How CPO HANSER SERVICE got to Appreciate the Benefits of Virtual Congresses
Over the last year, we have all experienced an incredibly fast and huge change in our industry to a new, digital world. From one day to the next, congresses had to switch to virtual formats - a learning process that had to happen quickly and that most of us mastered well. What is obvious is that a physical event with participants at a conference venue cannot be entirely replaced by a virtual one. But there are plenty of advantages coming with virtual meetings, too!
Benefits for the Organizers and Attendees
The first big advantage is, of course, the greater reach. Experience has shown that virtual congresses are attended by more participants than face-to-face congresses.
Accessibility of Content
Scientific sessions including satellite symposia are available after the meeting and can be used e.g. for e-learning. Attendance/viewing figures can be provided right after the session or, as complete lists, after the congress – this is a big help for scientific committees for future meetings as well as for companies when planning further sponsoring.
Scientific committees and participants are thrilled about the high level of interactivity. Q&A tools, if offered in a user-friendly way, are much more likely to be used by participants than questions being asked at on-site events. We had sessions with way too many questions to be discussed – in this case, professors got the questions and answered them bilaterally after the meeting.
Digital advertising options are also well-received. For example, banners can easily and quickly be designed and can link to more content and information.
Last, but not least, chatbots well-fed with content can answer questions 24 hours a day – which is especially beneficial for international congresses with participants from different time zones.