GoRemote has worked with large medical congresses (including International Liver Congress – ILC and The European Society for Organ Transplantation Congress – ESOT) to ensure that remote speakers reach their stages prepared and confident for the session. Here we share some of our advice for medical congress event managers.
Create a communications plan ensuring that they get the information they need at the time when they need it. Medical professionals are often very time-poor, so sending them a stack of setting up emails may not be the best solution, as they may not be able to read through all the vital information before their talk. It’s best to keep communications with them clear and concise, so send out a few targeted emails that contain only the information necessary at that time.
Sending emails to hundreds of speakers and awaiting replies can be a laborious process. GoRemote has developed communications plans and tools to address every stage of communication so that all the speakers have the information they need to present and are able to ask questions and have problems solved before the event starts.
You only have to consider the local event time with physical events as all your speakers are there. But for virtual events, all your speakers will be operating from different time zones. When developing your agenda, time zones need to be considered to make sure everyone presents at a time comfortable to them. If its not possible, you might want to offer options to send a pre-recorded presentation so speakers avoid a 3 a.m session.
We’d also strongly recommend sending calendar invitations as part of your communications – just as you would for a meeting – so they have the planned timings and options to decline or move to another slot well in advance. It should contain the URL to join the session, so when it pops up on their computer, they can join in one click – and not have to search their inbox for the information.
A vital part of the communications process is briefing your speakers about the platform and virtual presentations. This can be done either as a slide show, a PDF document, a zoom call, or via a webinar. For large numbers of speakers, we recommend webinars as a way to get information as they can join on mass, or watch on-demand at a time that suits them, and they can see the platform in situ. For smaller numbers, smaller group or 1-2-1 sessions would be more interactive and allows them to ask more questions. Giving them early access to the platform can also be a good idea, as it allows them to play and understand the technology before the event.
Speakers should log into the platform before their talk to be around for final checks and for the team to answer any support questions they have. You should have a team member responsible for ensuring that speakers are logged in, registered and ready to go and have a process in place for those that aren’t signed it yet. Its good to have a bullet-pointed list of final checks, just to make sure nothing is forgotten (i.e. “can you check your computer is plugged into the power supply?”)
Often, things can change at the last minute in the medical world – speakers might not show up for their session or need to delay their talk until later that day. It’s always good to have backup plans and be able to move things around right up until their session, for example a co-chair who can step in if needed.
Also, speakers at hybrid events may switch online if they encounter travel problems or need to stay at work. You must have contingency plans built-in so that you can accommodate speakers who suddenly need to pivot to online.
Your speakers will be doing their talk remotely from hospitals, clinics, offices or homes; they need to be briefed on the right type of kit for remote presentations and have gone through some technical tests before their talk to get everything is set up properly. These tests need to include checking the internet connection, microphones, sound, and correct framing. Hospitals often have network restrictions and firewalls, so make sure the video conferencing tools are white listed and tested. If you can, for the best sound and video encourage your participants to get a ring light and a headset. These two items are relatively cheap but can greatly impact quality.
Testing tech and getting people ready to present is something that GoRemote excels at; we have dedicated virtual stage managers who are in contact with the speaker from early checks and briefings right the way through to their session.
Medical conferences/congress talks are well-attended as their speakers often share ground-breaking research. The attendees often want to ask questions and discuss the report’s findings. With interactive tools that offer polling and Q&A, the attendees can connect with the research and the speaker presenting. The presenter will need to be briefed on these tools to be aware of the interactive element, and the congress will need to have someone on hand moderating the chat and queuing up questions. Sometimes, this works best through an app rather than embedded in the screen, which can distract from the talk – we recommend using dedicated tools like Sli.do for polling and questions.
GoRemote: The medical event specialists
Since 2020, we have supported hundreds of speakers across high-profile medical events. Offering medical professionals the time and help to get ready for the stage can be a time-consuming job. We are here to take the pain out of preparation with a dedicated speaker service that offers a guiding hand through communications and onboarding. We work with you, so you have complete control over the event while maintaining excellent relationships with the speakers:
“We really enjoyed the friendly relationship we have developed with your team. GoRemote’s efficiency and professionalism in delivering a high-quality service that was up to our delegates & Faculty’s expectations did not go unnoticed and was very much valued by all.”
Our experience in developing virtual events for the medical sector has meant that we have developed a framework of tools and processes that uniquely fit the challenges of producing a large medical conference.
“Anyone looking at organising a virtual or hybrid event should work with GoRemote if you want a smooth production!”
Contact our virtual stage managers at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help you achieve seamless and peerless speaker management for your next medical event.