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Photo Credit: Kenes Group

Mastering Virtual Engagement.

Now that we are in the second year of virtual events, it is clear that the core responsibility of event professionals is towards creating an engaging platform for knowledge exchange for all participants. It is not the numbers that will be attracted, it is the engagement rates, the relevance of the content and the way it is presented to the audience that dedicated their most precious resource – their time – to the event.

The European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC) wanted to disrupt their next event and started planning long before the pandemic. So once the event had to be moved online, the plans for engagement had to be translated to the online world. Here is how ESPNIC created an impeccable Online Xperience.

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Photo Credit: Kenes Group

Planning for Xcellence

Two years in advance the ESPNIC team, together with Kenes Group, decided to go back to the drawing board and see how the annual event can be elevated to new heights. Plans were made and set in motion, but as with any other event in 2020, the ESPNIC meeting had to move to a virtual event.

The plans had to be adapted to the new online reality, so the tone for the Online Xperience was set.

The Xecution

The design of the ESPNICX platform set the vibe of the event – bright, colourful, immersive. There were new areas for everyone – from the pre-school corner with activities for all children and the family to do together, to a funky playlist and a music box to be found in the ESPNIC Hub, to science at the bar, or name the song, all the way to activities and sessions dedicated to the young ESPNIC scientists. All was wrapped in clearly marked catchy and colourful topic streams.

One of the other exciting areas was the Tech Lab, which included a Sim Lab, transport-related sessions, as well as POCUS – sessions which were transmitted live from a hospital. The ESPNIC TV added to the energy and effective knowledge exchange of the online sessions. Using a virtual studio, there were interactive sessions with the audience, that brought back to life the Q&A from in-person meetings, where the delegate could have a face-to-face interaction with the speakers, moderated by a person from the live studio.

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Photo Credit: Kenes Group

The X-factor of Engagement
The event attracted more than 800 participants. The levels of engagement and the energy could be felt online – from the masterclasses prior to the event that was better attended than in-person ones, all the way through social media and the networking area on the platform. The delegates come for the opportunity to learn and were not disappointed, with the high level of speakers and their outstanding talks. The audience also co-created with the ESPNIC organising committee – one such instance was the opening video, created with their help, featuring images from their units and how the last year looked for them. It was one more opportunity for the community to bond and show its strong spirit, no matter the distance.

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Photo Credit: Kenes Group

Through the different formats and the high-production value, ESPNIC delivered on its commitment to share knowledge and improve the quality of paediatric and neonatal intensive care at the European and international level and continues to share the latest trends in the field through the platform in the next few months.