Behind the scenes

Preparations for the 18th International Dialogue

It was March 2020 when Germany first went into lockdown because of COVID-19 – and the world suddenly looked very different. International travel shrank to a trickle. Larger gatherings were banned. It soon became clear that a “normal” International Dialogue would not be possible this year. But it was also unimaginable that an event as important as this for the SRHR community should simply be cancelled. So, after some initial hesitation, the steering committee dived into preparations for the very first virtual International Dialogue.

The learning curve was a steep one and the new technological challenges were daunting. Delegates from various different time zones would require uninterrupted access to the two-day event. But once the studio had been booked, a technical support team found and after several rehearsals, the chances of success seemed strong.

The day of the conference

There was real excitement amongst the team on the day the multi-national event was due to start. The speakers, the “working group” hosts, the steering committee and the technical support were all at the ready – and once the moderators, Ute Lange and Katrin Erlingsen, had perfected their make-up and the last technical issues were resolved, it was time for the 18th International Dialogue to start!

Behind the scenes

Here’s a look at what was going on behind the scenes to make it all happen: