The Events Hub

Successful projects, showcased

The what, the how, and the impact.

Liberti Limited

• A new Director had joined the business to provide more cohesion to the various businesses making up the overall group.

• The Director needed additional resources to coordinate a number of internal engagement days for Principals and Regional Directors spread out across the UK.

• Having collaborated with one of the associated businesses for over 10 years, The Events Hub’s understanding of how the businesses – and the group – worked had a big advantage, particularly with interpersonal relationships  and connections.

• There was a short time scale to bring the events to fruition and the first event needed to be executed quickly

• However, the series of events need to be planned fully; it needed to work cohesively and consistently, delivering he same quality and standard to all delegates across the country.

• A number of accessible, well-place locations needed to be sourced to ensure maximum impact for delegates.

What we did

• Mapped out where in the UK the events needed to take place and possible locations and venues, securing an excellent venue.

• Quickly got up and running with event registration and branding.

• Managed to get the first event organised, promoted internally, and ready for launch smoothly and efficiently.

• A highly successful, professionally-run, engaging conference.

• Highly positive feedback from attendees.

• A strong start for the rest of the client’s conference series.

case study the event hub

Nathan King Programme Director

Liberti group #futureproofyourevents.

From the first call with Ruby, I knew these events would be in safe hands. The expertise, extra bandwidth, and enthusiasm brought by Ruby and Karen were critical to the first event’s success – we loved the energy and can-do attitude!

I’d highly recommend The Event Hub to any business looking for a confidence-boosting partner to support event planning and delivery. A Successful Series of Face-to-Face Events

case study the event hub

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

• QAA Scotland identified that they needed an inclusive, hybrid event for their Enhancement Themes Conference – this would allow colleagues the choice to interact online if they weren’t yet comfortable to attend in-person.

• The agenda, venue and most speakers were in place. The level of hybrid event they wanted to deliver couldn’t have been delivered by their existing in-house team due to workloads. The colleague initially responsible for the conference – up to the point of identifying the need to bring someone else in – was transitioning to a new role, unable to continue project management.

• They were conscious they already had a plan and processes in place already which they didn’t want an external consultant to come in and disrupt or change.

• Due to timescales and great change already experienced by the team, Ruby decided not to update existing processes with hers, instead working with the internal team using familiar systems.

• The hybrid kit booked before Ruby joined was not fit for purpose – particularly in line with expectations of what the conference needed to deliver and what it had evolved into – so Ruby brought her production partner in to help deliver the complex hybrid experience.

• Used existing processes to get up to speed with what the conference had to deliver.

• Brought in our trusted production partner to deliver technical elements.

• Worked with the internal team to launch registration and the event platform, create the hybrid experience, manage, prepare and communicate with speakers and the venue.

• A massively successful conference that the clients were congratulated on by colleagues across the UK.

• Pushing the technical boundaries of what each hybrid breakout session could achieve based on the requirements of the presenters.

• Receiving great feedback from the online attendees who very much felt valued and an integral part of the whole event.

case study the event hub

Caroline Turnbull Quality Assurance Manager

Qaa scotland #futureproofyourevents.

Ruby and the team at The Events Hub did an excellent job, stepping in at short notice, to help QAA Scotland to successfully deliver our first ever hybrid conference. Delegate feedback on their experience of the event was extremely positive. The Events Hub team’s can do attitude, professionalism and attention to detail was hugely appreciated. They worked extremely hard to ensure our ambitions for the event were met. Working with Ruby and her team proved to be a great partnership and I’m happy to recommend The Events Hub to others.

case study the event hub

Cool Farm Alliance

  • A new Director had joined the business to provide more cohesion to the various businesses making up the overall group.
  • The Director needed additional resources to coordinate a number of internal engagement days for Principals and Regional Directors spread out across the UK.
  • Having collaborated with one of the associated businesses for over 10 years, The Events Hub’s understanding of how the businesses – and the group – worked had a big advantage, particularly with interpersonal relationships and connections.
  • Mapped out where in the UK the events needed to take place and possible locations and venues, securing an excellent venue. Quickly got up and running with event registration and branding.
  • Managed to get the first event organised, promoted internally, and ready for launch smoothly and efficiently.
  • We created a project planand identified what both days (AGM and Conference) needed.
  • We decided on using a bespoke platform for one day and Zoom for the other.
  • For the day with the more complicated agenda, we used our production partner and their customised platform to create a simple solution.
  • CFA identified a team member in the US to help with the speaker management and agenda curation side, so The Event Hub could focus on the tech side.
  • Having a colleague in the US working with the Director there meant agenda curation and speaker management was taken care of; we worked seamlessly with that colleage playing to their strengths.
  •  Leveraging our relationship with our production partner meant we could give our client the best, simplified techncial solution – meeting them where they wanted.
  • Both days worked incredibly well in both systems, demonstrating how flexible we can be in providing our clients with the exact solution they’re looking for.

case study the event hub

Michaele Aschbache

Membership manager cool farm alliance.

Thank you, Ruby and all the TEH team for outstanding support in delivering this event in such a challenging format. All the inevitable behind-the- scenes dramas were elegantly handled, and the #R2R Conf participants enjoyed a smooth and impressive experience!

case study the event hub

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Case Studies: Successful Events Using Event Software

Introduction.

In the evolving realm of event planning, success hinges on adapting to the target audience’s demands and creating memorable experiences. This compilation of case studies uncovers the success stories of prominent organizations such as GE Healthcare, leveraging modern platforms in the information technology sector. These stories illuminate the transformative power of event software in orchestrating successful product launches, virtual and hybrid events, and esports competitions across the United States and beyond. They highlight amplified customer satisfaction, enhanced security, significant cost savings, and insightful analytics, offering valuable lessons for event planners on the path to success. Delve into these customer stories to discover how the right platform can elevate your event planning strategies.

5 Event Case Studies

Case study 1: product launch by ge healthcare.

GE Healthcare leveraged a top-tier platform in the information technology sector to successfully launch a groundbreaking product. This case study emphasizes the crucial role of analytics in understanding the target audience, leading to a memorable experience and amplified customer satisfaction.

Case Study 2: Virtual Event In The United States

As the demand for virtual events surged, a prominent firm triumphed in hosting a large-scale virtual event using advanced event software. The event offered attendees an interactive experience and demonstrated impressive cost savings, making it a success story worth noting.

Case Study 3: Hybrid Event In The Information Technology Sector

In this customer story, an IT company adeptly bridged the gap between physical and digital spaces, setting up a hybrid event that attracted a broad audience. The event showcased the platform’s security features, underscoring the importance of safety in memorable experiences.

Case Study 4: Esports Competition

This case study recounts how a leading Esports organization used an event software platform to deliver an exceptional experience for attendees, from live streaming to real-time social media integration. This success story encapsulates the power of creating memorable experiences for a specific target audience.

Case Study 5: United Nations Conference

The United Nations harnessed event software to enhance the attendee experience at a crucial conference. With robust analytics, seamless security, and improved customer satisfaction, this case study is an example of how event planners can utilize technology for successful and impactful events.

The Skift Take: These case studies demonstrate the powerful role of event software platforms in facilitating successful events, from product launches to large-scale conferences. Leveraging technology, organizations like GE Healthcare and the United Nations have improved attendee experience, enhanced security, saved costs, and gained valuable insights. These success stories serve as a testament to the transformative potential of information technology in event planning.

Why Event Badges Will Never Be The Same Again [Case Study]

The digital revolution has forever changed the face of event badges. In our case study, we delve into how technology-driven badges have enhanced the event experience, providing not just identity verification, but also serving as a tool for networking, data collection, and improving overall attendee engagement.

How To Increase Engagement With Your Event App By 350% [Case Study]

In this case study, we unravel the strategy behind a staggering 350% increase in event app engagement. Through a blend of user-friendly design, interactive features, and personalized content, the case underlines the power of a well-implemented event app in boosting attendee interaction and enhancing the overall event experience.

How To Meet Green [Case Study]

This case study explores the concept of sustainable event planning. It illustrates how a platform’s features can facilitate ‘green’ events, thereby reducing environmental impact while ensuring a memorable attendee experience. Such initiatives highlight the potential for event software to contribute meaningfully towards global sustainability goals.

How To Increase Attendance By 100+% [Case Study]

This case study explores the tactics employed by an organization which led to a remarkable doubling of event attendance. The successful campaign, powered by a robust event software platform, offered personalized communication, early bird incentives, and an appealing event agenda, demonstrating the potential of effective marketing strategies in boosting event turnout.

How This Event Boosted Their Success [Case Study]

This case study unravels the success journey of an event that significantly boosted their success using a comprehensive event software platform. The strategic use of interactive features, data insights, and exceptional planning led to a remarkable rise in attendee satisfaction and engagement, underlining the game-changing potential of technology in event management.

In the dynamic field of event planning. The power of leveraging advanced platforms in information technology, as demonstrated in the case studies, is clear. Success stories from esteemed organizations such as GE Healthcare. Underscore the invaluable role of event software in facilitating triumphant product launches, virtual and hybrid events, and even esports competitions. The benefits are manifold, including enhanced customer satisfaction, improved security, substantial cost savings, and the generation of valuable analytics to guide future strategies. These case studies serve as tangible proof that the right technology can significantly elevate the success of your event.

If these success stories inspire you to embrace the transformative power of event software. We invite you to experience the difference firsthand. Orderific is ready to demonstrate how our platform can elevate your event planning process. Book a demo with us today and begin your journey towards unprecedented event success.

What role do event case studies play in the event planning and management process?

Event case studies offer real-world examples of successful planning and management strategies, providing valuable insights and lessons.

How can event professionals benefit from studying real-world success stories in the industry?

They can gain practical knowledge, tactics, and inspiration to implement successful strategies in their own events.

What types of insights can event case studies provide for improving future events?

Event case studies provide actionable insights into effective planning strategies, attendee engagement, and ROI optimization.

Are there specific industries or event types that are commonly featured in case studies?

Yes, industries often featured include tech, healthcare, and entertainment, and event types range from corporate events to music festivals.

How can event planners effectively apply lessons learned from case studies to their own projects?

They can apply these lessons by tailoring the strategies highlighted in case studies. Which aligns with their event’s unique needs and goals.

Introduction Enhancing a new employee's onboarding experience is crucial in an increasingly digital world. Through our advanced onboarding software, we Read more

Introduction Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the event planning industry, offering event planners innovative tools to craft immersive, personalized experiences. Read more

Introduction Event technology is rapidly evolving, presenting opportunities and challenges for event planners. The adoption of event tech can significantly Read more

Introduction The era of big data has ushered in an unprecedented opportunity for event organizers. The wealth of event data Read more

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case study the event hub

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Resilient Event Hubs and Functions design

  • 5 contributors

Error handling, designing for idempotency and managing retry behavior are a few of the critical measures you can take to ensure Event Hubs triggered functions are resilient and capable of handling large volumes of data. This article covers these crucial concepts and makes recommendations for serverless event-streaming solutions.

Azure provides three main messaging services that can be used with Azure Functions to support a wide range of unique, event-driven scenarios. Because of its partitioned consumer model and ability to ingest data at a high rate, Azure Event Hubs is commonly used for event streaming and big data scenarios. For a detailed comparison of Azure messaging services, see Choose between Azure messaging services - Event Grid, Event Hubs, and Service Bus .

Streaming benefits and challenges

Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of streams helps you appreciate how a service like Event Hubs operates. You also need this context when making impactful architectural decisions, troubleshooting issues, and optimizing for performance. Consider the following key concepts about solutions featuring both Event Hubs and Functions:

Streams are not queues: Event Hubs, Kafka, and other similar offerings that are built on the partitioned consumer model don't intrinsically support some of the principal features in a message broker like Service Bus . Perhaps the biggest indicator of this is the fact that reads are non-destructive . This means that the data that is read by the Functions host isn't deleted afterwards. Instead, messages are immutable and remain for other consumers to read, including potentially the same customer reading it again. For this reason, solutions that implement patterns such as competing consumers are better suited for a traditional message broker.

Missing inherent dead-letter support: A dead-letter channel is not a native feature in Event Hubs or Kafka. Often, the concept of dead-lettering is integrated into a streaming solution to account for data that cannot be processed. This functionality is intentionally not an innate element in Event Hubs and is only added on the consumer side to manufacture a similar behavior or effect. If you need dead-letter support, you should potentially review your choice of streaming message service.

A unit of work is a partition: In a traditional message broker, a unit of work is a single message. In a streaming solution, a partition is often considered the unit of work. If each event in an event hub is regarded as a discrete message that requires it to be treated like an order processing operation or financial transaction, it's most likely an indication of the wrong messaging service being used.

No server-side filtering: One of the reasons Event Hubs is capable of tremendous scale and throughput is due to the low overhead on the service itself. Features like server-side filtering, indexes, and cross-broker coordination aren't part of the architecture of Event Hubs. Functions are occasionally used to filter events by routing them to other Event Hubs based on the contents in the body or header. This approach is common in event streaming but comes with the caveat that each event is read and evaluated by the initial function.

Every reader must read all data: Since server-side filtering is unavailable, a consumer sequentially reads all the data in a partition. This includes data that may not be relevant or could even be malformed. There are several options and even strategies that can be used to compensate for these challenges that will be covered later in this section.

These significant design decisions allow Event Hubs to do what it does best: support a significant influx of events and provide a robust and resilient service for consumers to read from. Each consumer application is tasked with the responsibility of maintaining their own, client-side offsets or cursor to those events. The low overhead makes Event Hubs an affordable and powerful option for event streaming.

Idempotency

One of the core tenets of Azure Event Hubs is the concept of at-least once delivery. This approach ensures that events will always be delivered. It also means that events can be received more than once, even repeatedly, by consumers such as a function. For this reason, it's important that an event hub triggered function supports the idempotent consumer pattern.

Working under the assumption of at-least once delivery, especially within the context of an event-driven architecture, is a responsible approach for reliably processing events. Your function must be idempotent so that the outcome of processing the same event multiple times is the same as processing it once.

Duplicate events

There are several different scenarios that could result in duplicate events being delivered to a function:

Checkpointing: If the Azure Functions host crashes, or the threshold set for the batch checkpoint frequency is not met, a checkpoint will not be created. As a result, the offset for the consumer is not advanced and the next time the function is invoked, it will resume from the last checkpoint. It is important to note that checkpointing occurs at the partition level for each consumer.

Duplicate events published: There are many techniques that could alleviate the possibility of the same event being published to a stream, however, it's still the responsibility of the consumer to idempotently handle duplicates.

Missing acknowledgments: In some situations, an outgoing request to a service may be successful, however, an acknowledgment (ACK) from the service is never received. This might result in the perception that the outgoing call failed and initiate a series or retries or other outcomes from the function. In the end, duplicate events could be published, or a checkpoint is not created.

Deduplication techniques

Designing your functions for identical input should be the default approach taken when paired with the Event Hub trigger binding. You should consider the following techniques:

Looking for duplicates: Before processing, take the necessary steps to validate that the event should be processed. In some cases, this will require an investigation to confirm that it is still valid. It could also be possible that handling the event is no longer necessary due to data freshness or logic that invalidates the event.

Design events for idempotency: By providing additional information within the payload of the event, it may be possible to ensure that processing it multiple times will not have any detrimental effects. Take the example of an event that includes an amount to withdrawal from a bank account. If not handled responsibly, it is possible that it could decrement the balance of an account multiple times. However, if the same event includes the updated balance to the account, it could be used to perform an upsert operation to the bank account balance. This event-carried state transfer approach occasionally requires coordination between producers and consumers and should be used when it makes sense to participating services.

Error handling and retries

Error handling and retries are a few of the most important qualities of distributed, event-driven applications, and Functions are no exception. For event streaming solutions, the need for proper error handling support is crucial, as thousands of events can quickly turn into an equal number of errors if they are not handled correctly.

Error handling guidance

Without error handling, it can be tricky to implement retries, detect runtime exceptions, and investigate issues. Every function should have at least some level or error handling. A few recommended guidelines are:

Use Application Insights: Enable and use Application Insights to log errors and monitor the health of your functions. Be mindful of the configurable sampling options for scenarios that process a high volume of events.

Add structured error handling: Apply the appropriate error handling constructs for each programming language to catch, log, and detect anticipated and unhandled exceptions in your function code. For instance, use a try/catch block in C#, Java and JavaScript and take advantage of the try and except blocks in Python to handle exceptions.

Logging: Catching an exception during execution provides an opportunity to log critical information that could be used to detect, reproduce, and fix issues reliably. Log the exception, not just the message, but the body, inner exception and other useful artifacts that will be helpful later.

Do not catch and ignore exceptions: One of the worst things you can do is catch an exception and do nothing with it. If you catch a generic exception, log it somewhere. If you don't log errors, it's difficult to investigate bugs and reported issues.

Implementing retry logic in an event streaming architecture can be complex. Supporting cancellation tokens, retry counts and exponential back off strategies are just a few of the considerations that make it challenging. Fortunately, Functions provides retry policies that can make up for many of these tasks that you would typically code yourself.

Several important factors that must be considered when using the retry policies with the Event Hub binding, include:

Avoid indefinite retries: When the max retry count setting is set to a value of -1, the function will retry indefinitely. In general, indefinite retries should be used sparingly with Functions and almost never with the Event Hub trigger binding.

Choose the appropriate retry strategy: A fixed delay strategy may be optimal for scenarios that receive back pressure from other Azure services. In these cases, the delay can help avoid throttling and other limitations encountered from those services. The exponential back off strategy offers more flexibility for retry delay intervals and is commonly used when integrating with third-party services, REST endpoints, and other Azure services.

Keep intervals and retry counts low: When possible, try to maintain a retry interval shorter than one minute. Also, keep the maximum number of retry attempts to a reasonably low number. These settings are especially pertinent when running in the Functions Consumption plan.

Circuit breaker pattern: A transient fault error from time to time is expected and a natural use case for retries. However, if a significant number of failures or issues are occurring during the processing of the function, it may make sense to stop the function, address the issues and restart later.

An important takeaway for the retry policies in Functions is that it is a best effort feature for reprocessing events. It does not substitute the need for error handling, logging, and other important patterns that provide resiliency to your code.

Strategies for failures and corrupt data

There are several noteworthy approaches that you can use to compensate for issues that arise due to failures or bad data in an event stream. Some fundamental strategies are:

Stop sending and reading: Pause the reading and writing of events to fix the underlying issue. The benefit of this approach is that data won't be lost, and operations can resume after a fix is rolled out. This approach may require a circuit-breaker component in the architecture and possibly a notification to the affected services to achieve a pause. In some cases, stopping a function may be necessary until the issues are resolved.

Drop messages: If messages aren't important or are considered non-mission critical, consider moving on and not processing them. This doesn't work for scenarios that require strong consistency such as recording moves in a chess match or finance-based transactions. Error handling inside of a function is recommended for catching and dropping messages that can't be processed.

Retry: There are many situations that may warrant the reprocessing of an event. The most common scenario would be a transient error encountered when calling another service or dependency. Network errors, service limits and availability, and strong consistency are perhaps the most frequent use cases that justify reprocessing attempts.

Dead letter: The idea here is to publish the event to a different event hub so that the existing flow is not interrupted. The perception is that it has been moved off the hot path and could be dealt with later or by a different process. This solution is used frequently for handling poisoned messages or events. It should be noted that each function, that is configured with a different consumer group, will still encounter the bad or corrupt data in their stream and must handle it responsibly.

Retry and dead letter: The combination of numerous retry attempts before ultimately publishing to a dead letter stream once a threshold is met, is another familiar method.

Use a schema registry: A schema registry can be used as a proactive tool to help improve consistency and data quality. The Azure Schema Registry can support the transition of schemas along with versioning and different compatibility modes as schemas evolve. At its core, the schema will serve as a contract between producers and consumers, which could reduce the possibility of invalid or corrupt data being published to the stream.

In the end, there isn't a perfect solution and the consequences and tradeoffs of each of the strategies needs to be thoroughly examined. Based on the requirements, using several of these techniques together may be the best approach.

Contributors

This article is maintained by Microsoft. It was originally written by the following contributors.

Principal author:

  • David Barkol | Principal Solution Specialist GBB

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Before continuing, consider reviewing these related articles:

  • Azure Functions reliable event processing
  • Designing Azure Functions for identical input
  • Azure Functions error handling and retry guidance

Related resources

  • Monitoring serverless event processing provides guidance on monitoring serverless event-driven architectures.
  • Serverless event processing is a reference architecture detailing a typical architecture of this type, with code samples and discussion of important considerations.
  • De-batching and filtering in serverless event processing with Event Hubs describes in more detail how these portions of the reference architecture work.

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Large Scale Events In Hubs: MozFest 2023 Case Study

This post covers the basics and best practices of facilitating large scale events on Hubs.

As immersive technologies and tools continue to advance, it is becoming easier and easier to connect large numbers of users for synchronous events online. Mozilla Hubs is a customizable platform that makes it easy for event hosts to connect their communities across virtual worlds. This post covers the basics and best practices of facilitating large scale events on Hubs. Treat it as a living case study, of sorts; using examples from a real Hubs event, the Mozilla Foundation’s 2023 MozFest, this post goes through the process of configuring a Hubs server and its content for your event. Check back regularly for updates and new tools that you can add to your event hosting tool-belt and please share your experience hosting large events with the Hubs community!

MozFest 2023 Initial Briefing

For MozFest 2023, I need to configure server settings and event rooms to support a peak audience of 300 participants who will mainly be joining on desktop computers. The server should be branded to include the MozFest logo, colors, and avatars, and enable features which inform users on the values of Hubs, especially as they relate to data privacy and security.

SERVER CUSTOMIZATION

Whether you have a Hubs Cloud server or are working with a managed subscription (more info on setting up Hubs Cloud or Managed Subscription ), the main tool for event hosts to customize the server settings of their Hubs instance is the Admin Panel . With this tool, you can change the experience of every user joining your server, no matter what scene or room URL they join at.

APP SETTINGS

I have just finished setting up the MozFest 2023 server instance at the subdomain mozfest.myhubs.net through the managed Hubs subscription (set up your own managed subscription here ). Now we want to customize the server instance, starting with picking features to enable from the server’s “App Settings”. There are a number of tabs and options for these customizations, however I looked through this documentation to know which ones to use…

Translations

  • App Name and Company Name | I want the app to attribute MozFest as the creator of this server instance.
  • Company Name | I want the app to attribute MozFest as the creator of this server instance.
  • Contact Email | I want participants to know how to contact me with questions.
  • Community Prompt | I want to customize the prompt for getting users to connect with the hubs community.

case study the event hub

  • Show Terms | I want the MozFest community to have access to the Mozilla terms I specify in Links.
  • Show Privacy | I want the MozFest community to have access to the Hubs privacy policy I specify in Links.
  • Show Docs | I want the MozFest community to have access to the Hubs documentation I specify in Links.
  • Show Community Links | I want the MozFest community to have access to the Hubs community urls I will specify in the Links section.
  • Show Company Logo | I want the MozFest logo to be enabled in place of the Hubs default logo.
  • Lobby Ghosts | I want spectators to be able to fly around the space instead of floating in a locked position.
  • Default Room Size | I want to ensure all created rooms will default to the recommended 25 participants so that I do not have to go back through each room to change its capacity from the default.
  • Max Room Size | I want to be sure that no one can allow more participants to join than the recommended 25.

case study the event hub

  • App Logo + Dark | Dropping in the .png file of MozFest
  • Favicon | Dropping in the MozFest favicon file
  • App Icon | Dropping in the link to the .png file of MozFest
  • App Thumbnail | Dropping in the link to the .png file of MozFest
  • Company Logo | Dropping in the .png file of Mozilla.
  • Theme JSON | I referenced this document and dropped a JSON file to make sure the MozFest colors are part of the platform.

case study the event hub

  • Terms | Link to the Mozilla Terms.
  • Privacy | Link to MozFest privacy policy.
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Taking a peek in a default scene, I can see some of the initial branding, which I will continue to hone as we get closer to the event…

DEFAULT AVATARS

Now that I have finished setting my server’s features, I want to pick which of my avatars should be the default for attendees. So far, I have loaded all of my avatars in the space manually (how to manually upload avatars ). Now, I am going to go to the Pending Avatars tab on the left hand side and click “UPDATE” for any avatars that have yet to be approved. Once complete, I am going to go to the Approved Avatars tab on the left hand side and click “EDIT” on the avatars I want to set to default. In the pop-up, I will make sure the status of the avatar is “active” and add two individual tags, “featured” and “default”, before clicking save. I will repeat the process for all avatars I wish to set as default and then try joining the room on private/incognito versions of my browser. I should see myself randomly assigned as one of the default avatars the first time I join the space.

ADDING ADMINS

The last item I will configure at the server level is to add other admins who can edit this content in case I need additional support. I will navigate to the Accounts tab on the left hand side and use the Find Account input to search for the email address my fellow admin used to sign in to the platform (how to sign in ). Once I have found their account by email, I will make sure “is admin” is turned on before pressing save. Other admins will have full access to the admin panel controls, but not the subscription dashboard or AWS dashboard, if using the managed subscription or hubs-cloud, respectively.

ROOM SIZE LIMITATIONS AND SOLUTIONS

Due to the current limitations of the Hubs engine and the processing power of most internet connected devices, it is not recommended for more than 25 avatars and 75 spectators to be in a Hubs room at once. This number is not a hard and fast rule, however it is the point at which we have noticed many desktop computers begin to show signs of instability. Here are a number of factors which may increase or decrease the number of participants (both avatars and spectators) the platform can support in one room…

  • Device Type | Mobile and VR Headset users typically experience latency and instability at a lower room capacity than desktop computers. On the other hand, high powered PC computers have been known to support 30+ avatars in a room at once.
  • Scene Optimization | Scenes that are significantly larger than the optimization recommendations made in Spoke will quickly limit the number of users who can be supported in a room at once. The 25-75 recommendation is based around a room optimized to the Spoke recommendations.
  • Bandwidth | Audience’s connecting from great distances from the server or with low bandwidth can experience increased latency, which may worsen when more users are in a room at once.
  • Objects and Media Streams | Even if your scene is heavily optimized, participants who spawn a large number of items into the space can significantly increase the processing power needed to render the world. The same goes for media or screen sharing, which add additional levels of complexity to the world renderer.

These limitations pose an obvious challenge to event hosts looking to host gatherings with hundreds of participants. HOWEVER, these kinds of events can still be accomplished . It will take additional planning, organization, and flexibility on the part of the event host. Here are a couple of suggested methods for how to manage these large audiences across multiple rooms…

If all participants should experience the same environment: Spread your audience across multiple copies of the same room. Many event hosts will duplicate room URLs from the same scene ( How is a scene different from a room? ) and use their ticketing platform to divide their audiences between their room links. For example, you can either have your audience sign up for the same event slot and manually email the link to groups of 25 registrants or create multiple, simultaneous registration slots with limits of 25 registrants ( more on how to use Meetup.com for your event) . One downside of this method is that presenters cannot broadcast their avatar to multiple room URLs; their avatar can only be present in one room at a time. However, you can use a livestream set in your Spoke scene to broadcast a presentation to all rooms copied from the same scene.

case study the event hub

If your experience is spread across multiple worlds where participants can travel fluidly: Have your audience enter the event across many of your event’s rooms so they do not all try to enter the same room at once and get locked out. Just as the previous example, you can split your registrants up and send out the links for the room they should land in when they initially join the event. To allow them to transport fluidly between your event’s rooms, you should use link components to create clickable access points between rooms. With your event’s participants landing in different rooms at the start of the event and moving fluidly between rooms thereafter, it is less likely that one room will be overloaded with participants. For this method, organization is key to map out the different ways participants should be able to travel between rooms, including identifying potential bottlenecks.

MOZFEST ROOM CONFIGURATION

For MozFest 2023, I am taking a mixed approach to the examples above. For most of the event, the spaces will be open for self-guided exploration. I have used this document to organize all of our event links and visualize how participants should be able travel between spaces.

case study the event hub

I am anticipating two times where we will need to host up to 300 participants at once. All participants need to enter through the Main Room before navigating through the larger ecosystem. Because of this, we are only going to duplicate the Main Room and not the rooms connected to it. This is because we have enough connected rooms to trust that participants will disperse between them without overfilling a single room. I am going to go to the Spoke project for the main room and create 12 room links to accommodate all 300 potential participants. These room links will then be divided at a ticketing level between MozFest registrants through the MozFest ticketing system.

INDIVIDUAL ROOM SETTINGS

Once you have set up your server and room links, you should spend some time making sure that your individual rooms are configured correctly before the event begins. You should always consider the individual context of your event and review the possibilities for moderating your room. In general, you can use the Room Info and Settings to customize each room before the event.

MOZFEST ROOM INFO AND SETTINGS

For MozFest 2023, we will want each room to properly accommodate peak participant numbers while allowing active attendees to interact in the space. I’ll use Room Info and Settings to customize the Room Name and Description to give general information about the space audience members are in. I will then make sure the links are set to public and shared, since room urls are only being distributed to registrants; I am not worried about these links being openly broadcast. Next I will configure the member permissions, allowing attendees to create objects, drawings, emojis, and to fly. This will allow session leaders to interact with attendees and collaborate in the virtual space.

ADVANCED SOLUTIONS AND INSPIRATION

Many community members have had success implementing custom features to help manage large numbers of attendees. While not available on Hubs by default, the Hubs team loves to share these examples of extending the codebase for event hosting teams who are capable of implementing custom features.

LOAD BALANCING

A number of agencies building on top of Hubs have implemented load balancing mechanisms to help sort participants between multiple rooms, accommodating for the room capacity limitations while avoiding having to juggle so many links for ticketing. This kind of load balancing was a recent focus of the Hubs team during our annual Quack Week hackathon!

A number of community members have implemented portaling systems to allow event participants to travel between connected rooms more easily by removing the need to click on links. The UX improvement from a feature like this is noticeable, as many first time participants struggle with the basics of interacting with objects in the space. This feature was another recent focus of Quack Week, where team member Manuel put together a functional demo of what this system could feel like. More on this feature soon!

Ready to get started with your own hub? Visit https://hubs.mozilla.com/#subscribe today !

Michael Morran

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Team experiences of the root cause analysis process after a sentinel event: a qualitative case study

Silje liepelt.

1 Department of Health Sciences, Ålesund, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Larsgårdsvegen 2, Ålesund, 6025 Norway

Hildegunn Sundal

2 Faculty of Health Sciences and Social Care, Molde University College, PO. Box 2110, Molde, 6402 Norway

Ralf Kirchhoff

Associated data.

The data generated and analyzed in the current study are not publicly available due to Norwegian privacy legislation and the form signed by the participants about the study`s privacy. The data generated are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Root cause analysis (RCA) is a systematic approach, typically involving several stages, used in healthcare to identify the underlying causes of a medical error or sentinel event. This study focuses on how members of a Norwegian RCA team experience aspects of an RCA process and whether it complies with the Norwegian RCA method.

Based on a sentinel event in which a child died unexpectedly during childbirth in a Norwegian hospital in 2021, the following research questions are addressed: 1. What was the RCA team’s experience of the RCA process? 2. Was there compliance with the Norwegian RCA method in this case? A case study was chosen out of the desire to understand complex social phenomena and to allow in-depth focus on a case.

The result covered three main themes. The first theme related to the hospital’s management system and aspects of the case that made it challenging to follow all recommendations in the Norwegian RCA guidelines. The second theme encompassed external and internal assessment. The RCA team was composed of members with methodological and medical expertise. However, the police’s involvement in the case made it complex for the team to carry out the process. The third and final theme covered intrapersonal challenges RCA team members faced. Team members experienced various challenges during the RCA process, including being neutral, dealing with role-related challenges, grappling with ambivalence, and managing the additional time burden and resource constraints. As anticipated in the RCA guidelines, the team’s ability to remain neutral was tested.

The findings of this study can help stakeholders better comprehend how an inter-professional RCA teamwork intervention can affect a healthcare organization and enhance the teamwork experience of healthcare staff while facilitating improvements in work processes and patient safety. Additionally, these results can guide stakeholders in creating, executing, utilizing, and educating others about RCA processes.

Introduction

In the healthcare landscape, the paramount objective has always been to ensure the safety and well-being of patients. Patient safety, defined as “the absence of preventable harm to a patient and reduction of risk of unnecessary harm associated with healthcare to an acceptable minimum” [ 1 ], is the bedrock of his commitment. James Reason's seminal research has been instrumental in shaping our understanding of patient safety in healthcare [ 2 ]. Reason's pioneering work established the fundamental principles of the pivotal safety paradigm called "Safety I", while the "Safety II" paradigm is closely associated with researchers E. Hollnagel and J. Braithwaite [ 3 ]. “Safety I” [ 3 ] primarily focuses on reducing the number of adverse outcomes by identifying and addressing the causes of errors and hazards, essentially striving to prevent things from going wrong. In contrast, Safety II is characterized by a proactive approach that emphasizes the resilience and adaptability of healthcare systems to success under various conditions, aiming to ensure that things go right rather than solely preventing them from going wrong. Understanding these paradigms is vital in contemporary patient safety efforts, and they provide a framework for exploring the complexities of human error and system resilience in healthcare.

Root cause analysis (RCA), a pivotal method within patient safety practices, closely aligns with Safety I [ 4 ]. RCA provides a structured and systematic approach for investigating sentinel events, which are unexpected occurrences resulting in patient death, serious physical or psychological injury, or a risk thereof [ 5 , 6 ]. The term “sentinel” implies that the event may be a warning sign of ongoing problems in the process of care that may lead to similar events in the future. Such events are not only debilitating to patients and their next of kin; they can also impact the livelihood of healthcare providers [ 7 ], who may become second victims of the error [ 8 ].

Despite the recognized importance of RCA in patient safety [ 9 , 10 ], a notable knowledge gap exists in understanding the practical implementation of RCA within healthcare settings [ 11 ]. This paper aims to bridge this gap by embarking on an analysis of the experience of an RCA team investigation of a sentinel event, specifically the unexpected death of a child during childbirth. We seek to determine whether the team adhered to the recommended guidelines for conducting an RCA, shedding light on the effectiveness of the RCA process in the context of this event. By addressing this knowledge gap, our study contributes to the broader goal of enhancing patient safety practices and hopefully mitigating the risk of similar events.

In this paper, we analyze the experience of an RCA team process that investigated a sentinel event in which a child died unexpectedly during childbirth and determine whether the team followed the recommendations outlined in the RCA guidelines. First, we describe RCA and its place in the Norwegian health service. Next, we describe this study’s research design and data. Then, in the methodology section, we detail how we employ the case study method to explore our research questions. Finally, we present our results followed by a discussion of their implications and limitations and suggestions for future research.

Root cause analysis

RCA is an umbrella term for methodologies and tools for the retrospective and structured investigation of adverse incidents, near misses, and sentinel events [ 12 , 13 ]. RCA was first formally introduced into healthcare in 1996 by The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations [ 14 ]. The method is designed to identify the factors that underlie a sentinel event and is the most often used form of comprehensive systematic analysis [ 6 ]. Organizations worldwide use RCA to identify underlying causes of adverse events and near misses to uncover factors that lead patient safety to be compromised [ 13 ]. It is a reactive type of accident analysis and a blended approach combining other methodologies and instruments for investigating adverse events, causalities, and tragic events. RCA relies on the premise that accurate and analytic processes can identify hazards and help avoid adverse events.

A decision-making employee (process owner) can initiate an RCA process. The first step in an RCA is forming a multidisciplinary team to analyze and define the problem [ 7 ]. The RCA involves a team of healthcare professionals from various disciplines, such as physicians, nurses, administrators, and quality improvement experts [ 6 ]. The team approach is essential for identifying the underlying causes of sentinel events. The RCA team examines the event, gathers data, and analyzes information to identify the root causes and contributing factors. The extent to which RCA is used may vary by country and healthcare system.

Many hospitals use RCA as their primary investigative method [ 9 ]. RCA use in the medical field has been limited [ 7 ], and the method has been applied widely without sufficient attention paid to what makes it work in various contexts and without adequate customization for the specifics of healthcare [ 13 , 15 ]. Despite the widespread implementation of RCA, authors argue that RCA may not reduce the risk of recurrence as intended [ 15 – 20 ]. According to Percarpio et al. [ 15 ], there is anecdotal evidence that RCA effectively improves patient safety.

There is a paucity of literature on how the process of RCA can be implemented effectively [ 21 ]. Some studies have examined the types of cases for which RCAs have been performed [ 16 ]. Case studies could support shared knowledge and provide benchmarks for improving the RCA method [ 15 ] and be a powerful tool in supporting improvements in the use of RCA in healthcare. Clinician participation in RCA is vital, as these initiatives recognize and address essential aspects of patient care [ 7 ]. To better support evidence-based practice, research should include detailed descriptions of how team members experience the process and what insights they gain from it.

The Norwegian regulatory regime for qualitative improvement and RCA

Several governmental initiatives have been launched in Norway in recent decades to facilitate hospitals’ continuous attention to patient safety and to increase the overall quality of their healthcare services [ 22 ]. The Norwegian National Action Plan for Quality and Patient Safety (2019–2023) focuses on structural and cultural dimensions of safety improvements [ 23 ]. In 2017, The Norwegian healthcare system implemented a regulatory framework to support local quality and safety efforts in hospitals [ 22 ]. “Leading the way to zero” [ 6 ] initiatives entered the Norwegian healthcare system in 2019, having been introduced in the Directorate of Health’s National Action Plan for Patient Safety and Quality Improvement (2019–2023) [ 23 ]. The mission was to improve the quality and safety of healthcare and to eliminate patient harm by implementing reliable processes in healthcare. The plan highlights the importance of investigating failures in healthcare so that organizations can understand why errors occurred and work to prevent similar mistakes in the future. In Norway, hospital organizations must ensure their employees have relevant competence and training. Current management and training programs include learning about quality improvement methods and systematics [ 23 , 24 ].

The initial reporting system in Norway, mandated by legislative requirements, was established following a parliamentary decision in the early 1990s. This decision was founded in a Norwegian government proposal to the Parliament, known as Ot.prp.nr 33 (1991–1992) [ 25 ]. These legislative alterations led to amendments in the law pertaining to hospitals, representing an important milestone in the country`s healthcare reporting and oversight framework. The current reporting system for serious adverse events in healthcare services was officially established in Norway in 2010. This was an important change in healthcare legislation to improve patient safety and learn from mistakes and incidents in the healthcare system. The reporting requirement is integral to the regulatory framework designed to ensure patient safety and maintain high-quality standards within the Norwegian healthcare system.

The Norwegian RCA guidelines, inspired by the work of Bagian [ 19 ] at the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) [ 4 ], was published in 2016 to provide methodological support for the improvement of patient safety [ 4 ]. The guideline essentially represents an adapted version of the publication initially released by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions [ 26 ]. The methodology identifies eight stages of the RCA process: 1) initiating analysis, 2) gathering facts, 3) describing the course of events, 4) identifying underlying causes, 5) measures and methods for follow-up, 6) writing a final report, 7) deciding on measures, and 8) evaluation and follow-up measures (Fig.  1 ). It involves different stakeholders performing different tasks using the methodology while relating to organizational conditions, rules, and guidelines within a physical environment. Our study focuses primarily on steps 2–6 (see Fig.  1 ) to investigate how members of an RCA team experience these aspects of an RCA process. We also explore whether there is compliance in practice with the Norwegian RCA method. Based on a sentinel event in which a child died unexpectedly during childbirth in a Norwegian hospital in 2021, we address the following research questions: 1. What was the RCA team’s experience of the RCA process? 2. Was there compliance with the Norwegian RCA method in this case?

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Roles and responsibilities in the Norwegian RCA process

Methodology

The case study design is appropriate when study outcomes relate to clinical practice [ 27 ]. A case study was chosen out of the desire to understand a complex social phenomenon [ 28 ], to allow in-depth focus on a single case, and to retain a holistic and real-world perspective in studying the RCA team members’ description of behavior, organization, and managerial learning processes. A case study is a flexible research design that captures holistic and meaningful characteristics of actual life events [ 28 ]. Case studies can provide a detailed understanding of what is happening and solid grounds for improvement [ 29 ]. Case study research has a strong advantage in examining the relevant process [ 28 ]. It can capture the complexity of a case, including appropriate changes over time, and attend fully to contextual conditions, including those that potentially interact with the case. However, within the evaluation field, case study research can perform a precious additional function in explaining how the “case,” usually a planned intervention or an ongoing initiative, works [ 28 ].

In this study, we used the Norwegian national RCA guidelines [ 4 ] to develop the interview guide. To answer the research questions, we used repeat interviews, also called follow-up interviews [ 30 ], that allow both the interviewer and the participants to reflect on what was discussed in the first interview, allowing new insights or aspects to emerge. These interviews were used to further explore and clarify topics discussed in earlier interviews and to gather additional information. We conducted the transcription and a preliminary thematic analysis before we interviewed the participants for the second time. This meant we could pursue topics we thought were interesting to follow up on and make thick descriptions [ 31 ] to ensure the findings were transferable between the research team and the participants we studied.

Interview data and relevant documents (Table ​ (Table1) 1 ) were collected and analyzed in separate phases of the research process. We identified patterns in the data material and extracted information and standard features to create an overall impression of the completed RCA process. Phase one explores the RCA team participants’ experiences with the pre-work before the RCA team meeting. In contrast, phase two explores the knowledge of the RCA members of the process, from the first team meeting to the completion of the final report.

Overview of data and analysis methods used in the case study

Setting and sample

In this case study, the inclusion criteria involved purposeful sampling of a case that was directly pertinent to the research question. Purposeful sampling was employed to identify and examine a case that could provide insights, depth, and relevance to our research. The sampling criteria were specifically designed to include RCA teams conducting RCA processes following a sentinel event. A hospital reached out to us when they were preparing to carry out an RCA process following a sentinel event. As a result, we conducted our study at the first hospital that contacted us.

The case study was conducted at a medium sized Norwegian hospital (approx. 6,000 employees), where RCA was implemented in 2016 and used 2–4 times per year. Specifically, we followed healthcare professionals in the RCA team as they carried out an RCA process. The Chief Quality Officer (CQO) advised on who should be recruited for the study. The RCA team consisted of six participants: three from the quality management department (the CQO, a quality adviser in the clinic, and a specialist medical manager) and three team members who were physicians and experts in their respective fields (henceforth referred to as “medical experts”) (Table ​ (Table2). 2 ). The first author interviewed the health personnel who participated in the RCA team. Participants had various experiences, providing different perspectives and rich data sources [ 32 ].

Characteristics of participants included in the interdisciplinary RCA team

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Blue shading indicates team members from the quality management department. Green indicates internal/external medical expertise

Data collection

The first author began the recruitment process in January 2021 by contacting Norwegian hospitals to gain information about RCA teams that had experience using the RCA methodology following the Norwegian national guidelines. Based on the information they provided, four hospitals were recruited. They received an email with a study description, an invitation to participate, a consent form, and contact information for both the first and the last authors. One hospital agreed to contribute by allowing the research team to interview staff (with voluntary consent) after a sentinel event had occurred in their organization. Data collection began in May 2021 and lasted through August 2021. Twelve individual interviews were conducted with six participants (Table ​ (Table2). 2 ). Interviews were carried out digitally because of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions. The same researcher conducted all interviews, which lasted approximately 1.5 h each and were audio-recorded and transcribed.

The process of thematic coding

To analyze the interviews, we used reflexive thematic analysis [ 33 ]. Thematic analysis is a method for developing, analyzing, and interpreting patterns across a qualitative dataset, which involves systematic data coding to develop themes [ 33 ]. The analytic process was performed based on six phases: (1) dataset familiarization; (2) data coding; (3) initial theme generation; (4) theme development and review; (5) refining, defining, and naming themes; and (6) writing up.

The first author transcribed the interviews. The first phase (1) of the inductive thematic analysis involved the entire research team reading and actively re-reading the data material, searching for meanings and patterns to make sense of the data. An inductive, data-driven approach helped us identify themes strongly related to the data without trying to fit it into a pre-existing coding frame or an analytic preconception [ 34 ]. The second phase (2) consisted of coding conducted separately by the first and last authors (Table ​ (Table3). 3 ). Initial codes were later reviewed and compared to capture explicitly stated ideas relevant to answering our research questions. We focused on capturing specific and complex concepts and explicit meanings pertinent to our research question in a systematic interpretive semantic approach (participant-driven). The data were analyzed in NVivo version 20/1.3 (for Windows). In the third phase (3), we identified shared patterns of meaning across the dataset, and the research team constructed themes. In the fourth phase (4), we reviewed the themes and considered their relationship to existing knowledge. The fifth phase (5) involved writing a brief synopsis of each theme. In the sixth phase (6), we aimed to weave together our analytic narrative and produce the Introduction , Methodology , and Conclusion sections.

Examples of the coding process in the interview dataset

Ethical approval

Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK) (reference #195549) considered that the project could be carried out and published without approval from REK based on the understanding that the project does not fall within the scope of medical and health research as defined in the Health Research Act, but instead qualifies as a quality improvement project. Except for the members of the RCA team, no personally identifiable data was collected during the project. The handling of personal information in the project was conferred with The Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD) (project number 562024) according to requirements in the act in relation to personal information and GDPR. Additionally, all participants gave their informed consent. This project constituted a quality improvement initiative that granted the hospital the authority to make decisions regarding the utilization of essential patient-related information, following the provisions of both Sect. 26 and Sect. 29c of the Norwegian Act relating to health personnel. Participants shared sensitive information, not only about themselves but also about third parties. The research team discussed how we could develop elaborate, context-sensitive strategies to preserve the richness of the interview material where possible while protecting participants. To protect the participants, the patient, the patient’s relatives, and third parties from ethical issues that might arise from research data being published, we also obtained permission from the CQO. Internal documents that the organization used during the implementation of the RCA analysis are exempt from public access. To balance two competing priorities—maximizing the protection of participants’ identities and maintaining the value and integrity of the data [ 35 ]—we chose to anonymize some of the quotations from individual participants and restrict readers’ access to the unofficial internal documents.

The results are presented first with a case description, illustrated by a timeline of the sentinel event and the subsequent RCA process (Fig.  2 ), and then with a description of three main themes and sub-themes we identified in the data. The first theme, referred to as “the management system,” outlines how the hospital management system manages sentinel events. The second theme, which we named “external and internal assessment,” focuses on how the RCA team perceived the role of “externals” and “internals” in evaluating the incident. Finally, the third theme, “being a team member,” describes how team members experienced carrying out an RCA process.

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The course of the sentinel event and the subsequent RCA process

Case description (The RCA team’s summary from the final report)

A woman giving birth [number of births], identified as a high-risk birth due to known gestational diabetes and a previous cesarean section, is admitted for labor induction at week [weeks of pregnancy]. She receives a birth epidural assessed to have little effect during the birth. A new epidural is placed, but the woman gets high spinal/blockage symptoms after this admission. The anesthesia takes over with subsequent paralysis of the muscles, leading to breathing difficulties and signs of hypoxia. An emergency cesarean alarm is triggered, and the baby is delivered quickly but emerges pale and lifeless. Life-saving treatment is carried out on the baby. The baby’s heart is successfully started; however, the child has symptoms of extensive damage compatible with oxygen deprivation. The treatment ends the next day. The baby is declared dead around 12 h after birth.

Theme: The management system

The term “healthcare management system” encompasses the collection of policies, procedures, and practices that govern the decision-making processes and operations within a healthcare organization. In Norway, the management system is primarily described in the Norwegian RCA guidelines [ 4 ] and regulated by different laws and regulations [ 24 , 36 , 37 ]. It outlines the requirements for conducting an RCA process, stating that “the hospital’s management system must have procedures in place for assigning the task of initiating an RCA (as shown in the process owner Fig.  1 ). The procedures and descriptions of responsibilities must be well-known throughout the organization” [ 4 ]. The management system’s activities describe the processes and methods employed to plan, implement, evaluate, and correct the organization (hospital) to ensure compliance with healthcare legislation.

Quality management department’s role in the RCA process

The hospital trust, considered of medium size in Norway and overseeing four hospitals, had experienced several RCAs within a brief period concerning sentinel events during childbirth. Due to the gravity of the situation, the client manager was asked whether the quality department had the necessary resources and methodological expertise to conduct the RCA independently within the clinic. The Chief Quality Officer (CQO) acknowledged that they needed additional methodological expertise to carry out the RCA properly. The quality management department was brought in to provide expertise on the RCA method to ensure a methodical, correct, and professional approach. At the same time, employees working closely with patients were included in the RCA process. This was expected to facilitate knowledge-sharing and keep the process at a system level.

Members of the quality management department reported that their participation in the RCA process led to new insights regarding the importance for healthcare personnel of adequate rest, the need for more education, and the need to refresh the skills of experienced healthcare workers. They stated that RCA was performed on the most sentinel events in the hospitals, and it was vital that the management took responsibility by carrying out an RCA process when a sentinel event occurred. The CQO worked purposefully to introduce and implement the RCA methodology in the organization and stated that RCA had improved its foundation over the past years. However, the CQO also expressed concern about the low number of RCAs conducted in the organization. “I have sometimes wondered why we carry out as few RCAs as we do. I believe that there are several incidents that we should have investigated, and I am not sure whether it is from the management’s side; it may well be that there is skepticism from employees or a lack of knowledge and understanding when serious things happen and that there is a need for a systematic review to learn.” It was pointed out that they previously had insufficient tools to promote learning after a sentinel event and that RCA was not integrated into everyday thinking. Recognizing the significant learning value of sentinel events and the importance of conducting systematic reviews did not occur naturally. The quality management department realized they needed more general knowledge of the methodology to achieve psychological security in the organization. They pointed out that the current management system was not designed adequately to care for employees after a crisis and that RCA initiation could be an additional psychological burden. They also recognized the need for better follow-up of employees after an RCA process.

The quality management department played an active role in implementing national quality strategies and quality improvement requirements within the organization. However, there were different opinions within the organization on how the quality management department works with quality improvement. The quality management department had experienced resistance from some employees. Some employees were given feedback that they needed to better understand the quality management department’s role. In contrast, those who collaborated with them gained knowledge concerning their support function within the organization and quality improvement. The department appointed a contact person for each clinic to improve collaboration and communicate information about quality improvement tasks. However, some employees perceived the department as an ordering unit rather than a facilitator due to role confusion.

The CQO considered the quality management department a significant asset in implementing the RCA method. Conducting an RCA process was very resource-intensive for the departments involved, and it took work resources from everyday clinical life. It was pointed out that it was not easy for a clinic to carry out an RCA without support from the quality management department. The RCA methodology was considered challenging to implement correctly and not sustainable in the long run. There was a clear rationale for considering RCA unsustainable to carry out following all undesirable events. Therefore, a shortened version of the RCA process was needed, and the team requested national guidelines to support this challenge.

Scattered documentation

The medical experts in the RCA team pointed out that finding all the necessary documentation related to the incident was challenging because the documentation was scattered across different systems and platforms. Despite having ample time to locate the documentation before the RCA team meeting, the medical experts found it challenging to gather the necessary information. This also posed problems for daily clinical follow-up, as information could be missed due to the scattered documentation. “The documentation was spread over many different platforms—so it was difficult to find, which is unfortunate! Both regarding inspections and everyday clinical life where information may be missed.” Furthermore, those outside the organization had difficulty understanding the logic behind each medical journal’s tradition and culture for documentation practices. Therefore, it was considered important to put together an overarching RCA team that works daily with the various work processes and could understand the whole process. The analysis team discovered considerable variation in documentation practices within the organization, making comparing documentation practices in different fields difficult. This variation could potentially threaten patient safety and heighten the need for standardization.

Theme: External and internal assessment

This theme focuses on how the RCA team viewed the role of “externals” and “internals” in assessing the incident. “Externals” refers to entities such as the police or external medical experts from other hospitals involved in the RCA process. They are often perceived as more neutral and impartial, which can benefit a particular analysis. The document analysis revealed that the Norwegian guidelines only partially describe the role of externals. The guidelines require that the analysis team must be multidisciplinary, that all professional groups and subject areas affected by the analysis must be represented, that a physician must be part of the analysis team, and that it is essential to include people who can add an “outside perspective” [ 4 ]. The guidelines indicate that an inappropriate size or composition may omit critical perspectives and impair the report’s quality and legitimacy.

Composition of the RCA team

It emerged in the interviews that the RCA team was satisfied with the composition of the team. The RCA leader (QCO) decides the team composition in collaboration with the analysis team members and the organization managers. The RCA team comprised six members (as shown in Table ​ Table2); 2 ); half of these were quality management department employees, while the other half consisted of medical experts from various departments. The team’s composition represented different aspects of the sentinel event. However, the team recognized that involving other professional groups, especially medical experts without close involvement in the incident, would have been beneficial. The “external- in-house” medical expert pointed out that other professionals, such as midwives, could have provided critical perspectives: “It might have been more appropriate to include other professional groups, such as midwives, to represent a more holistic composition of different professional groups.” The team members emphasized that working together during the process was seen as constructive, and they were able to come to a consensus.

The management department employees found the process challenging because team members had varying levels of experience with applying RCA. The same employees had participated in national training in the methodology and had conducted multiple analyses within the organization. All medical experts were familiar with the method through previous incidents in their clinics, but this was their first time carrying out a complete RCA process. The team members expressed that employees’ varying levels of experience with the RCA methodology could pose challenges in identifying root causes. Some team members suggested that increasing familiarity with the RCA method would be beneficial for fully understanding the RCA process within the organization. The team acknowledged that variations in experience with the RCA method could affect the quality of recommendations.

Police work interrupting the RCA process

Physicians working in Norwegian healthcare organizations are required to report to the police if an unnatural death is suspected [ 38 ]. The purpose of this requirement is to inform the authorities that a death has occurred, and an investigation can be initiated if the death appears unnatural. In the RCA team’s mandate, one of the issues was to investigate whether the clinic had appropriate routines for notifying the police in such cases. However, due to internal disagreements, the sentinel event was reported to the police belatedly, leading to a delay in the RCA process. The National Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) investigated the case with local police to provide specialist expert support. This delayed the interview process in the RCA, as the police and NCIS had to conduct their interrogations before the actual analysis could be initiated.

Several members of the RCA team describe the police’s involvement in the case as disruptive to the internal RCA process. The police also had a very different approach from the RCA team and were perceived as brusque, foreign, and suspicious. “At first, they stepped in, and they were a little brusque, and they came in here and acted strange. They were rough, perhaps because they are used to communicating with people with something to hide!” Some employees felt that the incident was perceived as more serious when the police got involved. The police had turned up at the hospital for a crime scene investigation without reporting in advance. They expected this would be hidden from employees if evidence was tampered with. “Now we are standing outside—can you come and lock us in? Do not tell anyone we are here. In other words, so that they hide something before we come up.” The police then went in and seized evidence inside the crime scene.

One of the medical experts who had worked in other parts of the country gave feedback that it was common practice to report to the police in other healthcare organizations and noted that this element was handled entirely differently in this organization. The RCA team concluded that their organization had no culture and little knowledge and practice of reporting unnatural deaths to the police, which highlighted the need to work on implementation at both the clinic and organization levels.

Using colleagues to provide external medical expertise is seen as challenging for the process and the participants

In the RCA team’s mandate, it was requested by the process owner that a representative of the anesthetists should be part of the analysis team. The RCA team decided to extend this to include all specialist fields involved in the sentinel event. Previous RCA teams had brought medical expertise from outside the organization to offer an external perspective. The challenge in this RCA was that none of the other three hospitals in the organization had a neonatal ward and the expertise this provides. The RCA leader discussed with respective managers whether external medical expertise should be brought in. However, for this RCA, the decision was made to bring medical expertise from within the organization. They acknowledged that obtaining professional knowledge from within the hospital trust was not optimal, as other physicians could consider this decision in the organization as a mistake. At the same time, it was concluded by the RCA leader and the management that they could make use of medical experts who were not directly involved in the sentinel event. Therefore, they weighed the advantages and disadvantages and considered it prudent to use internal medical expertise in the RCA team. It was emphasized that the decision had been made because this was not an external inspection. They believed they had made the right decision by ensuring that the “external in-house” member had not been directly involved in the sentinel event.

RCA team members disagreed about using internal medical expertise, especially regarding colleagues considered “second victims” in the incident. The “external in-house” medical expertise pointed out that external medical specialists could provide a new perspective and make it easier to identify negative work patterns. Spending a long time in the same environment can lead one to become unaware of work habits. Team members suggested that the validity of this RCA could be improved by including external medical expertise and seeking expertise from outside their organization. Evaluating one's colleagues in a relatively small environment was considered unconstructive in the implementation itself. The “external in-house” medical expert expressed that it would be emotionally challenging for the other members to evaluate the actions of their colleagues in the severe event. “I believe I was deeply emotionally detached when it came to those involved, their emotions, and everything related. My presence was primarily focused on the medical aspect of it.” The “external in-house” expert pointed out that internal medical experts should receive support and recognition for their work in the implementation. Still, a consequence could be that internal medical expertise could be affected by the emotional involvement of their colleagues.

The quality management department acknowledged that they had received feedback from their employees in the past that it was challenging to evaluate colleagues while also carrying out an RCA. “It is tough to evaluate colleagues in the way that we do. It is a heavy burden for those in the situations, also in the time afterward, because there are tough assessments and things that happen in ‘a blink of a moment’ that are analyzed thoroughly. It is demanding to be a colleague afterward. Because it hurts, it is a defeat. You have been involved in something challenging, and then it must be assessed afterward, and it is easier if you do not have a relationship afterward.” They pointed out that assessing a situation was easier when there was no prior relationship with those involved.

Theme: Being an RCA team member

The Norwegian RCA guidelines explicitly stipulate that “team members must strive to work neutrally with no other interests than increasing patient safety” [ 4 ]. This theme is presented with detailed depictions of team members’ experience with the RCA process and the self-awareness they developed during its implementation.

Role challenges

The quality management department remarked that it was challenging for managers to understand the methodology or familiarize themselves well enough with it. They emphasized the need for increased communication with managers to ensure they understand the RCA process, their role, and their responsibility for employee follow-up after a sentinel event. One team member coordinated with the police and found it challenging to reassure healthcare staff involved in the RCA process while gathering information for the police and acting as a liaison within the organization. Having two different roles could confuse the purpose of the RCA, leading to insecurity among employees. The team members noted that employees might fear that the RCA could result in disciplinary sanctions and stressed the need to clarify their role as internal investigators. They acknowledged that employees and managers might struggle to distinguish between these roles and emphasized that it was crucial to separate external supervision from the internal investigation. However, it was difficult to determine how employees perceived these roles. For this reason, they emphasized the importance of informing employees about the two distinct roles and clarified this explicitly during interviews.

Ambivalence about being an RCA team member

The roles and motivations of the RCA team members were diverse and complex, with some expressing ambivalence about their participation. On the one hand, they felt a sense of obligation towards the families who had experienced a loss and their colleagues who were also impacted. “I think we owe it to those who have experienced losing their child, as well as health personnel who have experienced this.” They valued the educational aspect of the process and appreciated the chance to work with other experts and learn from resource personnel within the organization. They believed that carefully examining sentinel events, particularly those with significant consequences, was critical. Nonetheless, they found it challenging to scrutinize their colleagues, especially when they discovered mistakes. Some members initially hesitated to participate but felt compelled because the professional pool was too small to make it practical to choose other team members. Some medical experts agreed to join the RCA because they were confident that they would not uncover errors made by their colleagues.

The RCA process was deemed arduous and time-consuming, taking valuable time from team members' already hectic clinical work, and leading to heightened stress levels. It also meant sacrificing holidays and leisure time. Performing an RCA was equivalent to taking on additional work on top of the demands already placed on clinicians. This required downgrading or delegating clinical work to others, which was challenging in an already stressful work environment. Previous RCA processes in the organization had indicated that healthcare personnel should have acted differently by adhering to best practices. The members of the quality management department faced challenges when the RCA process revealed that healthcare personnel had made mistakes. Even when the RCA process showed that health personnel had worked under suboptimal conditions, it was difficult for the RCA team members to reconcile their emotions when they realized their colleagues had not performed their duties correctly. Despite this, all RCA team members showed engagement and held positive discussions during the analysis process. However, reading about what had happened to the child and mother in medical journals and interviewing second victims was a demanding and painful experience. Some in the team found this case burdensome and challenging, especially those with close colleagues in the clinic who had dealt with the severe event. Although some team members found the process exciting and instructive, they did not want it to cause additional stress for their colleagues. Medical experts found it exciting to delve deeply into the literature related to the incident and the procedures involved. However, they also expressed that the process was emotionally straining and was not adequately followed up.

Our study allowed us to explore an RCA team's experiences during the early and late stages of an RCA process. We identified three main themes and several sub-themes related to the RCA process (see Results). Further, we compared our findings with the recommendations in the Norwegian RCA guidelines [ 4 ]. Our study adds to a growing body of research on the challenges of using RCA [ 19 , 39 , 40 ]. In general, the literature shows that previous studies have also identified implementation barriers in the RCA process related to (1) technical/methodical barriers [ 11 , 41 – 43 ]; (2) organizational barriers [ 43 – 48 ]; and (3) individual (human) factors [ 49 ]. Overall, this literature points to significant challenges in the RCA process that center on translating RCA methods into practice and removing barriers to improve healthcare quality and effectiveness.

The results indicate that the RCA team faced various challenges during the RCA process, including the difficulty of being neutral, role challenges, ambivalence about being an RCA team member, and the additional burden on time and resources. Although the analysis process was demanding, all members expressed engagement in participating in the RCA team. Further, the study findings indicate that there can be significant challenges in applying the Norwegian RCA guidelines as laid out by health authorities. This case shows that the management system presupposes clear descriptions of responsibilities, and easily accessible information, which can be challenging to achieve in this complex environment. At the same time, we found that challenges related to medical documentation (scattered documentation), the role of the police, and the ideal of neutrality in the assessment of colleagues (external and internal assessment) indicate the need to problematize certain recommendations in the Norwegian RCA guidelines.

Experts suggest that bridging the gap between understanding and implementing systems thinking requires more RCA training and event analysis methods that promote systems thinking [ 19 , 50 ]. Our case study reveals the critical role of the quality management department in the RCA process, both during implementation and as methodological support throughout the process. The department had permanent members who participated in the RCA process and determined who should lead it. We consider that this approach could benefit from learning about and developing systems thinking knowledge and methodology within the organization. However, no data can confirm whether this outcome will be achieved. Nicolini, Waring, and Mangis [ 12 , 42 ] highlight various barriers to learning from patient safety incidents within the UK healthcare systems. These obstacles encompass leadership challenges within the investigation team, inefficient information analysis processes, inadequate staff participation, time and resource limitations, competing priorities, insufficient change expertise within investigation teams, conflicting perceptions of the nature of the problems, and a lack of organization-wide sharing of localized learning. Complex issues are sometimes disregarded due to the perceived difficulty of resolving them. Additionally, producing a well-crafted RCA report is often considered a desirable end goal in and of itself [ 12 ]. Hospitals face many demands, which may cause some hospitals to treat RCAs as a "checkbox exercise" to meet accreditation requirements rather than as an opportunity to identify areas where fundamental changes are needed and improve the hospital's safety culture. This may challenge the management's priorities regarding which measures are sustainable over time. Since the RCA process requires numerous resources from an already resource-stretched organization, initiating an RCA process may create a methodological internal barrier.

In healthcare, quality management refers to the administration of systems design, policies, and processes that minimize or even eliminate harm while optimizing patient care and outcomes [ 51 ]. The quality management department's understanding of how the system in the organization works under pressure seems crucial in this case. Although they acknowledged the need to gain more general knowledge of the methodology for achieving psychological security in the organization, they had made progress in admitting the challenge of following up with employees after the sentinel event. Actionable measures were implemented to increase their knowledge of the methodology. However, the quality management department's expertise in quality development in the organization might need to be recognized by others in the organization.

Members of the RCA team expressed that evaluating the case and their colleagues was emotionally challenging. Therefore, being neutral and having no other interest besides increasing patient safety was difficult. This reality deviates from the idealistic approach in the Norwegian RCA guidelines, which requires the RCA process to be carried out with neutrality on the part of the participants. Colleagues of the RCA team had experienced both being the second victim in the case and being inflicted with a new trauma when the RCA process was initiated. Police investigations and media exposure also made it challenging to carry out the RCA in the organization. We argue that expecting neutrality in an RCA process is unrealistic because the issues being investigated involve people with emotions. In some cases, people involved may have a vested interest in the outcome of the analysis. Additionally, the emotional impact of the incident may make it difficult for individuals to remain detached and impartial. All these factors can make maintaining neutrality throughout the RCA process demanding, with a risk of inaccurate analysis.

In previous studies, RCA has been shown to present several challenges associated with forming and leading the investigation team, gathering and analyzing supporting evidence, and formulating and implementing service improvements [ 42 ]. In this case, the way the team was put together, with both permanent team members and medical experts from each discipline, meant they could see unintended patterns and barriers and provide a comprehensive overview of the organization’s system challenges. This case indicates that management and quality management departments’ involvement in the RCA process was crucial for employees' development and views on the methodology. The study gave us the impression that the RCA methodology had only partially taken root in the organization.

Our results also revealed internal disagreement concerning which deaths should be reported to the police. The organization had no established routines for reporting cases like this to the police. The involvement of the police leads to fear of external supervision. Employees and members of the RCA team experienced that the police investigation disrupted the RCA process and alienated them. Part of the explanation could be that this was experienced as a new way of handling death. At the same time, it was pointed out by the RCA team that one had to be able to see the police involvement from the viewpoint of the parents who had unexpectedly lost their child and who wanted answers as to why their child had died. This consideration was challenging to acknowledge for the employees and some RCA members when the police started their external assessment of the event.

Implications for practice

Hopefully, this article contributes to a better insight into the complexity of the RCA process. The RCA process is not a prescribed method; each approach will vary [ 18 ]. Each sentinel event, organization, and context are unique and determine how this tool is used in practice. The Norwegian RCA guidelines stress the importance of precise routines and responsibilities. Should the guidelines be more flexible about discretionary assessments in some areas and more clarifying in others? Clinician participation in RCA is crucial as these initiatives recognize and address essential patient care aspects, but our study shows there are barriers to clinician participation. It also shows that the clinicians requested an abbreviated national version of the guidelines, and that the method is resource-intensive and demands a lot from staff involved in the process. Therefore, one can question whether a full-scale RCA method is sustainable in an already resource-stretched organization.

Study strengths and limitations

This study has two main strengths. The first is that the first author interviewed participants in the RCA process twice, allowing for an in-depth exploration of themes. Secondly, we used a case study approach to gain a detailed understanding of the research subject. This approach allowed for a thorough investigation of the specific case under examination. However, there are also limitations. This study exclusively concentrated on the RCA process at the hospital level, based on a single case. As a result, the findings may not be readily transferable to different settings or hospitals. It is imperative to exercise caution when attempting to extrapolate these findings beyond the hospital context. The researchers had no control over the selection of participants in the study, which may have influenced the composition of the RCA team and the process itself. The study focused on the RCA process at the hospital level only and may not apply to other settings. While this focus provides valuable insights into the teams’ perspective, it may not encompass the broader context and stakeholders involved in the RCA process. Nor have we interviewed the mother and next of kin due to ethical challenges. This limitation may have left a gap in the overall understanding of the RCA process, particularly from the perspective of those directly affected. We have limited the study to explore the experiences of the RCA team. Additionally, the researchers did not directly observe the team's work; doing so could have provided insider views and subjective data [ 31 ]. Finally, the study’s findings are based on a single case, and consequently, the generalizability of these findings should be interpreted in the context of the study’s design.

Future research and development

Future development could include a national register for RCA documentation to track trends and promote learning. The lack of official documentation of the RCA process and final report means that only a few people have insight into the process. Making the final report official and anonymous could increase transparency and trust within hospitals and reassure patients and their families. Interviews are critical for understanding an incident’s cause, but recall bias often delays or affects them. Gathering information from all relevant parties while the incident is still fresh is crucial for successful documentation. The involvement of police in the RCA process can delay interviews and create a more serious atmosphere, which can affect the process. To improve the RCA process, individual professionals should increase awareness and efforts to achieve documentation by providing adequate resources, clear mission statements, and coherent policies. Involving permanent members from the quality and safety department staff in several RCA processes can provide a better basis for comparison. Finally, the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision emphasizes collecting information from all relevant parties, including patients and their families.

This study is one of few studies that have explored RCA team experiences during an RCA process and whether there is adherence to the Norwegian RCA method. The results may inspire healthcare organizations, health authorities, quality and patient officers, and RCA teams to improve the RCA guidelines further and learn from this case. This study has shed light on three critical RCA team experiences: Firstly, the intricacies of the healthcare management system, particularly the role played by the quality management department, underscore the need for seamless integration of RCA into everyday practices. The integration is vital for enhanced support and guidance to employees during crises.

Secondly, the delicate balance between internal and external assessments in the RCA process highlights the value of embracing diverse perspectives and expertise. This inclusivity is essential to obtain a comprehensive understanding of sentinel events.

Lastly, the challenges and ambivalence encountered by RCA team members as they evaluate their colleagues and navigate their roles emphasize the need for clearer communication and robust support mechanisms.

These experiences have practical implications for healthcare organizations, RCA team, and professionals. It is, therefore, necessary to streamline the management system, promote a culture of continuous learning and support, and ensure that RCAs benefit from both internal and external insights. To address these issues, we recommend a renewed focus on education and training, improved collaboration between internal and external stakeholders, and more robust support system for RCA team members.

In the broader context of patient safety discourse, these experiences emphasize the need for a proactive and holistic approach to quality improvement. By addressing these key experiences, healthcare organizations can move closer to a safety culture where patient well-being remains paramount. Ultimately, being aware of and acting upon these critical RCA team experiences can hopefully lead to safer and more effective healthcare practices for all.

Acknowledgements

We give thanks to the health professionals participating in this study.

Authors’ contributions

All authors designed the study. S.L. collected the data and analysed the data in collaboration with H.S. and R.K. All the authors contributed to the manuscript revision. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Open access funding provided by Norwegian University of Science and Technology The Norwegian University of Science and Technology funded the study. The funding institution did not make decisions regarding study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, or writing of the manuscript.

Availability of data and materials

Declarations.

According to the Declaration of Helsinki, the study participants ‘rights, dignity, and privacy were ensured. The participants received oral and written information about the study. Written informed consent was obtained from all the participants. Participation was voluntary, and the participants could withdraw without explanation. The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK) concluded that the study (ref. #195549), categorized as a quality improvement project, did not require REK approval as it falls outside the scope of medical and health research under the Health Research Act. The handling of personal information in the project (project number 562024) was conferred with NSD according to requirements in the act relation to personal information and GDPR.

Not applicable.

The authors declare no competing interests.

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Inperson Event Planning

The best hacks for mastering in-person event planning

Planning an in-person event is an exhilarating experience. The anticipation of bringing people together, creating memorable experiences, and achieving your event goals is incredibly rewarding. 

However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. From coordinating logistics to managing budgets, there are many factors to consider to ensure a successful event. 

In this article, we will explore the best hacks for mastering in-person event planning. These proven tips and strategies will help you navigate the complexities of event management and execute a flawless event.

1) Start with a clear and detailed in-person event planning timeline

One of the most important aspects of successful in-person event planning is having a clear and detailed event plan and timeline. 

The first step is to learn how to set the right goals for an event . Once you know how the story ends is easier to plot out the chapters. 

This serves as a roadmap for your entire event, outlining key milestones, tasks, and deadlines. Start by defining your event objectives and determining the target audience. This will help you tailor your event to meet the specific needs and interests of your attendees. 

Next, create a timeline that breaks down the planning process into manageable tasks. This way, you can stay organized, ensure efficient collaboration, and track progress.

2) Build a strong event team and delegate tasks effectively

No event planner can do it all alone. Building a strong event team is essential for successful in-person event planning. Surround yourself with talented individuals who bring diverse skills and expertise to the table. 

N.B. At this point, read up on the key differences in the roles of an Event Coordinator vs an Event Planner . 

Assign roles and responsibilities based on each team member’s strengths and areas of expertise. Effective delegation is key to ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently and to a high standard. Regularly communicate with your team. Provide clear instructions, and establish channels for feedback and collaboration. 

By leveraging the strengths of your team, you can streamline the planning process exceed expectations.

How to Improve Collaboration With Your Event Planning Team from Sched Support on Vimeo .

3) Develop a comprehensive budget and track expenses carefully

A well-managed budget is crucial for in-person event planning. Start by determining your overall budget. Then you can allocate funds to different aspects of the event, such as venue rental, catering, marketing, and entertainment. Be sure to leave room for unexpected expenses or contingencies. 

Because we’re sorry to say that there are hidden costs to event management apps . But, don’t worry. We’ve uncovered all of them for you in this handy little article! 

Throughout the in-person event planning process, track expenses carefully. Make sure to regularly review your budget to ensure you stay on track. Consider using budgeting tools or software that can help you manage and monitor your expenses effectively.

We’re very happy to say that if you’re planning a non-profit or education Event , you get a special reduced rate for Sched products. So drop us a line and see how much you could save!

4) Scout and secure the perfect event venue

Choosing the right venue is paramount to the success of your in-person event. Consider factors such as location, capacity, amenities, and ambiance when scouting for venues. Take the time to visit potential venues in person to get a feel for the space and ensure it aligns with your event vision. 

Negotiate with venue owners to secure favorable terms and pricing. Keep in mind that the venue should not only accommodate your attendees but also enhance the overall event experience. By selecting the perfect venue, you can set the stage for a memorable and impactful event.

Of course, there is loads more to know when it comes to what to take into account when choosing an event venue . We’ve made it easier for you in this handy guide. 

5) Negotiate and establish favorable vendor relationships  

Vendors play a critical role in the success of your in-person event planning. From catering services to audiovisual equipment providers, establishing favorable relationships with vendors is essential. 

When negotiating contracts, clearly communicate your needs and expectations. Seek competitive pricing and consider bundling services to maximize cost savings. So always maintain open lines of communication with vendors throughout the planning process. 

6) Craft engaging and memorable event themes and experiences

An engaging and memorable event theme and agenda can elevate the attendee experience and leave a lasting impression. When selecting a theme, consider the interests and preferences of your target audience. 

Create a cohesive and immersive experience by incorporating the theme into various aspects of the event. Think of things like decorations, entertainment, and activities. Think outside the box. Explore unique ideas that will captivate attendees and differentiate your event from others. 

  • Read our ultimate guide to creating an event agenda to put all this into practice with ease! 

7) Implement creative marketing and promotion strategies for in-person event planning

Effective marketing and promotion are crucial for attracting attendees. Develop a comprehensive marketing plan that utilizes various channels. Channels such as social media, email marketing, and traditional advertising. 

Craft compelling messaging and visuals that highlight the unique value proposition of your event. Leverage the power of influencer marketing by partnering with thought leaders who can promote your event. Consider offering early bird discounts or exclusive incentives to encourage early registrations. 

P.S.  You need to get your event in front of the right eyes and make sure it sparkles. So, bookmark our ultimate guide to guerilla marketing . 

8) Leverage technology for streamlined registration and check-in processes

Technology can greatly simplify and streamline the registration processes for your in-person event. Utilize event management software or platforms that offer online registration and ticketing capabilities. 

This allows attendees to easily register and purchase tickets. Plus, it provides you with valuable data and analytics. Explore options for contactless check-in. Examples are QR code scanning or mobile check-in apps, to enhance efficiency and minimize wait times. 

Bonus Advice: Discover the amazing things IoT technology can do for event planners !

Event Session Registration Made Easy: Pro Tips for Seamless Attendee Sign-ups from Sched Support on Vimeo .

9) Create effective event signage and wayfinding systems for in-person event planning

Clear and informative event signage is essential for guiding attendees. This enhances their overall event experience. Create eye-catching signage that effectively communicates key information. Think of event schedules, session locations, and directional cues. 

Consider using digital signage or interactive displays to provide real-time updates and engage attendees. Implement a comprehensive wayfinding system that includes clear signage, maps, and arrows to help attendees navigate the event venue easily. 

10) Prioritize attendee experience and engagement for in-person event planning

The attendee experience should be at the forefront of your in-person event planning efforts. From the moment attendees arrive at the event to the final farewell, prioritize their comfort, satisfaction, and engagement. 

The fact of the matter is, that modern attendees demand more. In short, attendees want attendee-centric events !

So, consider offering interactive activities, networking opportunities, and experiential elements that create memorable moments. Personalize the event experience by leveraging attendee data and tailoring content and recommendations to their preferences. Encourage attendee feedback and incorporate it into future event planning. 

By prioritizing attendee experience and engagement, you can create a loyal and satisfied attendee base.

11) Plan for contingencies and have a backup plan for in-person event planning

No matter how meticulously you plan, unexpected challenges may arise during your in-person event. It is essential to plan for contingencies and have a backup plan in place. Identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate them. 

Consider factors such as inclement weather, technical difficulties, or changes in attendance numbers. Maintain open lines of communication with your event team and vendors to ensure everyone is prepared to handle unforeseen circumstances. 

By planning for contingencies, you can respond effectively to challenges and ensure a smooth and successful event.

12) Optimize event logistics for smooth operations in your in-person event planning

Efficient event logistics are crucial for the smooth operation of your in-person event. Pay attention to details such as transportation, parking, and crowd management. 

Develop a comprehensive event schedule that allows for seamless transitions between sessions and activities. Coordinate with vendors and service providers to ensure timely delivery and setup of equipment and supplies. Consider using event management software or tools to streamline logistics and facilitate communication among team members. 

By optimizing event logistics, you can create a seamless and enjoyable experience for both attendees and event staff.

One super simple way to expereince smooth logistics is through Sched’s Priority Support . With priority support, our dedicated support team will be on hand with lightning-fast answers to all of your and your attendees’ questions! 

13) Enhance event safety and security measures for in-person event planning

Safety and security should be top priorities in any in-person event planning. Implement comprehensive safety measures to protect attendees, staff, and assets. Conduct thorough risk assessments and develop emergency response plans. 

Ensure that event staff members are trained in emergency protocols and that communication channels are in place. Partner with security professionals or local authorities to enhance event security. Implement measures such as bag checks, access control, and surveillance systems to deter and respond to potential threats. 

By enhancing event safety and security measures, you can create a secure and comfortable environment for attendees.

14) Utilize post-event surveys and feedback for continuous improvement

Collecting post-event feedback is crucial for continuous improvement and future event planning. Implement post-event surveys to gather feedback from attendees, sponsors, and vendors. 

Ask targeted questions about their overall experience and suggestions for improvement. Analyze the survey data and extract actionable insights to inform future event planning efforts. Share the survey results with your team and use them as a basis for debrief sessions and post-event analysis. 

Another cool thing about Sched is that we have automated analytics and reporting as standard. You can view the results by category or by group, and you can export them with a click of a button to impress your patterns or sponsors. You can even take this up a notch with premium customized reporting! 

Pro-tip: You can learn even more amazing post-event survey question ideas in this ultimate guide! 

15) Build long-term relationships with attendees and stakeholders

Building long-term relationships with attendees is key to the success of your in-person event. Implement strategies to nurture these relationships beyond the event itself. 

Maintain regular communication through email newsletters, social media engagement, and personalized follow-ups. Offer exclusive perks or discounts to past attendees for future events. Seek opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with key stakeholders. 

Case studies: success stories of mastering in-person event planning hacks

To illustrate these in-person event-planning hacks, let’s explore a couple of success stories.

Case study 1: Los Gatos Union School District

Learn how the Los Gatos Union School District utilized Sched for its ease of use and its cost-saving price! 

Case Study 2: San Diego County Office

Discover how the San Diego County Office used Sched for faster event planning practices. Read how they won over doubting in-person attendees to use our awesome event planning app!

Future trends: innovations in in-person event planning

The world of event planning is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Here are some future trends and innovations shaping the landscape of in-person event planning:

  • Hybrid events: The integration of virtual and in-person elements allows for wider reach and increased accessibility.
  • Sustainability and eco-consciousness: Events are becoming more environmentally friendly, with a focus on reducing waste and carbon footprint.
  • Immersive technologies: Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are being incorporated into events to enhance attendee experiences.
  • Data-driven decision-making: Leveraging data analytics and attendee insights to make informed decisions and personalize event experiences.
  • Personalization and customization: Tailoring event experiences to individual attendee preferences to enhance engagement and satisfaction.

Conclusion: becoming a master of in-person event planning hacks

In-person event planning requires careful consideration, strategic thinking, and effective execution. These in-person event planning, you can create exceptional experiences for your attendees. 

So, embrace these hacks, put them into practice, and watch your events thrive. Now you’re ready to start Sched for free to see what all the fuss is about!

Enjoy guys! 

case study the event hub

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Expert Chat

  • Case study The event hub Ross...

Case study The event hub Ross Richie, Loughborough University The ‘event hub’ was new, shiny and...

The event hub

Ross Richie, Loughborough University The ‘event hub’ was new, shiny and fitted with the latest equipment. Chief Superintendent Janice Walker was looking forward to using it as the ‘Silver Commander’ of the Joint Service Command ( JSC) at the forthcoming ‘event’. An ‘event’ is a term that is used to describe a wide range of public occasions, ranging from the management of a football match, a public protest, a royal wedding through to a critical incident such as a terrorist attack. The management of an event is a highly structured and well-practised activity, bringing together many different bodies that have an interest in it. These could include, for example, the ambulance service, the police, transport authorities, security services and local authorities, among others. The ‘event hub’ was new, shiny and fitted with the latest equipment. Chief Superintendent Janice Walker was looking forward to using it as the ‘Silver Commander’ of the Joint Service Command ( JSC) at the forthcoming ‘event’. An ‘event’ is a term that is used to describe a wide range of public occasions, ranging from the management of a football match, a public protest, a royal wedding through to a critical incident such as a terrorist attack. The management of an event is a highly structured and well-practised activity, bringing together many different bodies that have an interest in it. These could include, for example, the ambulance service, the police, transport authorities, security services and local authorities, among others.

The command hub All of the OTG services and commanders report back to a centralized intelligence and decision-making command hub. It is often located away from the event, co- ordinated through a vast array of visual and audio communication networks. Within the hub there are representatives from each of the Bronze command units providing direct communication and command links to each of the OTG resources. Also in the hub, there is the single strategic commander – called the ‘Silver Commander’. In larger events, there may be as many as 80 different personnel in the command hub, co-ordinating between the Silver Commander and 15–20 OTG Bronze Commanders who, between them, manage more than 400 individual resources and assets.

The Silver Commander Janice has acted as a Silver Commander before and knew that it was a highly pressured role, even though this time she would have a tactical advisor, a recorder (recording all decisions and actions), a communications officer and a runner in her support team. ‘ At some difficult phases of an Event, you may be making several critical decisions every minute. Silver Commanders have to assimilate a wide range of intelligence from many sources, match this with your resources and their locations, communicate your decisions to the OTG Bronze Commanders, and do all this within strict policy and legislative constraints. ’ In the upcoming event (a large protest march) Janice would have operational information inputs from:

● The Bronze command representatives.

● Their communications offi cer (who summarizes radio communications).

● Intelligence feeds (from a specialist intelligence function).

● Any visual feeds, for example CCTV, policy logs, news and social media.

She would also have advisory inputs from tactical, media and legal advisors. These advisory inputs were usually more discursive than the information coming from the OTG operational units. In the hub, the Bronze representatives would have support teams of their own. In this event, for example, the local authority planned to have five CCTV operators to support their function, whereas the ambulance service representation was only a single officer. Figure 7.17 shows the organizational ‘chain of command’ for the event.

Hub layout The bodies and services represented in the hub had varying requirements. For example, some of the intelligence functions needed to be sure that their computer screens would not be overlooked by other functions that were not security cleared to an appropriate level because of the sensitivity and secrecy of their information (such as the local authority representatives). This meant that they had been located in the far corner of the hub. Yet the intelligence functions would also need to get operational updates from the ambulance service and local authority to direct their intelligence gathering efforts. Janice was worried that, because of this, there would be a high degree of travelling between different functions in the room. The layout of the hub is shown in Figure 7.18. One of the greatest points of interest in the room was the mapping. screen, where a screen placed on the wall had special geographic information updated from all the OTG units. Both Bronze and Silver Commanders would probably need to view the real-time updates shown on this screen. Janice, as Silver Commander, was allocated the only office in the hub. This was conventional practice because the Silver Commander needed a quiet place to go and consider his or her decisions and take confidential guidance from advisors. Prior to the event, Janice had planned for ‘update meetings’ in the meeting room with 12 of her key personnel every two or three hours during the march. The meeting room was located 30 metres away from the hub, though in the same building. Also in the same building a secure area was provided for the wider intelligence functions. This was 10 metres away from the hub through two sets of locked doors. This provided a confidential area for the intelligence functions to operate without risk of information leakage. Janice knew that events could be hectic, so in order to manage the busy room, and control the noise levels of the room, she had appointed a room manager who would sit in the centre of the room. The job of this officer would be to control movement within the room and intervene if noise levels became excessive.

What happened? Janice was proved correct about its being hectic during the march. The first two hours of the protest went

case study the event hub

according to plan with good co-ordination within her team and between her team and the protest organizers. However, as the march progressed three things happened more or less concurrently. First, a splinter group from the march took a separate, non-agreed, route that required extra resources to police. Second, one of the people marching suffered a heart attack and needed emergency treatment and transport to the nearest hospital (difficult in the crowds). Third, an unexpected (and unauthorized), but small, counter-demonstration took place as the march passed a football stadium. And although the two sets of demonstrators were kept apart, there was raised tension and a need for extra monitoring of the situation. All of this resulted in an intense period of decision making and information gathering. Janice found herself continually moving between her office, the command teams and the screens, never spending more than a couple of minutes in one place. She was often followed by her tactical advisor, recorder and communications officer who had to run between her and their workstations, because their computers and radios were fixed to the desk. To try and reduce the travel of her staff, finally Janice abandoned her office and moved her chair over to her ‘Silver Commander’s team’ area, close to the information screen. However, the general noise levels in the room were interrupting discussions, and Janice’s update meetings were also disturbing others in the room. The move had a positive effect of unifying Janice and her team. However, now there was now a constant flow of Bronze representatives and media advisors to and from the area where Janice was sitting. Yet this was preferable to the earlier disruption caused by her moving around the room. She also made a further decision, which was not to consult the CCTV footage or the information screen, and moved her desk away from the screen area. ‘It was information overload’, said Janice. ‘Using these boards, I don’t need to micro-manage the resources, this is what my extended chain of command is in place to do.’ After several hectic hours, the event concluded successfully, with no injuries or serious incident, and with the operation being regarded as very successful. However, Janice had firm views on the new hub layout: ‘The layout of the room hindered decision-making. The transfer of information on this kind of time critical operation is vital. There must be a better way of setting out the hub. It would not require much capital to re-design the area to reflect what we do. It could be more like a production process that takes into account the common transfer processes between each function.’

1 What should an ideal design of an event centre be able to do?

2 Sketch out a layout for an event centre that would work better than the existing one.

Earl Stokes

Earl Stokes Verified Expert

8464 Answers

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Blog The Education Hub

https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2024/02/19/mobile-phones-in-schools-are-they-being-banned/

Mobile phones in schools: are they being banned?

mobile phone ban

By the age of 12, 97% of children own a mobile phone, but the use of mobile phones in school can lead to distractions, disruption and can increase the risk of online bullying.  

Many schools have already introduced rules which prohibit the use of phones at school, to help children focus on their education, and the friends and staff around them.   

We’re introducing guidance which encourages all schools to follow this approach, so that more pupils can benefit from the advantages of a phone-free environment. Here’s everything you need to know.  

Are you banning mobile phones in schools?  

The new guidance says that schools should prohibit the use of mobile phones, but they will have autonomy on how to do this.  

Some may allow phones to be brought onto the premises but not to be used during school hours, including at breaktime.  

This brings England in line with other countries who have put in place similar rules, including France, Italy and Portugal.  

Will this apply to all pupils?   

The guidance sets out that there will be some limited cases where pupils should be exempt from the rule.  

While the majority of pupils won’t be allowed to use their mobile phones during the school day, we know that some children need their mobile phones for medical reasons, or because they have special educational needs and/or disabilities.   

How will prohibiting mobile phones work in schools?  

Schools will be able to choose an approach to prohibiting mobile phones which suits them.  

This could include banning phones from the school premises, handing in phones on arrival at school, or keeping phones locked away.   

What else are you doing to improve school behaviour?  

We’re investing £10 million in Behaviour Hubs across the country, supporting up to 700 schools to improve behaviour over three years.  

Behaviour Hubs help schools that have exemplary positive behaviour cultures to work closely with other schools that want to turn around their behaviour, alongside providing access to central support and a taskforce of advisers.  

You may also be interested in:

  • 5 ways we support schools to deal with bullying
  • How to improve your child’s school attendance and where to get support
  • The Advanced British Standard: Everything you need to know

Tags: behaviour in schools , mobile phone ban , mobile phones , mobile phones in schools , phones

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