Last week Experimentarium in Copenhagen opened its doors for 1.190 participants from 59 countries to the thirtieth Ecsite conference.

by Lea Hjælmsø Hansen

The conference theme was “Pushing Boundaries”, inviting the science engagement community to build on three decades of science communication and look ahead, pushing the boundaries of our field and practices. Likewise, as the conference took place at a science centre, we were pushing the boundaries on how to conduct sessions and workshop, as some of them took place in and among our exhibitions.

For this conference we had to rethink the use of every available space to accommodate all the participants - especially for lunch and keynote speakers. The keynote speaker’s session was livestreamed to nine different places – some to our in-house movie theatre, some to places in our exhibitions – and in this way we could accommodate over 1.000 viewers. The lunch was served from four different places, and always with the option to take it with you outside.

The operations during the conference tapped into all of the systems already in place – we simply put the “conference layer” on top of it, with a very successful result, where all of Experimentariums 160 people were involved in different ways. And of course, there were always fun things to do and watch – not least soap bubbles which were a big part during the whole conference.