7 tools for running a virtual healthcare conference

Ellen Nelson-Rowe, Aqua Asif, Tze Khiang Tan, Maiar Elhariry, Amanda Godoi, Ed Whittaker, Chloe Chia, Wentin Chen, Andrew Yiu, Harry Carr, Daisy Campen, Jameela Sheikh, Phil McElnay

Video call

As an IVMC team, we’ve worked hard over the past few months to organise virtual events. We have been asked lots about what advice we would give, so decided to get some of it down on paper. In this first of 3 articles we outline our top 7 tools for running a virtual healthcare event.

1. Event Platforms

Hopin

HopIn really recreates a conference in the virtual world! It will allow you to build out your conference stage, break out sessions, networking and expo areas. We used the main stage for our keynote speakers and used its “sessions” functionality for our workshops and research presentation sessions. The networking functionality is particularly great: it randomly matches delegates for a 1:1 video call. It recreates the serendipity of coffee queue conversations using video calls!

Zoom

Great for linear events with less workshops. For smaller conferences (up to 300 participants), there is the possibility of dividing participants into breakout rooms for small-group interaction and discussion. Events can be recorded and/or live streamed to platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and Twitter.

2. Interactivity

Kahoot

Build quizzes and content that will help you to make your breakouts more engaging. Participants who arrive late will also appreciate the option to join so ensure you have the joining code freely available during the session for latecomers. Leaderboard at the end of each question encourages friendly competition. No App download needed. Top tips:

(1) The questions for multiple choice take up to 4 options or you can do true/ false questions. You can set the time to answer each question and points available as well to make it fun.

(2) The host should share their screen so participants can read the questions and then answer on another device such as their phone

(3) There is an option to mute the background music as it can be quite distracting

(4) Having an ice breaker question at the beginning is a fun way to get everyone engaged, but also to check the tech is working. I.e. ‘Marmite love it or hate it?’ ‘Scones cream first or jam first?’

(5) The question length is limited but the option to upload an image can be helpful. If you want MCQ style questions with a vignette just type them in word and screen shot them as an image. Just be sure to extend the timer allowance for the question to give everyone a chance to read it.

Vevox

Another interactive platform for polls and quizzes, and also allows participants to post anonymous questions, giving some people the confidence to do so who wouldn’t otherwise. No app download needed - attendees join on another tab or on their phones using a meeting ID or (automatically generated) QR code. Free to use for leaders and attendees. Possible to integrate into a PowerPoint for a smooth presentation (though this feature only works on Windows currently)

Slack

Slack is a good platform to allow participants to network and chat in different channels that you can set up beforehand. Also a potential platform for team communications - have separate channels for small groups within the team or 1:1 chats, share files, pin important messages, and control your notifications for work-life balance! Slack has some great add ons such as polling and zoom integration that makes collecting feedback, organising tasks and meetings easier.

3. Feedback and Certificates

MedAll

Ok, so we're biased, but MedAll makes feedback and attendee certificates really easy. You can use pre-made feedback forms or design your own. You receive auto-analysed results and can automatically award certificates to delegates/attendees. Its free & easy to use for every healthcare event: conferences, teaching sessions and courses.

As a teacher or speaker you also get a PDF and digital feedback summaries and can send it digitally to your supervisor to review and sign off if that's important to you.

You can choose to request feedback in 1 of 3 ways:

(1) send the feedback form to delegates by pasting their emails into MedAll - it means you can guarantee who is filling in the form as only those who receive an email with a “one time” link can give feedback and get a certificate - ideal when you need to make sure only those who attended can complete the form

(2) paste a link into a chat box on a webinar. Delegates simply click on the link and it takes them to the feedback form. Great for pasting in zoom chat boxes.

(3) create a memorable keyword and flash it up on a powerpoint slide along with your teacher ID. Delegates enter your keyword and teacher ID at feedback.medall.org and it takes them right to your feedback form - this is better for face to face events

Attendees are offered an attendance certificate automatically after completing the feedback form and if they are a MedAll user it can automatically store and categorize their certificate in their MedAll portfolio.

You can get a free account right here.

4. Research Posters

Google Drive

We bolted a few tools together to create a smart database to host e-posters. It can be hard to do this and takes a lot of groundwork, but simple solutions include hosting files simply and easily in a Google Drive.

Finally a healthcare portfolio built around you.

MedAll helps you collect evidence for your appraisal. We help you organise, store and reflect on all of your evidence (e.g. certificates and documents) workplace based assessments, multi-source feedback and teaching feedback - in one place, forever.

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