Three Alternative Solutions


Solution 1

Solution Description

This solution focuses on the idea of a virtual space to represent conferences, allowing different presentations to be viewed and various people to talk and interact. Each user would login to a mobile or web-based application and create an avatar representing themselves. They would then be dropped into a central hub, which would show all the conferences they could attend (shown as large conference buildings in the virtual world). By entering one of the buildings, they would enter the associated conference, which would then allow them (by moving to different spaces within the conference), to view various presentations, view information and interact and talk with other conference attendees. This would allow a similar experience to a physical conference in the safety of each attendee’s home.


Business Case

This solution is the closest experience to the physical attending of conferences that we believe could be achieved in light of the possibilities of technology and the Covid-19 outbreak. This solution allows people to view content as they please, make unexpected discoveries, run into old colleagues and friends from past conferences; and generally experience a conference in a largely similar manner to that of a traditional conference. It doesn’t force people into only attended certain conferences at certain times, and would likely increase the attentiveness of attendees, as they are able to explore the conference for information and make discoveries on subjects. This is unlikely to occur in a more rigid system, in which a list of possible events are simply listed, or even restricted to only pre-registered attendees. Furthermore, this system also allows for creativity, not only in how the users design their avatar, but also in how conference organisers could design the virtual conference rooms. Conference organisers could change the appearance or layout of the conference to match the exhibits and focus of the conference, helping engage more people to the events and content.

On top of this, there would be a presentation system that would allow for attendees presenting at the conference to make custom presentations that zoomed in on certain parts of the posters and ran a video in time to the changes; creating a unique an engaging presentation. This could also be adjusted so that it could only be seen live or at anytime, or even allow for questions from other attendees.

By placing the events in a virtual space it will help maximise the benefits and enjoyability found in many conferences that has sadly been removed by the Covid-19 pandemic. By using this system most of this joy can be returned, whilst also implementing a robust new way to display and present posters to the conference attendees.



Regarding the plan, there are considerable risks associated. Firstly, the scope of this project is sizeable, particularly for a development team as small as we are. Furthermore, there is no base work that we could use to help implement this idea, it would all have to be original work. It would involve the creation of assets for both the conferences and avatars, animations for the avatars, and other involved work that would mean the project would be difficult to deliver on-time. Furthermore, there would need to be a tutorial or guide to help the user, as to some the way to move and navigate through the space may be new to them. Whilst this could be countered through the use of quick and effective tutorials and visual aids, this would further add time to the project; again increasing the project scope. There is also the possibility that the extra controls to communicate and move might make interaction more difficult then at physical conferences, which might limit attendees ability to communicate.