WEISS Away Day 2021
19 July 2021
On 6 & 7 July, WEISS members made the journey to the De Vere hotel in Windsor to attend the 2021 WEISS away day.
The away day was a chance for members to catch up in person for the first time in over a year, and for many to meet their colleagues in the flesh for the first time. In order to ensure that everyone would be able to attend in some capacity, this was our first ever hybrid event.
The away day kicked off with a dinner to allow everyone to catch up after a long and trying period of remote working. Following dinner, for those that were interested, there was also the chance to catch the dramatic second half (and penalties!) of the Italy – Spain semi-final.
The away day started in earnest the following day. After an introduction from centre director Dan Stoyanov, the day began with some WEISS research highlights, with several researchers illustrating some of their greatest achievements and successes. Next up was the Professional Services team who described their roles and how they can help researchers in the centre. As part of this our Public Engagement Manager, Simon Watt, organised a game of ‘WEISS taboo’ to get everyone thinking about how to talk about their research and other scientific concepts without using jargon.
Attendees were afforded a leisurely two-hour lunch to allow everyone to have those much needed in-person catch ups, as well as enjoy a stroll around the beautiful grounds of the De Vere hotel – with a fortunate gap in the rain to allow for this!
Following lunch, we broke into groups (including virtual break out rooms) to discuss the imminent return to the office and how this might be facilitated at WEISS. Discussions centred around the logistics of a safe return to Charles Bell House and how we can continue building the WEISS community with the new hybrid working model. Groups then fed back to everyone, with points such as potential desk sharing and how to manage hybrid meetings in an open-plan office being raised. The day ended with more presentations of WEISS research highlights.
Thanks to the fantastic tech team who ensured that, thanks to individual microphones on the tables and multiple camera angles of the room, our virtual attendees felt included in the day. With many of our future events likely to be hybrid, we will use the feedback from the away day to help make these as successful and inclusive as possible.
With members spread over many specialities and locations, events such as the away day provide an important opportunity to network and hear about the amazing quality and breadth of research taking place at the centre, and of course a chance to discuss and build those ever-important collaborations.
Many thanks to all of those who attended and presented their work. Thanks also to the fantastic Professional Services team who managed to organise a brilliant event, despite difficult circumstance due to covid restrictions.