The Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) was planning their first hybrid annual meeting that would bring thousands of researchers together from across the world.
The event would be anchored by a traditional in-person event in Glasgow, Scotland with live streams and a virtual poster session for participants from 49 countries on 6 continents.
Just 12 weeks before the meeting, due to a series of unfortunate events, the planning team had to find new event software to facilitate the virtual and hybrid components of their event without detracting from the in-person elements.
Migrating all their registration and submission data to a new platform in such a limited time seemed like an impossible task. Randy Gollub, OHBM’s 2022 Council Chair and Beth Slater, OHBM Partnership Engagement & Operations Manager, were in a bind.
The nearly 3,000 participants had already registered for the event and Randy and Beth didn’t want them to have to re-enter their submission data in a new platform. Additionally, last minute registrants needed to be synchronized between Fourwaves and the existing registration system.
They evaluated multiple platforms, but none would meet the needs of OHBM without significant customization.
Randy discovered Fourwaves in a simple Google search. She requested a demo on the Fourwaves website and within 30 minutes she had an appointment scheduled with the Fourwaves team. In record time, the Fourwaves team showcased all of the features, provided a test site, and came up with a solid plan that would meet the needs of OHBM using the Fourwaves API. The OHBM team quickly realized that Fourwaves was the perfect solution.
Beth Slater got to work connecting their existing software to Fourwaves. It didn’t take long to get their hybrid in-person and virtual event set up and ready to host.
The event was a great success. It attracted 2,880 participants, about 2,100 who attended in-person and 800 who attended exclusively virtually. The Fourwaves platform allowed anyone to log in and participate in the poster sessions live and there were also recordings available online for those who missed a session of interest to them.
This was exceptionally helpful considering the event participants were spread out in multiple time zones across the globe.
“I virtually attended the poster sessions every hour that they were open and had excellent experiences every time." - Randy Gollub, OHBM 2022 Council Chair
The post-docs, faculty and students hosting their posters were eager to share their exciting new work, and the quality of the audio video connection was excellent allowing for clear communication all over the world.
“We set up a breakout room to offer tech support. Nobody showed up, because the platform worked the way it was designed to work.” - Randy Gollub, OHBM 2022 Council Chair
Randy acknowledges that “the winds have changed” regarding virtual and hybrid events, and knows that the increased accessibility offered by hybrid events is something that people will continue to rely on in the future.
With that in mind, the OHBM team has decided to continue offering virtual options for their events moving forward, with Fourwaves as their trusted software provider for the upcoming 2023 Annual Meeting.
The Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) is an international society dedicated to advancing the understanding of the anatomical and functional organization of the human brain using neuroimaging. A primary function of the Society is to provide educational forums for the exchange of up-to-the-minute and groundbreaking research across neuroimaging methods and applications.
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