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How to achieve delegate retention for delayed 2020 academic conferences

You've postponed your event. How do you keep attendees engaged?

2020 has been a year of hard choices for academic conferences. When you’ve worked hard to gain delegate engagement and a high profile, it’s essential to keep that vitality.

Find out how the Academic Conference and Events team at the University of Birmingham secured ongoing engagement for the Biomag conference – by pivoting to virtual.

Case Study: Virtual Biomag 2021 Prelude

This biennial international conference focuses on biomagnetism, a field which contributes to developments in cognitive neuroscience, clinical neuroscience and cardiology, as well as the development of software tools and new sensor technology.

The University of Birmingham was looking forward to hosting the 22nd Biomag conference in September 2020, expecting over 500 attendees from across the globe over 6 days.

The Green Heart

The challenge: Covid-19

With limitations on meetings, changing regulations and an international audience to support, the organisers had no choice but to postpone the full conference until 2021.

The organisation of the conference was led by Prof. Ole Jensen, Centre for Human Brain Health UoB and Chair of BioMag2020, and the University’s Academic Conference and Events team.

It was vital that they found a way to maintain the scientific community’s interest.

The solution: a virtual prelude

When you can’t be in there in person, take it virtual.

The team created a half-day webinar on Zoom, with 4 speaker presentations and the opportunity for attendees to ask questions, discussing the content amongst those watching.

Biomag 2020 virtual event

While setting up a Zoom call sounds simple enough, doing so professionally for 500 international participants is a little different.

The Academic Conference and Events Team supported with:

• marketing and registration
• rehearsals for the Chair and speakers, and support for them and attendees with settings and format
• room management
• sharing the recording, and collating post-event feedback

Biomag 2020 Prof Ole Jensen

The outcome: engagement and retention

Feedback was universally positive. The event was scientifically stimulating – and successfully kept the Biomag community engaged and excited for future plans.

“With the great help and support of Louise Walczak from the Academic Conference & Events team at University of Birmingham, we managed to run the virtual event seamlessly. She helped to coordinate the event with 500 registrations, 4 international speakers and 3 chairs. The event allowed us to reconnect with the scientific community; we had excellent presentations followed by discussions engaging the audience.” – Professor Ole Jensen, Chair of BioMag2020 – 21 

The main event is now scheduled for 2021.

Virtual events

Have you had to delay a conference? Retain your hard-won engagement with virtual and hybrid events at the University of Birmingham.

  • Stress-free management from our experienced team
  • Delivery of multi-session virtual or hybrid events
  • Live dial-in speakers, pre-records, webinars and livestreaming
  • Full technical support
  • Branding options to suit your organisation
  • Scalable to fit your requirements

Contact the Academic Conferences and Events team today.

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