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This year‘s St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference (SG-BCC) proved how a state-of-the-art conference always has the potential for further development. Due to the pandemic, the format had to be adapted. We took this chance to update the conference to a new high. How did we as a PCO achieve this? The following case study will explore another chapter in our quest of how to add spice to the monotone and isolated digital world of the pandemic.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines umami as “a strong taste that is not sweet, sour, salty, or bitter. It is often referred to as the fifth taste.” Umami is nothing as such new but appears to be the trend to make the culinary experiences richer. We borrowed the concept for our congresses:

Our team just got a new addition. We're excited to introduce our new colleague, Christa!

Over 2,000 participants joined this year’s Austrian vaccination day online. That’s more than three times the number of previous years and shows the current relevance of the topic around the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. For us it was a day that also taught us a lot about human communication.

A year ago today no one would have guessed how 2020 would have developed. The pandemic and the related travel and event bans hit the congress industry incredibly hard. Some events got cancelled or postponed others were quickly transformed into full online formats. We are proud of what we have achieved together with our clients.

All areas in the congress world have been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the move to virtual meetings as a consequence has been incredibly challenging.

Organising international events can be an exciting and fulfilling experience, but it also requires a great deal of what is called “cultural competence”. Read on to find out how you can build cultural competence to work more easily with others.

The challenge

How to transfer a two and a half-day Austrian congress — with up to 6 parallel sessions per day, attracting 1,000 participants annually — to an online event? And also, how do you ensure that sponsors and exhibitors feel sufficiently represented?

Finding good speakers is tricky enough. So if they cannot come to your meeting in person, it can sometimes make sense to let them present remotely. Here's how it's done:

In recent months, nearly all major scientific congresses have been cancelled or held virtually. Live congresses are now possible again - yet with restrictions.

No event without gifts. Try green ones for a change.

Recent news has shown that in some countries, such as Austria, COVID-19 restrictions seem to be loosening. In contrast, internationally, when we look at countries like Ireland, things are still being kept on a tightrope.

All you wanted to do was organise an interesting congress, but, as is bound to happen every so often, an emergency interferes with your plans.  In such cases, effective crisis communication can make a real difference.