Is it possible to organise virtual congress in just 6 days?

Is it possible to organise virtual congress in just 6 days?

And that everything goes smooth and without a flaw?

Well sure it is, but we would rather opt for more days if it is possible. And sure it’s not that we have started organising congress from scratch 6 days before, we had something already done but still it was a mind-boggling task and challenge when we shifted from hybrid to virtual. So what happened and how we did it?

Everything goes by the plan until it doesn’t

Due to all this C-19 situation congress have been already postponed from spring 2020 to autumn same year. It’s a congress of approx. 400 participants, 20+ sponsors and 90+ lectures – Croatian Oncology Congress done for Croatian Oncology Society. Plan was to held it in a hybrid way in Opatija with lecturers physically present on stage in Opatija and with heavily reduced auditorium in meeting hall. Other participants will have option to follow it through live streaming online. Always having in mind some backup option we started to prerecord some of the lectures during summer (month or two before) so we have done few lectures upfront but it was a small chunk and we looked at it as a simple backup without any proper editing or reviews. 8 days before we heard that there is a possibility that ministry of health will recommend for medical doctors to avoid going to congresses and gather on public events.

To the rescue

6 days before congress start it was official. There was no way that society can held it’s congress in a hybrid way. Going fully virtual was only option and we needed to act immediately. Cancellation was not an option. More than 12 people plus technicians started to scheduling recording slots, studios, satellite symposium recordings, changing congress website to add virtual exhibition, prepare materials, graphics and animations, editing video lectures, sending for approval, recording again and editing again. Then more than 90 lectures were uploaded for streaming and last lectures were up few hours before congress started. With all that 390 delegates and more than 20 sponsors needed to receive proper registration treatment and social media was craving for some updates. So it was not only organisational challenge, it was a different business model. So those who didn’t know what exactly Digital Congress Organizer (DCO) does, very quickly found out. There was a huge need to ensure full programme with greatest experience for delegates, to give as much as possible visibility to sponsors and to spare society for any headaches and stress. We had some live panels from studio with few panelist from their various cities joining discussion. Also posters were online, chat for q&a and all in all there was no downtime, no delays and at the end we have received huge amount of compliments for congress organisation.

It’s a success

That’s our energy for next congress and sleepless nights. But we would prefer not to repeat it in 6 days, 7 days should be a minimum. 🙂 Virtual Croatian Oncology Congress was a huge success and couldn’t be done without great support from sponsors and delegates, their understanding of situation was highly appreciated. And tremendous effort that Penta team gave into it was just speechless 👏🏻

eu eu


Read more