After many months of hard work and preparations, the days had finally come: it was time for the 2020 annual MeCCSA (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association) conference, this year taking place at the City Campus at the University of Brighton.
The delegates from all around the world arrived from 10 am on Wednesday 8th January, ready and excited for 3 days discussing and learning about this year’s theme, Media Interactions and Environments. MeCCSA 2020 was the most sustainable MeCCSA conference to date and was largely paper-free with minimal use of single-use products. After having registered with the welcoming Southcoast Event Staff and receiving their reusable coffee cup and MeCCSA branded water bottle to fill up at the refreshment stalls, the delegates could check the programme for the upcoming days online by scanning a QR code on the back of their name badge.
Over the days, multiple keynotes, panel sessions, and roundtable discussions touched upon countless media-related subjects. Every day the delegates were able to choose from a broad array of topics discussed in different panels, including Game of Thrones, podcasts, gender, politics, AI, culture, Japanese film, and TV, just to mention a few. The programme also included network meetings, beautiful and interesting art exhibitions, stalls hosted by 8 different academic publishers, the MeCCSA AGM and plenty of opportunities to meet new people in the coffee and lunch breaks. At all times Southcoast Event Staff was on hand to help delegates find their way to their next session or answer any queries that might pop up throughout the conference.
On Thursday The Real Junk Food Project Brighton served delicious lunch consisting of salads, tandoori chicken, couscous and pastries for the delegates, assisted by Southcoast Event Staff. The Real Junk Food Project cooks with food that would otherwise have been thrown away to reduce food waste. Since its founding 5 years ago The Real Junk Food Project has saved 5000 tonnes of food – equivalent to 11.9 million meals.
The programme also offered a fun social programme in the evenings, allowing the delegates to network and experience vibrant and exciting Brighton. Led by the Southcoast Event Staff holding signs to show the way, the delegates started their first evening in Brighton with a beautiful drinks reception in the picturesque Brighton Museum & Gallery. Ewan Kirkland, the organiser from the University of Brighton, welcomed everyone to Brighton and gave a toast to MeCSSA before the delegates moved on in the evening programme to a cosy local pub, the Walrus. At the Walrus, the delegates participated in an entertaining pub quiz, touching upon several different themes like the 2010s, academic questions and a fun picture round, all curated by Ewan Kirkland.
The following evening was the night of the gala dinner, taking place at the iconic Brighton Palace Pier – the delegates got to dine 500 metres out on sea! Walking down the Pier towards the Palm Court Restaurant, the delegates were greeted by beautiful light dancers wishing them a lovely evening, before the guests proceeded inside for a welcome drink and a chat before the dinner. The delicious 3-course meal consisted of a soup, fish and chips and an Eaton Mess cheesecake to top it all off, all accompanied by wine. The light dancers performed their beautiful tricks as the entertainment of the night, clearly impressing everyone with their skills and with that a successful gala dinner finished with the delegates ready for the final day of the conference, MeCCSA 2020 coming to an end on Friday 10th January.
Both the University of Brighton and Southcoast Conferences are proud and honoured to have hosted this year’s successful conference and wish the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen best of luck with next year’s conference.
MeCCSA 2020 Facts: