COVID-19 and your conference management: We’re here to help

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The next few months are going to be challenging times for conference planners. Anyone organising an event is trying to make plans in the face of unprecedented uncertainty and it's very hard to know what to do.

If your conference is due to take place from September onwards, there is probably no need to make any snap decision, and the situation can be reviewed further down the line. If, however, your event is due to take place in the next few months, other than cancel, you have two options, and we are on hand to help minimise the impact on your event, and ensure its successful continuation.

Option 1 - Run your academic conference virtually

If you wish to continue with your event and decide to head down this route, there are several options. You will have already collected, reviewed and possibly accepted your abstracts online, so why not just carry on and run your conference remotely?

There are many apps, including the very reliable, cost-effective and easy-to-use Zoom, perfect for webinars and live conferencing, along with virtual conference providers that offer a one-stop shop for hosting your event entirely online, such as vFairs and On24. These offer a range of tools that can facilitate webinars, multimedia and interactive content and even virtual exhibitor booths. But what if you just don’t have the resources, and simply the funds, to set this up in time for your conference?

How can Oxford Abstracts help?

Take a look at our Conference Program and Advanced Conference Program, available with our Gold and Platinum Packages, along with a range of other tools including Delegate Registration and some advanced admin features. Fully integrated with abstracts, the programs can incorporate a range of multimedia, and are compatible with PC, Mac, tablets and phones.

With the Advanced version, you get a range of extra features including full colour coding, the facility to add files and extra information, a bookings table, and a secure code feature so you can limit access to the program’s content, if you require.

Share the online program with your delegates and they can follow the sessions and read the abstracts remotely, and view any associated media. Simply click on the session and watch pre-recorded presentations, or take part in live webinars.

Click here to see this in action, or contact us to set up a free trial.

Option 2. Postpone your conference to a later date.

This can be a challenge if you have already collected and graded the abstracts, and now you need to reschedule several months down the line.

First of all, you can be reassured that postponing your conference will not incur any extra subscription charges. When you purchase any of our packages, the software is available for the life of the conference, regardless of when you started collecting abstracts. So, whether you postpone until the end of the year, or even the end of 2021, all your data will be retained. But, obviously, postponing your conference will bring with it other issues, not least potential updates and modifications to collected abstracts.

Some authors will want to submit new abstracts, withdraw current submissions, and others may want to modify previously submitted abstracts. So how do you coordinate and organise all of this?

How can Oxford Abstracts help?

The Oxford Abstracts Multistage module provides the tools to manage this process, and more. Simply add on a new stage for the postponed conference, then contact authors that have already submitted and offer them the choice of confirming submission for the new conference, or amending / withdrawing their abstracts. At the same time you can collect new abstracts. You have complete control over the whole process and can manage the two work streams separately. Contact our support team for more information on how to set this up for your event.

Going forward, making a decision isn’t going to be easy but whichever route you choose, we are here to guide and support you. We work remotely, so be assured that this will not change throughout these unprecedented times.

Our abstract management software is super-flexible so it is ideally suited to dealing with unexpected events. We’re proactive when it comes to responding to client needs and committed to customer care so that we can continue to help our clients with abstract management in an increasingly complicated world.