Eventex Awards 2023 Winner: WFPICCS 2022 Virtual World Congress

Event: WFPICCS 2022 Virtual World Congress

Dates: 12 – 16 July, 2022

Location: VirtuOz



The 11th edition of the World Congress of the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies (WFPICCS22) was a fully virtual event that provided a knowledge exchange platform for physicians, researchers, and practitioners in the field of pediatric critical care, while reflecting the look of and celebrating the host destination: Cape Town.

Innovation & Creativity

  • With a unique African flavor, the WFPICCS 2022 Virtual World Congress was tailored to the entire pediatric critical care community, providing a one-of-a-kind platform to advance professional knowledge, enhance skills, share experience, and network with colleagues from around the world.
  • The virtual platform was designed to accurately reflect Cape Town, assuming the Congress center is situated on Table Mountain, overlooking the city of Cape Town. The idea is that participants land at the lobby and “can hop on a cable car to travel to the different parts of the virtual platform,” i.e., navigate between session halls, the networking lounge, etc.
  • The over-arching theme of the Congress was “Ubuntu” – an Inguni term that speaks to the belief that we are defined by our compassion and kindness toward others. In this spirit, the virtual format of the Congress enabled many participants from all over the world to attend the Congress and experience Cape Town, including increased participation from LMIC.

Objectives, Planning & Execution

  • Before the Congress was switched to virtual, it was planned to take place in Cape Town, South Africa. Approximately 6 months prior to the Congress, we were tasked to create a platform that would showcase the city of Cape Town and its culture, both aesthetically and experientially. We identified unique elements from the streets and/or culture of Cape Town and briefed the 3D designer to incorporate them into our virtual platform.
  • Although the main driver of the Congress was the high-quality scientific program, we were afraid that people in the medical field were experiencing Zoom fatigue due to the large volume of virtual conferences taking place since the pandemic began. Thus, it was crucial for us to prepare the virtual platform in a unique and interactive way that celebrated the destination.
  • We created hype around South Africa months before the event took place, which included video campaigns with languages used in the region, showcasing African music and aesthetics.
  • During the Congress, a live concert was held in Cape Town, featuring local musicians playing local melodies. Virtual participants met in one big virtual gala and got to enjoy the concert from the comfort of their living rooms.
  • The Congress offered simultaneous AI translation in over 20 languages to make it even more inclusive and accessible to participants from around the world.
  • Participants could go on a “virtual tour” of Cape Town via the platform and do local sight-seeing in between the scientific sessions. In addition to local attractions, participants could also take virtual tours of PICU facilities and relevant medical centers in Cape Town.
  • A social media photo contest was held to encourage interaction among virtual Congress participants. Contestants were asked to share posts on Twitter centered around the theme of “Ubuntu.” Out of the 300 entries made, 3 were selected as winners and were awarded complimentary registration to the next edition of WFPICCS.
  • WFPICCS 2022 was a green congress in that no printed materials were used. All documents were converted into downloadable PDFs and uploaded on the virtual platform.

Effectiveness & Results

  • Virtual platform carefully designed to reflect the real-life geographical features of Cape Town, such as Table Mountain and views of the city.
  • The platform provided Congress attendees with plenty of opportunities to network virtually, including an interactive map of worldwide participants, general chat rooms, and discussion forums for specific sessions.
  • Total number of WFPICCS 2022 attendees: 1524. Regional breakdown is as follows:
    • Africa – 131 attendees (9%)
    • Asia – 321 attendees (21%)
    • Europe – 283 attendees (19%)
    • Latin America – 203 attendees (13%)
    • Middle East – 134 attendees (9%)
    • North America – 313 attendees (21%)
    • Oceania – 79 attendees (5%)
  • The Congress website received 10,003 page views during the Congress days. Of those visiting the website, 63.6% were new visitors, as compared to 36.4% returning visitors. Indeed, the Congress website welcomed 2,164 new users during the 5-day Congress period.
  • During the Congress days, the #WFPICCS22 hashtag performed exceptionally well on Twitter, receiving 11.136 million impressions across 3,852 tweets in total.
  • WFPICCS’ Twitter audience grew by 722% during the 5-day Congress period. We gained 74 new followers, published 167 posts, gained 126,130 impressions, and got 3,069 engagements

Testimonials from Twitter:

  • Via user @anne_ramelet: “Quite impressed by the live translation #WFPICCS22”
  • Via user @wilkinsonjonny: “I’m blown away by the amazing interactive platform … we can use here at #WFPICCS22 ! It’s almost like being there! This sets the benchmark!
  • Via user @aysen_durak: “I am a senior pediatric resident and I want to be a PICU specialist. This was my first international congress and I had the opportunity to meet a lot of nice people and a lot of good doctor. Thanks to the organizing committee @WFPICCS #WFPICCS22”
  • Via user @HCCNDU: “What a testament to show just how much knowledge, experience and insights we are building here in Africa, and an important reminder of how important is to to share skills – not just across countries, but across continents too! #WFPICCS22 #PICU”
  • Via user @BarneyUoB: “This is why #WFPICCS22 is so phenomenal – #qEEG #neuropicu practices from around the world! High resourced centres learning from less resourced centres from around the world!! (& vice versa!)”