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How to organize a successful science or medical conference?
Conferences are invaluable opportunities for the scientific and medical community to explore new areas of learning, share their research findings and network with their peers. It is not uncommon for scientist or doctors to be called upon to organise a scientific conference or medical symposium, and while the opportunity to share their knowledge with other colleagues is more than welcome, the logistics of organising a large scientific event can sometimes be overwhelming. We would therefore like to give you a few tips to ensure a successful scientific congress or conference.
It’s all about the science.
The quality of the speakers and researchers and the material they present will ensure that your conference goes down in the books as a success. Therefore, it is important that your invitation policy is balanced, for example between young researchers and senior scientists who are leaders in their field. In advance, you can give the invited speakers some guidelines on the material to be covered in their talk. Also make sure you have back-up speakers in case of cancellation. And see if there are good local speakers, or have international speakers dial in: that saves time, travel and accommodation costs.
Select the right location
Scientists, doctors and researchers receive a large number of invitations to conferences, so your event should be more attractive than the competition. When planning a scientific conference that attracts international delegates, it is crucial to choose a location that is easily accessible from all over the world. If the city offers additional cultural and historical interest, this will also make your event stand out. Look for a venue with excellent local transport links and one that has experience in hosting the scientific community: you will need meeting rooms of various sizes, rooms for interactive teaching and enough space for poster presentations. In this age of online science congresses, you can also opt for a hybrid form.
Hybrid scientific or medical congresses
The hybrid form is very suitable for science congresses, it gives (inter)national participants the opportunity to choose between physical presence and online presence. This way the threshold of travelling to a physical event can be lowered. And because of the often-higher attendance, the impact of the congress is greater. Also, by using our online poster module and poster sessions, you increase and extend the opportunities for interaction, knowledge sharing and networking.
Timing is everything
Deciding to attend a scientific conference is rarely a last-minute decision, so give attendees plenty of time by scheduling the meeting well in advance. It is worth doing some research to find out whether participants prefer a conference to be held during the working week or on a long weekend. And also whether full or half days are most practical for local attendees who may want to schedule a lecture or poster presentation around their normal work schedule.
Requesting knowledge on demand increases and extends the impact of your science conference. Use our event platform to share the knowledge within the community of scientists for a long time. This way, the event does not only serve as a source of knowledge and inspiration for a few days, but often for several months.
Provide an attractive programme
Submitting abstracts and abstract handling, poster sessions, all features that are integrated in our event platform and the poster and abstract module. This way you can easily create the programme based on the abstract and poster submissions.
Schedule fewer but more extensive talks than many short ones: then there will be enough time to move from one session to the next without rushing.
Provide plenty of breaks: networking is one of the main benefits of a scientific conference and coffee breaks (offline or online) are the perfect opportunity to learn about others’ ideas and research. Consider coffee stands in the poster presentation area to promote networking opportunities or set up a virtual lobby for this purpose.
Longer breaks are also invaluable and optional cultural activities such as a city tour, a theatre trip or a sports event provide a refreshing break from concentrating on academic matters.
High-quality learning opportunities
The conference industry is highly competitive and it is often difficult for scientists to take time off from their teaching or research programmes. To make your event attractive, you should therefore prioritise high-quality learning opportunities. Make sure your visitors know the topics to be discussed, who will be giving the lectures and what other learning opportunities are available (e.g. videos on demand, podcasts, vlogs, blogs etc).