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How we leverage digital to drive event engagement

By Bridie Hook, Digital Programme Manager at SWM Partners

A look at some of the ways our digital team utilise technology to enhance engagement at healthcare events.

Developing separate experiences for audiences

Hybrid events have grown in popularity in a post pandemic world, however for us, it’s important that the in-person and virtual element of these experiences are treated as separate entities.

We recommend avoiding streaming multiple hours of content from a physical space to virtual attendees. As an alternative, our team will develop a specific programme for each audience, where virtual attendees have their own chair, and exclusive content is created and aired in a dedicated section of the portal for them.

We’ll also leverage in room video feeds and streaming platforms so that remote attendees have access to keynotes and other highlights from the in-person event.

Embracing readily available platforms for ease of access

Where virtual and hybrid events are designed for a global audience, or attendees are based in at least more than one region, we look to readily available, user-friendly tools to host them, as this ensures barrier free access.

We’ll then customise the virtual portal and look to event apps, so that key information can be communicated in educational and engaging ways, and that delegates can interact with the event as it unfolds, whether they are joining physically or remotely.

We achieve this by considering the target audience and the subject matter, and integrating technologies such as polling, Q&A boards and live chats – all of which can be accessed via the aforementioned app – and developing video content and informative animations.

Crafting compelling video content

On that note, video content is essential across both in-person and virtual meetings, as it’s an effective way to communicate complex subject matter. Examples include transforming a 90-page study document into an informative three-minute video, and creating step-by-step animations that outline how to administer a product.

Where printed collateral is created for settings such as study sites and general practices, we ensure they feature QR codes, so that this video content can be viewed by all.

We’ll also develop a learning management system within an event’s website or virtual platform, which houses this video content, as well as presentation slides so attendees can refer back to them once the meeting ends.

Translation is also a must here. Given their global nature, simultaneous translation is now the norm for at least 30% of our projects, whether they are in-person, virtual or hybrid.

To conclude

Looking to digital tools is an effective way to not only engage and in turn, educate delegates in the healthcare sector, it means that all attendees, regardless of their location or preferred learning style, gain insight into important developments as they relate to a study, clinical trial, product or other.

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