The 10th Jubilee Congress of Interventional Cardiology was one of the most iconic events for the past year. The work, time and effort our team put in the project resulted in an outstanding performance and a flawlessly run medical congress. It brought the participants unforgettable moments and valuable experience.
Although the congress was only three days long, the preparation took us a year. The work beforehand was divided in 3 categories:
- Working with organizational committee: the most important aspect of the beginning of an event organization is to understand the needs and wants of the client. This congress was no different. There were numerous meetings held with the committee to discuss what type of event will it be (in-person, hybrid or online), the programme, number of participants, budget, design of merchandize and website, etc. The location choice was made by the President of the Association- Assc. prof. Vassil Velchev, who wanted to invite his colleagues to his hometown of Burgas. Despite our teams’ suggestions of alternative locations, our first priority is the client’s wish, even if this costs us more workload.
- Working with subcontractors: the process of organizing an event depends heavily on the connections with various subcontractors. The wider the circle of partners, the more variety is offered to the client. For the national congress, we contacted several hotels, technical equipment companies, catering, advertising, branding, photography and video services, delegate kits, prize production, entertainment programs, etc. These are only a small portion of the stakeholders involved in the process, as each aspect requires thorough research and information exchange with the different companies.
- Working with lectors, participants and sponsors: one of the main reasons associations choose an event-organizing company to coordinate their congress is registration of participants. We work with our own system for online registration and payment of fees. Participants have the opportunity to choose features they want included like participation, accommodation, travel services and pay for them with a few clicks. This optimizes their experience right from the event application. The lecturers are given special attention, especially in the case of a hybrid event. For the ones participating online we ought to record the presentation, test their internet connection and make sure that all of the technical aspects are working properly. Recruiting sponsors and exhibitioners is of utmost importance as well. They are a different category of participant, and many aspects of an event depend on them, so we take special care.
When preparing in advance, one should think 3 moves ahead and always anticipate the most challenging circumstances. There are constant variables and our team needs to be alert and prepared to respond in crisis situations. No matter how meticulous is our planning, things can always turn upside down for reasons beyond our control.
Event coordination does not end with the preliminary preparations. The focal part starts when the congress begins. In order for it to go smoothly, our team had to harness all of our professionalism. The aspects on which we can divide the work during the congress are:
- Location: as already mentioned, the event took place at several main points. The working halls were located in the International Congress Centre and the accommodation was arranged in three hotels: Primoretz*****, Bulgaria**** and SAC Marina***. This allowed participants to choose an accommodation category that met their criteria and added flexibility and variety. All three hotels were within walking distance of the venue. As the event was a hybrid, the required halls were also three: the plenary hall- Foros, the exhibition hall- Chernomorie and an additional streaming hall- Burgas. Due to the pandemic, our team had to monitor and direct the participants to move and sit according to the appropriate measures.
2.Technicians: during hybrid events the technicians are one of the most important subcontractors. Hiring technical equipment is necessary even for a regular congress, while in the case of a hybrid type the expenses rise, as there is an entire team of technicians needed. There are countless tasks that only professionals can cross out and our job is to find the best ones available. At the interventional congress we worked with “Special Events Group” who have always demonstrated quality and expertize in their performance. Their arrival at the location had to be 2 days earlier, as the equipment had to be arranged and placed at the respective halls. There were also technical repetitions and rearrangements. The congress was broadcasted on a streaming platform created by our team. SEG were taking care of the smooth transitions during the programme, the Zoom meetings and the live discussions of online lecturers. They also had the task to follow the schedule precisely and load the pre-recorded presentations on time. A colleague from our team was making sure that everything was moving according to plan and if there were unexpected changes in the programme. Thanks to their professionalism the online participants had the opportunity to experience the congress as if they were in-person.
3. Catering: food is an inseparable part of people’s positive experience, so our team ensured that the catering was of best quality when it comes to tastefulness and professional service. The company we chose to work with is called “Dock 5” and this was our first time working with them, but certainly will not be the last one. Their service was remarkable, the food delicious and choice of menu remarkable. They were in charge of the lunch and coffee breaks for the participants and our team. Dinners were special, especially the gala dinner celebrating the 10th anniversary of the congress. The previous two days we organized special dinners for the lecturers at restaurant Neptune and the restaurant of hotel Primoretz.
4. Social activities: for recreational activities outside the scientific programme of the congress, our team had organized a trip with a boat to the island of St. Anastasia. In the morning of 3rd October around 10 o-clock we departed for the island from the port. The tour guide we hired explained thoroughly the history of the destination. On the island we met the curator, had breakfast and headed back to town. It turned out to be a lovely trip, however, beforehand our team was extremely uncertain whether the circumstances will be fortunate for us. This originated from the weather forecast which was changing every day, with the chance of rain always lurking. That is why, we had prepared a plan B for a trip to the fishing village of Chengene Skele with busses.
5. Content of the event: 10th Jubilee Congress had a valuable and dynamic programme. There were plenty of intriguing sessions, including training of future cardiologists, debates between the greatest professionals in the field, poster and nursing sessions, exhibitions, recordings pf real cases in the operating room and an award ceremony of the best clinical and poster. Two prized were awarded for each category. Our team had the task to monitor and coordinate the sessions. An added value that we included in the event was joining a charity cause to raise funds for the Children’s Heart Association. Our contribution to the association made the convention attendees socially engaged and aided the overall experience.