2-Day External Summits

Client Company and Main Contact:

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

ABOUT THE EVENT

These events were 2 day external summits put together by the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation, and hosted and facilitated by the Neolé team which featured different speakers and scientists from all over the world. These annual events were formatted to begin with the presenters speaking for 15 minutes each, then brought them together into a panel discussion. After the discussion, a Q&A session was facilitated between the speakers and small groups of participants. Each speaker went to a breakout room with a moderator, and opened the floor to discussion for half an hour. The group was then brought back together for final comments, thank yous, and good-byes.

CHALLENGE

One challenge we ran into was how to get people excited to register for a virtual event, and not just assume that it would be boring and unengaging.

The biggest challenge for this event, however, was the amount of preparation and help that the speakers needed to prepare their presentations, as they all had differing levels of experience presenting virtually.

One challenge we ran into was how to get people excited to register for a virtual event, and not just assume that it would be boring and unengaging.

The biggest challenge for this event, however, was the amount of preparation and help that the speakers needed to prepare their presentations, as they all had differing levels of experience presenting virtually.

SOLUTION

In order to generate interest around the events, we made sure that we created run-of-shows that were engaging, and included a participatory and engaging Q&A session. Since the events weren’t simply someone talking out of a screen, and had more interesting aspects than just listening to a speaker, we found that the participants were excited for the events.

In order to help the speakers of the events feel comfortable and prepared, we took a two-pronged approach:

The first thing we did was to host office hours throughout the time before the events.

These were set times where presenters could come troubleshoot, familiarize themselves and practice with the new technologies they were learning, and prepare themselves for the meeting. We helped them with figuring out computer settings, how to present slides, going through cues and what to expect at the event, as well as how to prepare their lighting, background, and presentations. This helped everyone to feel more at ease about the upcoming events. We also kept backups of all the presenter’s slides so that if one of their tech components glitched during an event, the show could go on.

The second thing we did was host run-throughs and rehearsal calls with the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation team as well as the different presenters.

Run-throughs centralized information around the live session and made sure that everyone was on the same page, and rehearsals practiced the events as they would be run so everyone knew what to expect. We also created detailed run-of-shows (kind of like an agenda, but more robust) which we coordinated with the client’s MC’s on to execute.

RESULTS

As a result of working together, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation were able to carry on with their summits and symposiums as they have in previous years, despite never having done them virtually before. The client actually found that they had more people participating in the events than in previous years because it was easier for their international audiences to connect online.

“Thank you so much for partnering with us on Voices of Progress [State of the Nation]. With a last-minute pivot from a different platform, your team helped to guide us and feel more confident that we could still create a unique and special event through Zoom. And your production and support throughout the event last night was very helpful, so that we could concentrate more on the content and the donors' experience.”
Rhondell Domilici
Senior Director, National Advancement & Volunteer Engagement, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
KEY STATS

These events range from 60-120 people

Breakout sessions ranging from 3-10 breakout rooms

Average of 20 presenters at each event

Hosted 4 formal research summits in 2020 for this client

Sol Santos-Pyne Chief Innovator and Prototype Evaluator. He is always ready to help design, paint, cut and install. Sol will show you what’s possible and will also try the impossible. He is the bravest monkey of all.

Ayla Larzabal Zavitz Artist-in-Residence and Director of the Safety Patrol. She makes sure that everyone is following the rules and having fun at the same time. She is the time-keeper and turn-taking monitor. She helps paint the wood for the monkey bars and will give you great advice on the best accessories.

Beto Santos-Pyne Video Producer and Editor as well as a Reliable Helper during heavy installations. When he is not building intricate systems in Minecraft he is the top ranking swinger on the monkey bars. 

Mateo Larzabal Zavitz is our Media Relations Expert and Installation Helper. Mateo knows what’s cool and what’s not cool. He helps us maintain a realistic outlook on the world and stay up to date on the latest movies and video games.

Matias Larzabal Designer and Lead Installer. Matias has more than 20 years of experience working in construction, 14 years of experience as a dad, 11 years of experience as an uncle, 10 years as a helpful Canadian neighbour and handy-man, and a lifetime of experience as a monkey. Matias is also an artist with a unique upbringing. You can learn more about him and his art on his gallery.

Ginny Santos Monkey Supervisor, Visionary and Managing Director. Ginny is a nutrition coach and entrepreneur who is always looking for ways of involving children in creative thinking and problem solving. You can learn more about Ginny’s other work on NeOle Coaching.