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Who is the BIG Event for?

The BIG Event is relevant for designers, presenters, educators, students, front of house staff, evaluators, educationalists, funders, and anyone involved in the public engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Many people working in the STEM engagement field have little opportunity to cross paths with their peers, so the BIG Event is designed with exactly this in mind.

Around 150-200 people usually come along, who are existing members or those that have joined through coming to the BIG Event. We don’t like the Event to get too big because the emphasis is on meeting and exchanging ideas with like-minded people. Too big a crowd can dilute that experience.

"The BIG Event was really worth-while! It was a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, to share ideas and skills and to boost your confidence as a science communicator. The wonderfully friendly, family atmosphere was amazing!" - BIG Event Delegate

What’s it like?

It’s not quite like a conference – we don’t like it to get too structured, but we do like it to be organised and professional. So, it’s like a good party with the kind of people you like to work with but like a good conference too, where you can expect to know what’s going on and when. However, creativity and spontaneity are encouraged so you should be relaxed enough to go along with a little controlled chaos sometimes.

What goes on there?

BIG is all about skills sharing so the more you put in, the more you get out. The members dictate the direction the Event will take. Almost all of the sessions are proposed and run by members who would like to show their work to others, to get useful feedback, to invite others to use their findings and to create new collaborations. BIG invites some contributions from outside its membership, especially where there are skills we can learn from other industries.

"I really enjoy the BIG Event because it's full of lively and enthusiastic people who are willing to share what they know." - Helen Featherstone, University of Bath

What is the Dress Code? 

Casual to casual smart. Denim and leggings are completely appropriate as are flip flops/sandals. BIG is a pretty informal place, but do remember that you are meeting peers in a professional conference. And just to be clear – this is NOT the kind of conference where people wear suits! But equally, no one wears pyjamas. Find the middle ground and you’ll be set. 

Is it any fun?

Yes it is. As well as two-and-a-half days packed full of sessions, we like to have a bite to eat, a drink and a good chat too, wherever possible.

On the Wednesday evening we retire to a handy pub or similar; other members in the area are encouraged to join us. Food is not provided but is available for you to purchase.

On Thursday evening, delegates are provided with a meal, wine (yes, and soft drinks), and the Best Demo Competition show. Some folks like to dress up, others don’t – it’s up to you entirely.

Will I be sent a ticket?

Nope. You will get an email confirmation after your book your place at the BIG Event, but we don't send out "tickets". Expect a few emails from the BIG Team in the run up to the Event, these will have tons of useful information for you.

When you arrive at the BIG Event, just find the Registration Desk and give the BIG Team your name. That's all you have to do to check in. We'll hand you a delegate pack which will have a copy of the Event programme, your membership card and a few other bits and pieces. 

Can I afford it?

BIG is a not-for-profit organisation and relies heavily (but not totally) on volunteers - you can rest assured that your Event fee goes towards the BIG Event and support to the members to attend. A bursary to attend is available. This is open to members who have not been to the BIG Event before. There is also an early bird discounted price if you sign up early enough. Keep an eye on the deadline, usually in March or April.

This year's BIG Event details 

If you’re still not sure if the BIG Event is for you, you can get in touch to find out more:

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