Key Events, a company specialising in event services based in San Francisco, was trusted by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to help with its flagship annual event for Packard Fellows.
The Packard Foundation is a family foundation that provides millions in grants for leaders and institutions. A distinguished highlight of the foundation's work is the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering, whereby some of the most promising early-career scientists and engineers receive $875,000 to pursue their research and explore new frontiers across STEM.
Each year, the Packard Fellows gather at an annual event to share their scientific research, create opportunities for connection and foster collaborations across disciplines.
Due to COVID-19, the annual meeting had to shift - for the first time ever - to a virtual format.
The event, named #OurVirtualCoast, aimed to create the same spirit of connection and collaboration prominent in previous editions of the annual meeting, as well as discuss groundbreaking research at a crucial time for science.
As a trusted event partner, Key Events needed to find a suitable platform for the annual event, going beyond a simple streaming or webinar platform.
Therefore, it went on to look for a dedicated virtual events platform that would both highlight the Fellow's research effectively and create genuine community engagement.
While Key Events surveyed many platforms, InEvent proved to be the best one for the foundation's objectives. Indeed, the platform's full customization capabilities enabled the Packard Foundation to convey its unique identity and steer away from a bland corporate event.
Alongside that, InEvent's user-friendly and intuitive interface made it easy for attendees to navigate seamlessly between pre-produced content, live sessions and Q&As. In that regard, a 'Virtual Coast Library' offered scientists video presentations of each other's work on-demand, thus increasing their reach among the Packard Fellows community.
Additionally, InEvent's networking features - including rich profile information, private chat and one-to-one video conferencing - promoted connections among Packard Fellows and encouraged meaningful conversations between the Fellows and the foundation's staff.
Then, live polling provided the Packard Foundation with valuable insights into attendees profiles and created authentic community interaction, making Fellows feel involved in the occasion. The live polling and interactive chat, coupled with fun group activities such as unboxing of gifts and tastings, contributed to a great shared experience.
Importantly, detailed event analytics allowed an instant monitoring of attendee engagement and a thorough post-event reporting. Key event data included:
In brief, the virtual event attracted over a hundred attendees and enjoyed outstanding levels of participation and engagement, which left the Packard Foundation thrilled. It tackled urgent areas of research including the latest on COVID-19 and approaches to diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia.
The Virtual Lobby with group rooms was a great way to allow for networking in a way that mimics in person meetings all without leaving the platform.Nicole Torres, Event Manager at Key Events