The 7th edition of BAU legendarily started on the 2nd of September 2020, when we, the seven new members, met during a challenging scavenger hunt. It turned out to be a fun outdoor evening, despite COVID-19 restrictions. Unfortunately, from this evening the COVID-19 measures kept preventing us from seeing each other in real life until the actual BAU events in March 2021.
As the pandemic was still going on when the committee started, the possibility of an entirely online event had to be taken into consideration. To keep options open, we decided to work with two scenarios: an online event and a physical event (with the necessary measures considering COVID-19). The process of trying to organise a physical event was a dynamic and stressful one, because the measures from the government changed many times. Even though in the end BAU had to take place online, the effort was still worth it.
The broadcasting of the lectures, at Vakwerkhuis, showed how valuable physical contact is for an event. The speakers told us they appreciated the fact that we were there to listen to their story. It felt a lot more personal and comfortable than any event through a screen ever could.
Not only is the experience of an online event different from a physical one, the organisation also requires another approach. This year’s BAU committee could not just take all the previous, great editions as examples. Luckily, the committee could use the 6th edition of BAU (in 2020) as a guideline for their event, which was very helpful. Nevertheless, a lot of time was spent on making up online versions of events, researching online platforms for events, creating online promotion material, and making zoom links. It was also necessary to enthuse the students and companies to participate, as the pandemic made it understandably easier for them to lessen their motivation.
The absence of personal contact within the committee and uncertainties around the events were difficult at times, but our team managed to keep each other motivated and enthusiastic. Finding time to have meetings was not always easy with a team of people with such different schedules. But the regular zoom meetings did force the committee, with diverse qualities and personalities, to bond. Overall, the time leading up to BAU proved to be productive, but also a good social distraction from these weird times. Being able to see each other in person during the last events was a rewarding closing of BAU 2021.
Article written by Nona Dalman