With Conferences falling to the Coronavirus, it's time for Life Science Professionals to embrace the Virtual Conference
Without Covid-19, I am sure none of us would be using the words social distancing as a positive thing. The pandemic has forced us to look at different ways of working, interacting and obtaining information whilst still maintaining our communities. It is critical that the Life Sciences sector still have a forum for reaching peers in their field and sharing findings. As more Life Science conferences get cancelled or moved online, conference organisers are engaging virtual platforms as an alternative to the traditional webinar.
The new generation of virtual platforms have taken their steer from the gaming world, giving an immediacy to delegates interaction with the presentations and other delegates.
Virtual conferences shouldn’t just be a list of webinars - they can be a live, dynamic and interactive event that engages your delegates and fosters a sense of community
Virtual platforms offer huge flexibility for event organisers with options for presenting live, pre-recorded or “simulated live” and like live events organisers should encourage the use of music, videos and animations to make the experience as engaging as possible. Enabling connections and networking between the attendees should be a key part of the virtual event with live video Q&A or panel discussions being considered as well as utilising rich interactive tools such as audio/video/text chat and polls.
Creating a buzz about the event and building a community can be achieved through networking rooms where delegates can interact via chat or video connections with like-minded attendees. It is also possible to integrate social media into every view of the platform and run campaigns to engage the delegates and create a sense of FOMO for those not attending.
Moving to virtual - creating a Netflix™ style personalised agenda
One of the advantages of a virtual platform is that you are not restricted by a physical conference space. This means that you can create the perfect agenda for your delegates and have the option to run multiple plenary tracks by application or market segment. Your attendees can even create their own experience with a personal agenda builder.
Creating the ideal event space for your delegates
Moving to a virtual conference means you can create your own perfect branded venue. These spaces are completely customisable using renders, photos or animations and can be enhanced with embedded videos or green screen content. Delegates can move through the virtual space much like a conference with interactive virtual lobbies, go to plenary sessions in the auditorium, consume prerecorded breakout session on demand, take part in live panel discussions, book an appointment for live video chat with the product team or watch live product demo
Profile your audience to deliver more sales leads
A virtual conference isn’t limited geographically to the region you are in, or the physical space of your venue, instead it is a global event and anyone that is online can join via mobile, tablet or desktop. This means that your event and content can reach an order of magnitude more people than a physical event and every single delegate at your virtual event is profiled. The reporting function of these virtual platforms are powerful; reports provide where each delegate has been, what they have consumed and therefore what their interests are.
In light of the current global pandemic of Covid-19, Life Science events are having to evolve and adapt to reflect the way that conferences will be consumed in the future. Whilst virtual events will never replace live events for the ability to network with colleagues, they do offer scientists intuitive customised, next-level experience and the ability to keep up to date with latest developments in research in a virtual environment. For organisers the virtual event provides an opportunity to run a successful conference (that would otherwise be cancelled) with a significantly extended reach and enhanced delegate profiling. Don’t fall into the temptation of doing a series of boring webinars, this is the time to be ahead of the curve, engage with your community and reimagine what a virtual conference can be.
Minnac are an events and marketing agency that specialise in organising and producing life science events, beyond the ordinary. With many touch points throughout each event, we’re passionate about creating an interactive experience and building a community around the events we produce. Our scientific background means we can fully understand your needs and what resonates with your market segment. Whether you’re looking to rework a pre-existing event or looking to develop an entire virtual conference we can help.