USING ROOOM TO BUILD A COMMUNITY

virtual space for an online event

Together with the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) and the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund (AIM-HI) we hosted a charitable hybrid combo event on October 30 2021 – our first big project in the United States. While the live event took place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., virtual participation was implemented using the rooom eventCloud platform.

Successful with a hybrid format

Due to the pandemic, NFCR did not have an event in 2020. AIM-HI hosted a virtual event but with only little interactions and not enough controls and flexibility using Zoom. They discovered that the virtual format has distinct advantages: flexible timing, broader geographic coverage, and the ability to easily replay the content. However, simple video conferencing solutions could not provide a long-term value.

In 2021, NFCR and AIM-HI wanted to host a combined in-person event and select a platform to engage with their constituents digitally and globally. There were many benefits to providing a hybrid event in 2021. It allowed NFCR and AIM-HI to engage more of their supporter base by making the event accessible to those who have not been able to attend in the past. Secondly, the hosts were able to offer panels with esteemed professionals in the industry by limiting in-person attendance and providing a more covid-safe solution for attendees. As the NFCR is a national organization without city or state chapters, using a hybrid event enabled them to engage and provide value to all of their supporters anywhere in the world.

The rooom eventCloud platform was chosen because its innovative technology allows an always-on experience for virtual attendees and can provide a long-term value compared to Zoom or other webinar providers. The reusable platform with features like an interactive 3D lobby, photo gallery, video wall, and networking made rooom an attractive platform provider.

The right platform is the key to engagement

The event comprised three core elements, each delivering a different message. In addition to a smooth livestream, data security, and reliable support, a key requirement for a successful hybrid format was the opportunity to acquire and accommodate virtual attendees. The hosts wanted to reach a broad target group

We have united multifaceted conditions, topics, audiences, and goals of the hosts on one platform: From sharing new insights on cancer research to generating donations and bringing people and experts back together to facilitate collaborations and strengthen the community. Producing a hybrid event takes double effort in planning and production. Our project management team took effort here including pre-event marketing support.

“rooom took our project on with countless hours and dedication, proving critically needed white-glove service to help us build and execute the most complicated, whole-day packed hybrid program we have ever organized!”

Sujuan Ba, Ph.D., President & CEO NFCR | President & CEO, Co-Founder AIM-HI Accelerator Fund

The highlight of the event was an engaging live stream with leading speakers from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and the Johns Hopkins University, among others. The speakers were very impressed by the implementation and atmosphere of the event. Approximately 100 visitors followed the live program in high video quality, which is now still available on demand.

Another great thing about rooom is that the success of the event is measurable. More than 100 users from the USA, Canada, Europe, and China registered for the virtual event in addition to a similar number of live attendees, which exceeded expectations. Thanks to the hybrid concept, the attendance was doubled! Half of the registered guests revisited the event, and the virtual lobby with interactive content has been visited over 270 times.

 

Lessons learned

The biggest challenge the event organizers encountered was helping the attendees understand and access the platform so that they could participate in the virtual experience. Our team is committed to providing hands-on solutions, so we made this process as clear as possible. We provided a tutorial script for a video introduction and recommended specific email language to share with the constituents.

The organizers learned a lot about improving communication prior to the event between accessing the system and those who registered to attend. Additionally, they learned the more testing that can be done, the better! For a small team with just a little video experience, the hands-on help and guidance from the rooom team was essential in ensuring the event ran smoothly.

To get more donations and acquire new donors, the NFCR team learned to use breaks in the program to get more attention in the future. Lastly, they discovered that the virtual 3D lobby has remarkable future marketing value due to customizable and interactive features. For the promotion of future events, it will be helpful to show more of the lobby and the interactive features in advance. After finding out how powerful and unique the rooom platform is, the hosts would have preferred to communicate that earlier. We will also take these insights into account for the onboarding of new clients.

 

The hybrid future of events

After the official event, NFCR and AIM-HI now have a library of content to pull from and can continue to share and promote their research programs efforts from the voices of industry professionals. The platform will also be reutilized for an upcoming patient seminar series and can serve as a permanent digital expo to enhance branding for both organizations. Lastly, by taking this first step towards a hybrid event strategy the hosts NFCR and AIM-HI can now see the possibilities for future events on a level that once felt out of reach.

“I firmly believe the rooom platform is a powerful platform. Working with rooom taught us a lot about hosting hybrid events and providing a broader reach to engage more supporters.”

Sujuan Ba, Ph.D., President & CEO NFCR | President & CEO, Co-Founder AIM-HI Accelerator Fund

Creating an “oncology metaverse”

The event hosts were able to see how much of an impact and benefit the rooom eventCloud provides and intend to continue exploring all the benefits we have to offer. This makes us both see a clear path to future events utilizing the same tools.

We are proud to support cancer research with our platform and are looking forward to further cooperation. Together we want to develop a successful tool to build a strong community for cancer researchers and cancer patients. Our vision is a persistent digital ecosystem that supports high quality regular events and that is accessible between events to foster communication and community — building the NFCR metaverse to make a difference in modern cancer therapy.

“We see the power of the partnership with rooom to build an ecosystem, an “oncology metaverse” where patients, oncologists, physician-scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders can come together.”

Sujuan Ba, Ph.D., President & CEO NFCR | President & CEO, Co-Founder AIM-HI Accelerator Fund