Media Release: 29 November 2021

Qual IT helping to bring first digital APEC forum to the world

New Zealand quality assurance company Qual IT has played an integral part in making the first virtual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum a success.

Qual IT was initially engaged to conduct quality assurance testing across APEC’s technology platforms, to ensure they were ready for multiple in-person events across the APEC year.

The largely completed project was thrown a curve ball on 30 June 2021, when APEC officials made the decision to pivot towards a virtual APEC forum in response to COVID-19 restrictions on international travel, to provide certainty to members that the forum would still take place.

As the first virtual APEC forum there was no template, and the focus needed to shift quickly to transform the event from an in-person experience to a virtual one, where the world’s global leaders, thought-leaders, and various other participants could interact and carry out their meetings collaboratively, no matter how far apart they were.

Qual IT adapted quickly and worked to provide assurance that the new technology required for the online forum would be fit for purpose, because this technology would ultimately underpin peoples’ experience of APEC 2021.

Specifically, this meant testing the delegate registration portal and the video conferencing service thoroughly to ensure they would deliver for every participant of the forum. Qual IT’s comprehensive testing ensured the systems were applicable to different laptops and operating systems, would work in different regions and time zones across the world, and ultimately would deliver a virtual APEC forum as seamlessly as possible to thousands of participants all across the world.

“The pandemic really turned the delivery model on its head,” says John Campbell, General Manager of Qual IT Central Region.

“We had limited time and lots to achieve, it was essentially six months of work squeezed into 12 weeks,” continues Cheryl McCullagh, Senior Test Manager, Qual IT. “But with clear lines of communication, an understanding of the challenges, and by working collaboratively with our partners, we achieved terrific outcomes.

“We were really focused on testing the end-user experience and making sure it was seamless for all participants,” says Cheryl. “This is a showcase event on the global stage for New Zealand, so it was vitally important that it ran smoothly.” 

Qual IT worked collaboratively with the APEC team and its other IT providers to ensure the virtual forum was up to speed.

“The team has a real sense of pride for what they achieved in this time, and the hard work was worth it to help promote New Zealand on the world stage like this,” says John.

After hundreds of virtual meetings and events with 21 economies in 11 different time zones, APEC 2021 will be coming to a close later this month.