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Reflections on the AVATAR2 Launch - Part 3

On Monday 11th January, the AVATAR2 trial went live, with a virtual launch party attended by over 500 people. In this collection of blogs, team members and launch attendees share their reflections on how it went.

The AVATAR2 Launch: An RA’s Perspective

Laura Williams

Launch in the time of Corona

On Monday 11th January, the AVATAR2 team held our launch event. I have never had the opportunity to attend the launch of a trial before, so I was really excited to see what the day would hold. It’s difficult at this time, with the pandemic constantly looming over us, not to think about how different this is to an in-person event. Normally (I’m told) there would be a room full of people, abuzz with excitement and intellectual discussions, not to mention a generous supply of tea, coffee and biscuits. In the time of Corona, the only networking occurring is ensuring your WiFi is going to hold up.

Preparing to launch

I was surprised to learn just how much work goes into a 1.5-hour launch event, with so many people quietly preparing behind the scenes. There is the matter of inviting speakers, preparing presentations, promoting the event, social media, and all of the other logistical matters. I was tasked with running the @AVATARLdn Twitter page, along with my other fantastic RA colleagues. Choosing a hashtag has proved surprisingly difficult!

The team assembled the Thursday before the launch to have our dress rehearsal. When you’ve been wearing leggings every day for the better part of 10 months, ‘dress rehearsal’ can seem like a rather grand term. It is hard to express just how anxiety-provoking an MS Teams dress rehearsal can be, as there are a whole host of things that can go wrong, including your guest speakers not being able to access the event. We persevered, and by the end, it was only with mild trepidation that we prepared for the main event.

Behind the scenes, I am told that organising the Q&A felt like a battlefield, however the result was an almost flawless panel discussion. Meanwhile, on Twitter, furious typing and retweeting occurred, and I’m sure to an outside observer we would have looked like people trying to hack into the mainframe in a spy movie. It was so nice to see such a positive response from the people who attended, and even though #AVATAR2Launch was not ‘trending’ on Twitter, in my heart it was.

We as a team were very pleased with how the event went and afterwards, drink in hand, we reflected on how we have become such a cohesive team, despite working in all different parts of the country. More than that, a lot of us have never even met in person. On a personal level, I felt so proud to be part of such a compassionate, innovative team that works so hard to ensure we are making this the best trial it can be. The determination to persevere despite some difficult circumstances (I’m looking at you, Covid) has been inspirational. I’m anticipating an exciting year ahead!


Attending the AVATAR2 Launch

Nicola Sirey, PPI Consultant

I attended the AVATAR2 launch in 11th January- it was Amazing!

We had lots of speakers from professors, doctors and people with lived experience explaining what AVATAR2 therapy involved, it was very well put together and very informative.

Also, a question and answer section which was extremely helpful.

I myself have participated in AVATAR therapy and can say this has helped me the most in my recovery

The sessions are recorded on a MP3, so you can listen back when you need to.

Like having therapy in your pocket!

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