Switching from a live to a virtual event in 1 week
In early 2020, we were working on a study series with face-to-face Investigator Meetings planned in the US, Asia and Europe.
The first meeting was all set to take place in New York 11 – 13 March for site staff from the US, Argentina and Brazil. One week prior on 5 March we received notification from the client team that due to Coronavirus the meeting had to be cancelled and rearranged as a virtual event on the same date.
SWM notified all participants immediately that the meeting was cancelled and that we would be in contact with regard to future plans for study training – the initial focus was to inform them as soon as possible so they could cancel any plans they had made around their visit to the meeting. We then negotiated with all suppliers to minimise cancellation fees – although as this was still early days of the pandemic, not all suppliers were flexible. Fortunately the hotel did agree to allow us to use 50% of the total cancellation charges towards a new meeting to be held at the same venue by the end of 2021.
We then worked with the client team to switch to a virtual meeting. Having worked closely with the team on the agenda format and slide content, SWM were able to help condense a 1½-day meeting into a 3-hour virtual meeting agenda. We also provided support to the speakers as they needed to condense the timing on their original presentations to fit the revised format. Whilst the scientific team were able to work with the speakers on their presentations, the logistics team were hard at work getting the virtual meeting platform set up with the appropriate branding and scheduling as well as contacting all site staff to invite them to attend the virtual meeting that replaced the face-to-face Investigator Meeting. We were able to turn this around in a matter of days and provide the site staff with the essential training they needed to start up the study.
Additionally, as a number of the slides could not be included in the virtual meeting, particularly for the operational aspects of the study, SWM prepared a full SIV slide deck that could be shared with the sites at site initiation.