A year into COVID-19 travel restrictions, just about every medical society has canceled at least one in-person event. But the inability to meet in person shouldn’t be an excuse for abandoning member engagement altogether. A virtual event can be almost as meaningful as an in-person one – if it’s done right.
Consider these best practices when planning your medical society’s virtual event:
- Harness technology, but don’t overcomplicate it. When weighing virtual platform options, consider your members’ comfort with technology. Bells and whistles sound impressive, but if your participants can’t figure out how to navigate the system, it wasn’t worth the cost. Keep it simple so your audience can focus on the content, not the tech.
- Offer meaningful and concise content. Whether it’s a comprehensive multi-day program for continuing medical education or a one-hour webinar, speakers must be prepared and should address the topic advertised. Nothing turns off participants faster than a speaker who drones on to fill time.
- Create social opportunities. No matter how engaging the program is, most everyone wants to connect with other meeting participants. Add social sessions to the program and allow participants to casually converse. Consider it a virtual poolside cabana or hospitality suite, and encourage attendees to enjoy a drink or snack while visiting with others.
- Communicate frequently. Help participants make the most of your meeting. This is especially important for multi-day events. Email an early-morning email update so participants can preview their day while drinking a cup of Joe. Sponsor recognition can also be included below any schedule changes or notes about not-to-be-missed sessions.
The world of professional meetings has likely changed for good. Whether you are looking for in-person or virtual meeting management, the professionals at Woodberry Associates can ensure that your project or organization excels.
Email us to learn more about Woodberry Associates’ approach to managing medical societies and conducting meaningful virtual events.