In May 2021, the team at Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, was beyond excited to welcome the largest medical conference in Australia post covid when we hosted the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Congress.

Held over 5 days (16th – 20th May 2021), the Congress attracted more than 850 delegates, 40 exhibitors as well as being strongly supported by virtual attendees from across the globe.

Ensuring that the congress was able to progress in a Covid Safe manner with limited impact to the ‘normal’ delegate experience was essential to the success of the event.  With careful planning, teamwork, and communication between the Hotel, and RANZCP and their PCO WALDRONSMITH Management this event ran without a hitch with RANZCP President, Associate Professor John Allan stating that “It’s actually been incredibly well organized and everybody has commented to be that there’s enough space, and you don’t see the restrictions”.

 The Essentials:

  • 850+ delegates in person + 500 virtual attendees
  • 40 trade exhibitors
  • 5 days Program (including one day pre-conference workshops)
  • 9 concurrent streams
  • College Graduation Ceremony

Social Functions:

  • Welcome Reception (onsite)
  • College Graduation Reception (onsite)
  • Gala Dinner held offsite at Hobart Function Centre (3 minute walk)

Originally confirmed to be held in Hobart in May 2020, the College was determined to see the Congress move forward with the face-to-face event in Hobart in 2021.  Working closely with the College’s PCO, WALDRONSMITH Management, we are pleased to say that not only was the Congress held, but it was a resounding success.

“In this professional environment, it was important to the College to be able to bring their membership and community together once again to connect and share knowledge and expertise, safely and effectively and there was a strong appetite from the delegates to do so” said Kate Smith Managing Director of WALDRONSMITH Management.

The congress theme of ‘Influencing and being influenced by the world around us’, announced well in advance of Covid becoming a part of daily life, was certainly relevant to all elements of the 2021 congress.

Through the extensive scientific and social programs, delegates had the opportunity to explore innovation, research, clinical practice and hear from opinion leaders through the broader lens of how we influence and connect to the world around us.


Covid Compliance

Careful planning and management to ensure the congress maintained Covid safe was a key consideration of the events success.  The venue worked closely with the teams at WALDRONSMITH Management and RANZCP to ensure that all elements of the Congress were both best practice and in line with Tasmanian Public Health guidelines.

Every aspect of the event was accounted for, from contact tracing, communications, catering breaks, cleaning protocols, staff training and a detailed emergency response plan.  From the venue’s perspective, it is fair to say that many of these plans were simply a natural extension of event management processes normally undertaken for an event such as this.

“The team at Hotel Grand Chancellor in particular were outstanding in working with us to support these elements right from the early stages of planning through to the on-site delivery.” Said Smith.


Hybrid Events made easy in Hobart

In addition to the 850+ delegates enjoying the face-to-face conference in Hobart, the conference also had almost 500 delegates participating virtually thanks to a hybrid element.

With virtual events fast becoming a central part of every event, the team at WALDRONSMITH Management partnered with Scene Change Hobart to ensure this part of the event ran seamlessly.

“Our crew have been running virtual conferences for national clients out of Hobart for the last year, so they were match fit for the new era. The 2021 RANZCP Congress was our first chance to integrate the virtual side into a big face-to-face event,” said Scene Change Hobart Technical Director Adam Cox.

“Audiences this big expect it to look like a live TV show, you can’t just project something that looks like a regular Zoom meeting and expect to hold people’s attention,” Cox said. “We view this show as a strong statement to Australian conference planners that Hobart is equipped and ready for large scale hybrid.”

Kate Smith from WALDRONSMITH Management said “We’ve been really fortunate with use of technology and what that brings us, that we’ve been able to bring international speakers into the program so share the global knowledge as well as showcase local knowledge and expertise, but also through the virtual platform broaden our audience reach across the country, across the globe.

“We were really fortunate to have a client like the Royal Australian New Zealand College of Psychiatrists who were committed to delivering a really safe and effective meeting, and working with all of us to make that happen”


Thanks Kate, and the teams at WALDRONSMITH Management and RANZCP. We enjoyed delivering your event more than you can know ?