How the Royal Microscopical Society delivered a successful virtual event using ReadyMembership
Virtual and hybrid events have become the norm over the last 18 months and many organisations have had to reimagine once real life and complex multi-day conferences as engaging online experiences. This often involves selecting and using technology for the first time. A reliable, flexible and well-supported platform is essential to the success of any online event.
The ultimate interactive event
In July 2021, the Royal Microscopical Society held their flagship five day biannual conference - the Microscience Microscopy Congress - fully online for the first time.
Big numbers meant a big challenge. There were:
- 6 simultaneous live streams
51 virtual exhibitors
The role played by the ReadyMembership platform used for this event was pivotal. Attendees accessed the congress the MMC website, where they could:
Jump in and out of multiple live streams and sessions from the main schedule
Watch live scientific sessions in pages with timing countdowns & speaker info
Comment and ask speakers questions using the live chat function
Join commercial workshops on external Zoom links (managed within the platform)
Talk and book meetings with exhibitors on their virtual stands that included video
View a gallery of scientific posters and join break out sessions to discuss work
The feedback from attendees and exhibitors was extremely positive, with participants highlighting the ease of site navigation and switching between streams.
Easier event management
The RMS team saw clear benefits from managing all aspects of the congress from within a single platform - from bookings, emails, agenda and live Zoom streams channelled through Vimeo to the website.
Attendance was higher due to the fact that people didn’t have the real world constraints of travel or accommodation costs. Q&A sessions were easier for moderators to handle with instant selection of questions and no delay from microphone sharing.
“We managed the Q&A sessions better than we ever did in person, thanks to the Live Chat functionality. There was very positive feedback from attendees, who found it really easy to switch between sessions.” Adam Clay, Finance Director at the Royal Microscopical Society.
This event also widened the teams involved in the congress bringing together experts from across the organisation.
Post event, attendees can access videos of sessions on demand, as in another first, the RMS recorded them for the first time. In the future exhibitors will be able to upload their own virtual stand content and update it during the congress so that they can highlight a range of their products throughout the event.
With increased attendance, easier event management and enthusiastic delegates, the platform has shown how to deliver successful virtual events in the future.