The Green Building Council South Africa’s (GBCSA) annual Green Building Convention will now take place online from 28 to 30 October 2020.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has put a lot of strain on our members and within the built environment. We are all being challenged to adapt to a new normal in how we work and how we connect with each other. We don’t want to lose our connections to each other, but there is the real risk to the health and safety of our delegates. Therefore, the GBCSA decided that the best solution for our people and the planet is to take the convention online,” said GBCSA CEO, Lisa Reynolds.

GBCSA has also cut registration fees by 80% to show its support to the global built environment community.

“While the planet has been given a breather, due to economies shutting down around the world, the adverse effects of climate change are not going away. We have to keep the momentum going on climate action and continue working towards a sustainable future. The convention has always been an important component of our drive to transition to a sustainable built environment and we are more committed than ever to lead the green recovery,” Reynolds added.

Hosted on virtual campus

The convention will not be held on a traditional online conferencing platform, but in an immersive, virtual world. Delegates will be able to create their own avatars and move around on a virtual campus with plenary halls, breakaway rooms, classrooms, offices, an exhibition hall, networking areas and more.

“In the absence of face-to-face events, we need to be innovative in how we bring people together in an online environment. It should still be an impactful experience and provide value to sponsors, exhibitors and delegates alike. Gamification and other unique touch points that traditional online conferencing platforms simply don’t have – are vital to ensuring engagement,” said chief ideas officer, Tamlynne Wilton-Gurney, from idna Africa – the event organiser for GBCSA.

The programme and lineup of speakers have not been affected by the decision to take the convention online.