A training and conference centre in west Cumbria has used lockdown to its advantage by investing £200,000 in state-of-the-art equipment to connect people across the world.
Energus at Lillyhall hosts events which range from 200-strong meetings for the nuclear industry to teacher training courses and charity functions. When the coronavirus pandemic struck, the team was forced to cancel many of these and move others online.
Lockdown meant they had the time and capacity to carry out a huge revamp of their Auditorium technology. People can now attend events physically or log on virtually, with the option of watching the audience or the presenter, as well as zooming in and viewing events from multiple different camera angles. The venue has already attracted attention from organisations that wish to run training sessions hosted by experts from all across the globe.
Faye Brown is the Energus business development and marketing lead. She said: “We know that post-Covid a blended type of learning is going to remain and people will want to attend virtually while some will attend in person.
“This new technology allows us to give people an online conference experience where they feel like they are in the room.”
Presentations in the Auditorium can also be streamed elsewhere on the site in real time. This means large audiences can still be accommodated even if social distancing limits the numbers.
The Auditorium is equipped with microphones hanging from the ceiling so audience members can ask questions without having to pass a mic from hand to hand. The old screen and projector have been replaced with a video wall, enabling delegates to plug laptops or memory cards directly into the system to make a presentation.
As well as its training and events facilities, Energus is also a home to tenants including Sellafield Ltd and the University of Cumbria, and also runs a range of graduate and apprenticeship programmes. Its café is a popular meeting place and the venue has also just unveiled new branding to reflect the full range of services it provides.
Faye added: “As Cumbria recovers from coronavirus we know the part we play in the business community is going to be more important than ever.”