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How We Relocated an Investigator Meeting During a Medical Outbreak

Solving the puzzle for emergency meetings - Miller Tanner Associates

A lot goes into planning a meeting. It requires organization and preparation, and the simultaneous turning of many different screws to successfully put the plan in motion.

And yet even the best-laid plans can be derailed by the unpredictable.

That was the case for one of our clients, who had to consider canceling their event after the sudden emergence of a public health crisis.

Fortunately, for every incredible meeting challenge, there’s usually an equally incredible solution to overcome it.

Here’s the story of how we helped a client work around a health scare to plan a successful hybrid meeting in one week.

Challenge: Meeting Attendance Threatened by a Public Health Crisis

One of our clients was planning an APAC (Asia Pacific) meeting in Seoul, South Korea.

Within weeks of signing the hotel and meeting contracts, the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic—a viral respiratory illness—peaked and many hospitals in South Korea were closed for decontamination.

Both the site attendees and the corporate attendees were reluctant to attend since there was not a full understating of if/when the outbreak would be contained.

In addition, many investigators and study coordinators invited to the meeting were prohibited from traveling out of the country.

This created some major barriers to holding the meeting as planned.

Seeing no other alternative, the client requested a postponement/cancellation of the meeting.

Solution: Hybrid Event Connecting Attendees in Two Countries

As an alternative to canceling the meeting, we quickly mobilized to offer a hybrid solution that would enable the client to proceed with the meeting—while also providing a feeling of comfort and safety for all attendees.

Utilizing our strong hotel contacts, we were able to negotiate with the hotel in Seoul to receive a 100% refund and void the original hotel contract. This freed up the original funds to be applied to the new strategy.

The APAC meeting was relocated to Hong Kong as the main meeting site, and we also secured an additional space in Seoul for a small satellite meeting.

During the day of the event, 80% of the meeting in Hong Kong was webcast to the meeting in Seoul. The remainder of the Seoul meeting content was provided via local corporate representatives.

As a result of these planning efforts, we were able to accomplish the goal of training all the sites/countries involved in the study while overcoming the travel challenges created by a serious public health crisis.

Overcoming Location and Attendance Challenges by Uniting Multiple Sites

When it comes to planning meetings, sometimes the unpredictable happens.

That’s why it’s valuable to have a few different options available via face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid (combination) meeting solutions.

In the case above, creating a hybrid event provided the flexibility the client needed to help investigators, coordinators and attendees overcome the obstacles of multiple locations to experience essentially the same event and receive the same training.

That’s the brilliance of hybrid events. They enable you to combine the benefits of face-to-face meetings with the convenience of virtual solutions to reach people across different countries and sites.

Whenever you’re facing attendance or location challenges—for whatever reason—hybrid meetings can offer an ideal solution.

Need help putting together an event that people can attend both live and virtually? Talk to Miller Tanner today.