Thinking Creatively When Planning a Virtual Event

Source :PCMA

Author: Casey Gale

How can organizations design an engaging digital event at a time when many attendees crave in-person interactions? The European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC) delivered that and more.

After its 30th annual meeting was held in June 2019, the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC) team had big plans for its 2021 in-person event. It would place more emphasis on content suited for members at all levels, from senior doctors to nurses to students, and give participants plenty of networking opportunities — this is a group that loves to connect. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic had other ideas.

“The plan was to do a good, high-level program,” said Limor Cunia, director of client accounts for Kenes Group, which produces ESPNIC’s annual event. “We planned to have an in-person meeting that was very interactive, with a lot of voting and interactive sessions. Back then, we didn’t even think we were going to have to deal with COVID.”

But when it became clear the pandemic would prevent ESPNIC’s audience of 750 members — ranging from neonatal intensivists to allied health professionals from 52 countries — from attending an in-person event set to take place in Athens, Greece, ESPNIC postponed and then ultimately chose to move the event to a fully virtual experience that took place June 15–18, 2021. Despite the move to a virtual meeting space, the organization’s aim for a new and improved program never changed, Cunia told Convene, “and that’s where we started to think

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