting. We work closely with you to create experiences for your virtual meeting that consider what people need AND what they might feel. We use tried-and-test tools, playful approaches that encourage participation, and experiential methods to spark imagination and deepen engagement.

Virtual/online hosting and technical production:

We can manage your live online events, welcome attendees, get people talking, provide a space for speakers and presenters to shine, and manage Q&A sessions. In the background, we can manage the tech, field questions, admit participants, manage breakout rooms and collaborative activities, record content and much more.

Virtual facilitation:

If you want some of your sessions to be less about a series of presentations and more about bringing attendees together to explore, discuss, come up with ideas, and collaborate on creating content,  we can help you design conversations and interactions that work, create brave spaces where everyone has an opportunity to contribute, and provide a structure that keeps people engaged and involved, whilst keeping conversations on-topic and flowing in the right direction.

Panel moderation:

Moderating panels at in-person academic meetings is a skill. Doing it online, in a way that doesn’t send the audience to sleep, requires a whole new skill set. Not only do we need to bring order to a group of experts who may have very different perspectives and research interests, and keep the audience engaged, but we also need to ensure that the session isn’t a series of mini-presentations and that the resulting conversation is interesting for people watching the event later, too. We do the groundwork to make sure that panellists are prepared, and couple our moderation and facilitation superpowers to ensure that your online panel discussions are lively and interesting.

Virtual activities, networking hubs and off-sites:

To recreate the networking opportunities and unexpected conversations that are so valuable at in-person conferences, we can help you design and offer a variety of virtual engagement activities throughout your virtual academic conference or meeting. We create and host gamified experiences like Murder Mystery events, Escape Room challenges, virtual Scavenger Hunts, and puzzle and quiz sessions. We can offer mini-workshops that work brilliantly online, engage the senses, and get people talking. To encourage conversations and exchange, we create virtual networking and matchmaking events that allow for 1:1 discussions, discussions in groups and even speed networking. And we have some fantastic ways to offer attendees unexpected conversations.

Speaker, panellist and attendee training:

What can we say? We’re all about helping researchers and academics communicate better, so we offer useful workshops on presentation skills, poster design and delivery, storytelling and networking to help attendees make the most of your academic meeting. We’re also happy to offer bite-sized sessions on how to make the most of your online meeting platform and the activities you’re offering.

Post-event support:

If you are planning to provide post-event content, we can help you gather your content, tidy up your content, and even create content. For example, we can edit all conference recordings to eliminate unnecessary before and after “scene setting”, add your branding at the start and finish, rename files, and upload them to their new home with a useful title and short description. We can go through all of the recorded content – video, audio, written – and create Round Up Reports featuring a mix of key findings, trends, speaker insights, and case studies. And of course, we’re happy to help you conduct a debrief and lessons-learned session so that you can make your next online event even better!

Long story short, we can help you make your online academic meeting or event more engaging, more interactive, and more useful for your attendees, wherever they are in the world.

Like the idea of better online academic meetings? Let’s have a conversation

Better online meetings for researchers, scientists and the academic community
Better online meetings for researchers, scientists and the academic community

Why online meetings?

If you are a researcher or an academic meeting conference organiser, we probably don’t need to tell you just how important these meetings are. They’re an invaluable way for attendees to share their research, learn about new studies, build networks, and enjoy unexpected conversations that might lead to new and interesting research paths.

In short, they are essential communication tools.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting attendees have become more familiar with the idea of online, and more recently, hybrid meetings. There is a body of research that suggests that there are many benefits to shifting some or all of our academic meetings online, including:

Increased accessibility for attendees

In-person conferences have typically historically been exclusive and inaccessible to large chunks of the academic community. Not every academic has access to the funding needed to fly around the world and stay abroad for several days, and even if they do have funding, barriers like caring duties, health, ability to freely travel, mobility, disability, or sustainability concerns.

Online formats allow many more attendees to take part.

More cost-effective to organise and manage

Virtual-only meetings significantly reduce expenses and investment, sometimes by as much as 49%, when compared with in-person meetings. The savings from hybrid meetings are non-existent, because physical rooms, catering, travel and all the expenses associated with a live event exist, along with whatever is needed for a virtual event (hybrid events are the least cost-effective approach.)

More diversity, ideas, and reach

By creating meetings that are open to more members of the academic community, we are exposed to research conducted by academics from all backgrounds, locations, and financial profiles. This helps us challenge siloed thinking, exposes attendees to new thinking, and creates rich opportunities for collaboration and research directions.

Reduced travel time, costs and fatigue

Virtual settings mean that attendees don’t have to invest time, energy and money planning their travel, the time needed to physically travel to the event, and the fatigue involved in making everything work smoothly. Virtual settings also mean that participants can fit the conference around their day-to-day responsibilities, whether those involve leading a research group, conducting fieldwork, clinical responsibilities, or family and personal responsibilities.

Significantly more sustainable

Virtual and online academic events are significantly more sustainable and environmentally friendly than in-person events. The carbon footprint is much lower (some estimates suggest up to 94% lower), the impacts of food waste are eliminated, and the production of “conference goodies” that nobody really needs are eliminated, along with the associated waste. In terms of cost, travel, and accessibility—all mentioned already—virtual meetings are more socially sustainable for many people, too.

Increased communication opportunities

Done well, an online academic meeting creates ways for people to communicate so that all voices are heard, not simply the loudest or most prestigious voice in the room. Chat functionality, integrated closed captions, on-the-fly translations and transcriptions, virtual rooms, breakout sessions, and digital collaboration tools can provide ways for everyone to join the conversation and participate across space and time.

Content longevity

Virtual meetings enable event organisers to store and archive content, from presentations and posters, to chat room discussions and the results of collaborative sessions. If coupled with ways to communicate post-event, this can result in conversations that continue long after the meeting or conference is over.

Increased safety and security for attendees

Reports of inappropriate interactions and sexual harassment at academic conferences, particularly although not exclusively from junior researchers, plague in-person conferences. Virtual settings increase both perceived and actual safety for this group.

Virtual meeting have challenges

Virtual meetings have their problems, too: engagement, interaction and the ability to network and meet are just three of them. If you love the idea of hosting your next academic meeting online, and you’d like to work out how to tackle these challenges to make it go brilliantly, we can help.

Let’s have a conversation and explore the possibilities →

Better online meetings for researchers, scientists and the academic community

Useful resources

Still not sure about moving your next academic meeting online? We understand.

That’s why we’re curating some interesting papers, articles and tools for you. Whether you’re interested in empirical research from a trusted journal, reflection from individuals and organisations on their experiences of organising virtual academic events or software, there’s something for you here.

Why online meetings matter

Antusch, S. Academics versus the climate crisis. Nat Hum Behav 6, 1448–1449 (2022).

Organizing a virtual conference changed the way we think about academic exchange, Christina Bidmon, Cristyn Meath & René Bohnsack

Lewy JR, Patnode CD, Landrigan PJ, Kolars JC, Williams BC. Quantifying the climate benefits of a virtual versus an in-person format for an international conference. Environ Health. 2022 Jul 19;21(1):71. doi: 10.1186/s12940-022-00883-7. PMID: 35850763; PMCID: PMC9294792.
>10 Ways Academic Conferences can Address the #Climatecrisis,  Jeanne Garbarino

Shifting meetings, conventions online curbs climate change (2021) Blaine Friedlander

Revisiting the Future of Conferences from an Early Career Scholar Perspective


How to run engaging academic conferences online, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at The Open University.

Tips on how to plan a virtual academic conference (2020) Times Higher Education, Celia Popovic & Erika Kustra

Tips and Tricks for Hosting Great Virtual Academic Conferences, Smart City Innovation Lab, Digital+Sustainable Innovation Lab

If It’s Virtual, Why Does It Cost Anything at All?

A Complete Guide to Hybrid Conferences (2022) Kristy Law

Are hybrid events the future of academic conferences?

Moss, V.A., Adcock, M., Hotan, A.W. et al. Forging a path to a better normal for conferences and collaboration. Nat Astron 5, 213–216 (2021).



Oruc, Aybars. (2022). Tools for Organizing an Effective Virtual Academic Conference. Serials Review. 47. 10.1080/00987913.2022.2050615.

Aybars Oruc (2021) Tools for Organizing an Effective Virtual Academic Conference, Serials Review, 47:3-4, 231-242, DOI: 10.1080/00987913.2022.2050615

Working with us is as easy as 1,2,3…

We like to keep things simple. Here’s what to expect:

First, get in touch

Book a FREE exploration session to get started. You can tell us about what you want and need, we can brainstorm ideas, and together, we can explore the possibilities.

Second, get some ideas

Based on what you’ve told us, we will put together a proposal for you outlining our recommended approach to science communication training based on your input, along with the all-important outcomes, costs, and timescales.

Third, get started

Once you’re happy with what we’ve proposed, we’ll get to work on what needs to happen to make your science communication training a success.

Ready to make your virtual academic meeting, conference or event a success?

We believe that all good things start with a conversation.

Book a Zoom call with us (choose a date and time that’s right for you) or use the contact form to get in touch and tell us about what you need.

Better online meetings for researchers, scientists and the academic community