A medical conference is important for any healthcare professional as it furthers their CPD (Continuous Professional Development) and enables them to hear about new research and practices.
As many in-person events were cancelled due to the pandemic, physicians across various specialties have struggled to gain the necessary training they’ve previously relied on.
Aside from this, medical conferences also facilitate important discussions that lead to new research and academic collaborations. Through networking opportunities, medical professionals can interact with one another and exchange valuable insights and best practices.
So how can you ensure this is still achieved?
A virtual medical conference allows those in the medical industry to come together in an online setting. Through a combination of keynote speakers, discussion panels and workshops, you can emulate the experience of an in-person event with the added benefit of saving professionals precious time – a key consideration in this sector.
In this post we will explore how to maximise the impact of your next virtual medical conference to ensure your attendees get the most out of the experience.
How Does a Virtual Medical Conference Work?
A virtual medical conference is the online equivalent of an in-person event. Simply think of the last in-person event you attended and convert this into a digital format. Many people panic about the idea of moving into the virtual space and worry it will lack the same functionality or wealth of opportunities.
However, they couldn’t be more wrong!
By utilising a range of interactive tools such as breakout rooms, virtual lounges, and live video Q&A sessions, a virtual medical conference is a fantastic way of bringing large groups of professionals together. Physicians don’t have a lot of free time, so giving them the option to log on and attend a conference from anywhere across the globe is a huge advantage.
Furthermore, by choosing a platform such as iVent, hosting a virtual medical conference has never been easier. You can upload important documents via the ‘Resource Centre’ which allows healthcare professionals to access the information they need 24/7, saving them time sifting through pharma magazines or scrolling through the internet.
Going virtual can transform the way you host your next medical conference.
How to Maximise the Impact of Your Virtual Medical Conference
When hosting a virtual medical conference you need to make sure it is a worthwhile and valuable experience for attendees. Otherwise, they have wasted a day sitting in front of a computer screen without truly getting any value out of it.
That said, there are lots of ways you can maximise your virtual conference to make sure the day is a success. Let’s take a look.
Provide useful resources
At a medical conference, there will be so much information for attendees to digest, whether it’s new rules and regulations or updates in healthcare and medicine.
When attendees are sitting in front of a computer screen for hours at a time, it’s natural for their brain to become overloaded. There will be lots of key figures and statistics for them to take in, which can make retaining information more difficult.
One way of making sure attendees get the most out of what they have learned is to provide helpful content and resources. This is one of the biggest benefits of hosting a virtual medical conference as all of this information can live online.
By choosing the right virtual event platform, you will be able to upload important documents and recordings all year round. This means if attendees miss anything during a live session, they don’t need to worry. They can simply log back into the platform and watch the session back at a time that suits. This is a particular benefit for medical professionals as some topics are very complex and will need to be reviewed several times over.
At iVent, we offer a 365 virtual environment meaning content can be accessed anywhere, at any time. You can build your own digital hub which allows healthcare professionals (HCPs) to view key pieces of content whenever they need it in a simple yet secure format.
Create networking opportunities
Throughout the virtual medical conference there should be lots of opportunities for professionals to network and engage. These interactions are key as they allow HCP’s to expand their medical knowledge and improve their practice.
Without networking and engagement opportunities, a conference becomes a webinar where attendees simply sit and listen to someone else present. This is not a valuable use of anyone’s time as you want to facilitate discussion.
The best ideas are a result of collaboration so it’s important these opportunities are easily accessible.
Therefore your virtual conference should provide a two-way conversation where HCP’s can share their own expertise. One way of ensuring this happens is to use tools such as live chat and video discussion groups so attendees can ‘talk’ during the sessions and be active participants.
As a way of boosting engagement, virtual meeting hosts should introduce virtual games and break out sessions as part of the agenda to encourage people to participate. This is very important for online sessions where sustaining attendee engagement is more of a challenge.
Promote participation through social media
Social media is an integral component when it comes to promoting your virtual conferences and increases attendee participation.
Even after the event has finished, you should still take advantage of social media and make sure your event is talked about online. Your attendees should be sharing their insights, thoughts, and what they have learned from the virtual event to encourage other people to attend in the future.
Make sure you use branded conference hashtags across all marketing channels, especially when posting on Twitter and LinkedIn, as this boosts your brand exposure and is an easy way for attendees to navigate relevant information relating to the event. You could also create a private social media group to allow attendees to get acquainted with one another before the event starts.
You should post highlights throughout the day, whether that’s a quick teaser video on Instagram story or a countdown on twitter to build up some excitement. Make sure you encourage participants to do the same as sharing their experiences with their communities online can help you reach new audiences. This works like a testimonial and is a great way of maximising brand exposure.
With the iVent platform, you can easily integrate all of your social media links, allowing attendees to follow you on various social channels at the click of a button. By driving people to your social media page, you can keep the discussions and interactions going long after your conference has ended.
Present in a compelling way
Powerpoints should be approached with caution. Whilst they can be a great way to communicate important information, they can be a little, well, boring.
Using this format is not the most exciting and you can fall into the trap of talking ‘at’ your attendees rather than making them feel part of the discussion.
Instead, make sure you encourage your speakers to be more engaging and creative when they are presenting. They should use visual assets to support their points such as infographics, videos, and polls. By asking presenters to include more visual appeal in their sessions, you’re increasing the likelihood that audiences will stay tuned and retain key pieces of information.
Remember this is more than just a presentation, it’s a chance for interaction between your presenters and their audience. It’s important that presenters acknowledge the presence of their virtual attendees and encourage them to share their own ideas.
To facilitate this, presenters could run live Q&A sessions where the audience can ask any questions they might have or ask for guidance on a certain topic. This will keep your guests engaged and captivated during the sessions and they will feel as though their presence is valued.
Send a follow up survey
Don’t forget to follow up with attendees once your event is over. Finding out what attendees found useful, and what areas they would improve is highly valuable when crafting virtual events in the future.
Maybe they found a product demonstration session too long, and as such, they left that particular session early. Or maybe they found there weren’t enough opportunities to ask questions, and as a result, they’re still unclear about a particular subject.
With iVent’s data and analytics feature, you can get complete access to important event data either before, during, or even the event has taken place. You can view information such as website clicks, video activity, unique users, and time spent in sessions to see how attendees were engaging throughout the duration of the day.
To get feedback you can send them a survey or feedback form to encourage them to share their own thoughts. You can then learn from these lessons and create a successful virtual medical conference in the future.
The Future of Virtual Medical Conferences
As we have discussed, virtual medical conferences bring lots of advantages. In the busy life of a healthcare practitioner, having the option to continue their professional development without having to leave the office, surgery, or hospital is a huge benefit.
Furthermore, from an event planning perspective, in-person medical conferences require extensive research, planning, and money to ensure they are a success. From finding the right venue to securing keynote speakers, this requires a great deal of time and budget.
By embracing technology, you can effectively convert your in-person medical conference into a virtual conference with no hassle.
Hybrid events are also on the rise. These types of events provide the best of both worlds by combining the cost saving benefits of virtual-only with the physical interaction of in-person events. This gives healthcare professionals more choice as they can either attend in person, or join in remotely if they have other work commitments. This added flexibility makes hybrid medical conferences an effective means of engaging large audiences.
How Can iVent Help?
At iVent, we provide a virtual conference platform that you can trust. We have 12 years of experience delivering virtual events across the medical sector— NHS and Nucleus Global just to name a few, and allow healthcare professionals to feel as though they are in the same room.
Being remote doesn’t have to be an issue.
Whether you’re launching a new product, sharing information about a new medicine, or training members of staff, virtual events allow you to reach a larger audience on a wider scale. Through an array of networking opportunities, they also allow HCPs to meet other delegates from across the globe – delegates who they otherwise might never meet.
Virtual events open up this landscape and bring audiences together regardless of geographical locations.
For more information about how iVent can transform your next medical conference or event, get in touch with our team of experts.
How to Maximise the Impact of Your Virtual Medical Conference or Event
A medical conference enables delegates to connect and network with others in their sector on a global scale. Due to the pandemic, safety has been the number one priority, and these types of events enable healthcare professionals to access the training they need, in a safe and secure way.
Aside from the obvious safety benefit, a virtual medical conference also removes some of the barriers in-person events propose, such as the need to travel or the need to leave the office for a day.
Anyone working in this sector is extremely busy and needs to access training with minimal disruption to their working day. When it comes to hosting a virtual event, you need to emulate the experience of a physical medical conference and ensure the same wealth of opportunities are available.
Whether that’s planning lectures, discussion groups, break out sessions, poster presentations, or debates, attendees need to gain something valuable. At iVent, we can deliver a fully immersive experience for your attendees, from creating a full branded auditorium to providing a resource hub for all key documents. Take a look at how we have transformed events for other clients or get in touch with a member of our team for more information.