Leading independent optician association, SightCare has celebrated the successful conclusion of its first virtual conference.
The annual two-day flagship conference, which took place 28 February – 1 March 2021, was switched to a virtual format as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions and, with the support of VenuIQ, provided attendees with a fully immersive experience.
The virtual event enabled over 600 like-minded independent opticians and trade suppliers to come together to network, exchange ideas and strengthen ties within the sector.
With all content, sponsors and keynotes available online, delegates could personalise their agendas, connect with other attendees and get involved with discussions via an online chat function. A ‘Lockdown Heroes’ page was also implemented to champion SightCare members who went above and beyond during the height of the pandemic.
John French, CEO of SightCare, said: “The pandemic has created a variety of challenges for SightCare. We spent the majority of last year unsure as to whether our annual conference would go ahead and, as we got closer to 28th February, we realised it was not going to be possible to hold it in person in any capacity, so we decided to take it virtual.
“Running a virtual event for the first time felt like a risk, but we were delighted with how it went. The technical support we received from VenuIQ was outstanding and the team were always on hand, both prior to and during the event, to handle any issues our delegates had.
“The feedback we have received from attendees has been very positive, and the turnout and engagement was far more than we expected. The conference has opened our eyes to the possibility of having a virtual element to our events going forward, even when we can meet with our delegates in person.”
Oliver Rowe, co-founder of VenuIQ, said: “The challenge faced by event organisers is providing a virtual event that is still engaging for speakers and attendees, whilst also being beneficial for sponsors.
“This was one of the main things SightCare wanted to maintain throughout the virtual conference, and we were able to do just that by providing a variety of content streams for delegates, as well as the opportunity to network, as this is a big element of the in-person event. We are really pleased that the event was such a success and that delegates benefitted from the experience.”
This is just one of many companies we have helped pivot to a virtual event since the outbreak of COVID-19. Get in touch with the team on +44 0121 796 5800 to find out how we can help your virtual, hybrid, or in-person event.