28th CAVLMZ Annual Conference
The 28th CAVLMZ Annual Conference was to take place again this year in Pavilion E of the Brno Exhibition Center (BVV) at the turn of October and November. The client had long been determined to hold the conference as a physical event like every year, but due to the deteriorating pandemic situation and restrictions, at the end of September the client decided to change the format into a virtual conference. Our goal was to jointly organize this annual educational event in an alternative form so that we could provide participants with professional content in a simple, interesting and interactive form, as well as offer space for presentation to our long-term partners and enable interaction between participants and exhibit
The biggest challenge was the rather late decision to change the format of the conference from physical to virtual – we only had about 1.5 months to complete the transformation process.
Another difficulty was the relatively conservative target group of potential participants who are not used to working with technologies in a virtual environment, as well as a relatively large number of partners and exhibitors to whom we wanted to offer adequate performance in a virtual environment.
With respect to the target group of participants, we chose a different format for the conference – instead of one weekend and 3-4 all-day parallel sections, we decided to organize the programme on two consecutive weekends and the sections were only in the afternoons and always two in parallel.
For the needs of the virtual conference, we chose a platform created specifically for virtual events, which enables the construction of virtual stands and offers a lot of interactive elements.
In cooperation with foreign lecturers, we recorded the lectures in advance and arranged for their subtitling, and we always connected the given speakers and moderators live to a Q&A after the lecture. We also provided pre-recorded lectures of Czech speakers to ensure a smooth running of the conference. During the lectures, the participants could ask the speakers questions, which were always answered live after the lecture. At the end of each day, there was a longer time for questions and possible discussions.
After the conference, we offered the participants a recording of all the lectures for a three-month period, so that they could watch what they missed or return to the content.
In order to maintain the number of registered participants and gain more, we set up a marketing strategy based on a mailing campaign, promotion of the event on social media, in printed periodicals, promotion on websites and promotion of the event through international associations.
The event was organized by a seven-member team consisting of a project manager, an assistant, an exhibition coordinator, a sponsorship manager, a programme coordinator, a technical manager and a registration coordinator.
Cooperation and coordination between the client, participants, partners and us was smooth. This resulted in an extraordinary experience for both the participants and the partners as well as the speakers themselves. Although fewer participants attended the conference due to virtualization, we were able to reach a slightly different target group than usual. Of the total number, almost 13% of students and 18% of veterinary nurses took part in the event.