Fueling the Future of Biomedical Research
A virtual summit on drug discovery, individualized medicine and outbreak response
Virtual Symposium Creation
The Scripps Research Institute hosts two separate events annually, The Spectrum symposium and the Future of Individualized Medicine. These symposium events provide our researchers with the opportunity to network, discuss timely issues in the biomedical industry and hear presentations from some of the leading experts in their fields.
Facing the challenges of the 2020 pandemic our Marketing and Communications team, pivoted our approach from hosting two separate live, in-person events to one all-encompassing virtual online event.
We wanted to provide keynote speakers with the tools to give their best presentations and to lead panel discussions with attendees. As well as, giving all attendees the opportunity to network, concentrate on the discussion topics of the highest interest to them and learn more about the services our partners and event sponsors offer.
Virtual Event Platform Features
I worked with a team of copy writers and editors to build the virtual event website on the Bizzabo platform. Within the span of two months, January, and February 2021, I built website pages to host the event that could be attended on a mobile device or personal computer with internet access. I also built the site’s pages to summarize and promote the event, sell ticket registration, and offer tiered sponsorship opportunities.
Additionally, the event featured multiple keynotes speakers presenting at scheduled times, as well as, in panel discussions. The site also hosted break-out rooms where attendees had reserved virtual spaces that allowed them to speak directly to experts on specific topics, ask moderated questions in a text thread and speak to one another using personal device web cams and microphones. Most of the keynote speakers’ presentations were then published to YouTube if attendees could not make it to each discussion on the agenda. I created custom zoom backgrounds and PowerPoint templates, so each presenter had a polished and branded look and feel while on the virtual stage.
VIRTUAL EVENT ADS & PROMOTION
This event was promoted by invitation only, directly to a curated list of over 2,000 prospective attendees. 800 of those invited registered and attended. Invitations were sent through large scale email blasts sent through the MyEmma email marketing platform and by printed direct mail pieces. A handful of guests were emailed directly by staff and faculty of Scripps Research.
I created custom coded evite templates that allowed my whole Marketing and Communications team to build evites using the event branding and send to their assigned audience groups. All responses and links were easy to track through the MyEmma platform.
The print invitation was an elegant gate folded card. It followed a branded look and feel of the event program and customized Moleskin that each registered attendee received in the mail.
The joining of the two events in this collaborative virtual space was an overwhelming success. It was well received by the by both returning and new to this year attendees. It expanded the overall reach of the Scripps Research brand. It initiated conversations that have resulted in research collaborations and philanthropic support. Additionally, the event offers a brand-new potential for the institute to continue its reputation as a host for dynamic and educational events despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Total of 1,104 in registrations
- 1,085 joined the online networking community
- 692 total in attendance with a 64% attendance rate
- In 2019, we had a total of 225 attendees (so attendance almost tripled)
- Our attendees were from the US, UK, Germany, Belgium, Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria
- We made 1,178 new contacts from the event
- 15 sponsors