8 October 2020
Nine years ago this event started as an initiative of Nutrition Alive (Voeding Leeft), a group of health practitioners with a strong interest in the effects of natural food and an active lifestyle on health. They organized a conference that now has evolved into the Health & Lifestyle (Arts en Leefstijl) Week, an annual gathering.
Normally the annual conference would be organized as a ‘congress day’ in exhibition centre Jaarbeurs, with a range of seminars and exhibitors. But in this New Normal the organizers decided to go digital and invite their usual visitors to join a virtual conference. On weekdays they could visit evening webinars. On Friday participants were welcomed to watch a roundtable talkshow in the bright environment of a rooftop greenhouse.
Such an online event is maybe less personal than a traditional gathering, but it has the advantage that health professionals do not need to travel. They can decide to follow several webinars on different weekdays, from work or home. To promote higher engagement and interaction between participants, the organizers facilitated chat opportunities, roundtables and network carousels. Such a carousel is like speed dating. Participants get two minutes time to get acquainted. It proved to be a popular networking tool during the week.
These network facilities are built-in the virtual event platform that DDG recommended for this digital get-together. At DDG we have tried and tested several platforms at previous events, because we know visitor participation adds to the total experience.
Another reason to use such a platform is the exhibition space where sponsors can open virtual booths and demonstrate what they have to offer. This facility was used to give sponsors of the Health & Lifestyle Week their own virtual booth, where they could share info, do demo’s and chat with visitors.
The event organizers already had experience in setting-up a conference, working with several speakers from different backgrounds, inviting target groups and dealing with visitors. But the whole extra technical layer that is required for an online event was something they wanted assistance with. So that is why DDG was asked to get involved.
At DDG, we are event organizers ourselves, so we know pretty well what is needed when. And there is this intrinsic eye for detail. We have run many online events with AV-experts and IT-suppliers, which gives us the capability to elevate such an event into the cloud effectively. DDG is also aware that close collaboration in a positive spirit is essential to create an event experience for all, as confirmed by Chairman Iris de Vries. “We have worked intensively for two months with Judith Visser and Judit Peters. They were the operational link between more than 40 speakers and 35 exhibitors and the online platform. Judith and Judit are very customer-focused, solution-oriented and stress-resistant. Both remain calm and very professional even under high pressure. We have worked very well together and also received lots of positive feedback from our conference partners. Very well done!”
So how did this all add-up? The 2020 online edition of this Health & Lifestyle Week had some 850 participants that attended a majority of 33 presentations. The event counted 40 sponsors and 35 speakers. In the previous years this conference had some 800 participants.
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