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Case study: How we adapted our conference research to a virtual setting to measure performance and reactions

Virtual conference researchThe challenge
In 2020, due to the pandemic, several key medical conferences went virtual and offered a complete digital experience which constituted a novel challenge for the pharmaceutical industry. Our client was presenting clinical trial data for their cardiovascular product and were also exhibiting a virtual booth at the ESC (European Society of Cardiology) Congress 2020 – The digital Experience. They wanted to understand reactions to and impact of their data as well as perceptions of the digital experience in general and to their digital presence at the conference specifically. The research set-up required a vast amount of flexibility as the format of the congress was only decided by ESC on short notice which impacted our research design.

The solution
We adapted our proprietary ConferenceLive solution which is typically conducted via a mobile app to capture in-the-moment feedback and instead conducted two waves of online research: one, immediately after the ‘live’ conference weekend and again approximately 3 weeks later before the ESC congress content migrated to a closed platform. The online methodology took into account opportunity for attendees to view all sessions either live or on demand throughout a month and ensured that we included respondents with different viewing habits. 

We invited a total of 240 cardiologists from the EU to evaluate a range of key presentations such as Industry live and Q&A sessions or eposters; reactions to virtual booths as well as general perceptions and performance of key pharmaceutical players in the cardiovascular area. In addition, we asked some questions about physicians’ views of the digital format, their usage/consumption patterns of the congress content as well as preferences for future conference formats.

The outcomes
Our client was able to understand reactions to their data, how it might affect intention to prescribe their product in the future as well as additional impact of their conference activities on perceptions of the company compared to competitors in the area of cardiology. We provided feedback on cardiologists’ receptiveness of a virtual or hybrid conference solution in the future and were also able to deliver insights into how valuable physicians found the different digital activities to help shape our client’s future virtual conference presence. 

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