Getting the Most from 45 Speakers in a Virtual Research Symposium

Fall 2020 & 2021


Almost 150 participants

45 speakers total

Quickshot 5-minute presentations

Wine and cheese reception

Moderated breakouts


This 2 day, high-level Research Symposium brought together researchers to share their research, connect and engage in critical discussion. Previously, this was an in-person event, but our team worked with this client for 2 years to manage the registration, support and logistics for the approximately 150 participant event annually. The Research Symposium combined plenary sessions, panel discussions, wine & cheese receptions to meet editors (only in 2020), funders and career development experts, and “Quickshots” which were 5-minute presentations on research initiatives in several moderated breakout rooms.


Working with the client to design and manage a virtual agenda and the logistics for 45 speakers in a 2-day event. Half of the presenters were funders, keynote speakers, and regular presenters. The other half were selected through a call for abstracts for the “Quickshots” portion of the event. Speakers were geographically dispersed across different time zones, making rehearsals and organizing logistics more cumbersome.


We set up the registration so that participants had to indicate if they were speakers. Using this, we customized complex layers of registration that helped the client to keep track of different kinds and types of attendees and presenters. 

For the event, we had a mix of traditional presentations, as well as a 2-hour Quickshots session at the end of the first day where presenters were organized into breakout rooms for short presentations and Q&A. Participants could choose which breakout session to attend in advance, so we were able to coordinate time zones and rehearsals to minimize logistical challenges and ensure everyone was directed to the right breakout. 


We were able to help the client execute on two seamless 2-day virtual Research Symposiums with a high-degree of speaker engagement in each event. Planning ahead, and working closely with the client on both the design of the agenda and the logistics management of registration enabled us to produce a highly successful event. This work directly contributed to future projects with the client.



Tel. 416-659-9534


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