In the Face of COVID-19, One Organization Is Using Technology to Meet the Moment
A behind-the-scenes look at the National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s virtual meeting transition.
As the coronavirus swept across the globe, businesses closed their doors, plans were put on hold and events were outright cancelled.
But for the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), shutting down their annual July financial conference was not an option. “Our mission is to promote, protect, and advance the highest quality of healthcare at home,” explains Scott Baum, NAHC’s Senior Director of Meetings. “The information we provide to our members is critical.”
The organization had been hard at work creating content surrounding the big issues facing the industry when the lockdown occurred, and felt a duty to provide COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 guidance to its members. “We decided that it is vital for us to hold the conference,” Baum explains. Here’s how the NAHC is moving forward.
Relying on an all-in-one platform
“Our conference this year is four days: two days of education and general sessions and two days of expo. And we’ll be producing all of that virtually,” says Baum. While Baum notes that in the world of event planning, things seldomly go very perfectly, but his organization was uniquely-positioned for success. “We have been using Personify A2Z Events as our centralized platform since 2015,” he says. Having everything in one place, on one platform, made a very challenging situation much more manageable.
“It is our exhibit sales platform that has been the most beneficial—we’re able to create an interactive floor plan, and on top that, all of the billing is done through them. It also hosts our education content. The faculty are able to create profiles and on the public-facing side, all of our attendees can go through and search information and exhibitors they want to meet.”
For Baum, this all-in-one setup translates to less third-party systems to try to connect, less explaining to users how and where to access information, and less chance for important things to fall through the cracks. “One of the challenges planners face is, say a speaker drops out, you have to remember to change that information in five different places. I don’t have to do that, because it is all in the same database. As soon as something changes, it changes everywhere—on our live website and mobile app.”
Expanding the power of connectivity
Baum and his team didn’t want to just hold some facsimile of their usual conference and expo, they wanted it to be dynamic. “We’ve added a matchmaking suite that collects demographic information on our attendees and exhibitors,” explains Baum. “So instead of exhibitors fishing through the 500 attendees, they’re able to narrow it down to the 25 they really want to connect with. ‘Oh, this person has purchasing authority, has the size agency I’m looking for and they’re interested in my product.’” Since, as Baum notes, no one can wander around a virtual expo, this matchmaking suite will allow exhibitors to communicate directly with attendees to schedule 10-15 appointments, maximizing everybody’s efficiency.
Tech that helps you survive and thrive
From the existing capabilities of Personify’s products, NAHC will also be able to transform the attendee experience for the better. “In most emergency situations, event planners are working to find a ‘make-do’ solution—anything just to get by,” says Baum. “But with these products at our disposal, I feel like we’re going to be able to produce an experience for the attendees, faculty members and exhibitors that is going to be as good—if not better—than what they’d get face to face.”
Personify—We know this challenging time has created new and unique challenges in engaging with members, managing financials and driving your organization forward. Personify is committed to helping you adapt and emerge from COVID-19 or any crisis, more connected and resilient than ever. Our trusted solutions help you manage during and through these times with digital connections, virtual programming, a single source of truth for your data, and peace of mind for your members.