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Nordic Pharma Event

Case Study: Nordic pharma event

QAV held The Nordic Pharma Event for Open Health on 17 November 2020 via True Hybrid, an online and live broadcast for audiences and presenters.

At relatively short notice QAV was contacted by an existing client, Open Health, a leading medical communications agency, and asked to deliver a region-specific live broadcast event for a major pharmaceutical company. In light of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the pharma company had to convert a key annual conference from live to digital and needed technical expertise to enable them to do so.

When initially approached, QAV’s first thoughts were around how to deliver the programme successfully. They questioned the viability of travelling to another country in the midst of a global pandemic and how the team would be able to work effectively whilst ensuring compliance with shifting travel guidelines across Europe. QAV’s own cameraman and producer were consulted to ensure they were comfortable undertaking the work, and they would be able to adhere to safety guidelines throughout. They were eager to go.

From the outset, the event posed a number of highly technical and logistical challenges. With the unstable backdrop and fluctuating international Covid-19 guidelines, the UK team realised from the brief they received that they would need to travel to Sweden to film the chairman live on location in order to ensure he was presented to the highest standard.  Three other presenters joined the event from Sweden, Canada and Australia via their devices.  

A few days prior to the event, the speakers from Canada, Australia and Sweden were given technical briefings and an online demonstration to ensure they were familiar with the technology that was to be used and to resolve any local infrastructure hitches in advance of the live broadcast.

In order to be on site well in advance of the event, and after checking flight statuses with multiple airlines, the UK QAV crew flew into Sweden two days early. Arriving on the Sunday evening, the hotel was shut, but had kindly left two keys on the reception desk for the crew to access their rooms and provided them with instructions on where they could get a hot meal, reiterating the local Covid-19 restrictions.

With the crew already on site, it transpired that the chairman had been advised to avoid any kind of physical contact whatsoever. The pre-registered live audience at the event were moved to a separate room, and the QAV crew on site worked with the chairman – the lynchpin in the event – to find the best possible way of presenting him within this unforeseen restriction. A number of alternative set-ups were proposed, including the chairman using his own webcam and fixed camera unmanned camera shots. It was finally agreed that it would be acceptable to all concerned for the cameraman in full PPE to work alone in the room with the chairman.

As with all events, the QAV team worked to anticipate any issues that could arise and resolved them before they become a problem. With only virtual communication between QAV, Open Health and their client, the organisers and presenters relied on QAV to ensure the smooth running of the event. A number of contingency plans were put in place, to ensure event delivery. These included having a Scandinavian film crew on standby in case any further travel restrictions were implemented. Fortunately, they were not needed. 

Following an introduction from the chairman and subsequent delivery of the presentations, the conference was concluded with a panel discussion between the four parties in each location answering submitted questions from the online and live audiences.

The event was produced and directed from one of QAV’s studios at their HQ, with all the content assets being sent back and broadcast out to Nordic-based live audience at the event, and in homes and offices around the region. The individual meeting assets were also recorded at the studio and the subsequent edited programme was created for an on-demand viewing for both those in attendance and a wider audience.

The 90 minute event was a success for the client who was delighted with the seamless running of the conference, and for the audience who watched a smooth and engaging event. On their return to the UK following the filming and broadcasting of the event, the onsite crew will remain quarantined for two weeks.

Tasha Hoare of Open Health said: “I just want to say thank you for all your support on the Swedish [pharmaceutical company] meeting and for being so flexible. It definitely made us feel a lot calmer regarding the complications with Covid-19 and all the backup solutions were great! Also, a big thank you to those who now need to quarantine.”