Case study: How C+D created a virtual event to remember

How did this pharmaceutical publication go about saving its flagship annual event?
Case study: How C+D created a virtual event to remember

Chemist + Druggist (C+D) is a resource for UK pharmacists that dates back over 160 years, known for their regular publications and their annual C+D Awards. Having operated as a weekly print magazine until 2016, C+D is now an online publication, offering the latest news and analysis to the UK’s community pharmacists.

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The problem

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 represented a serious threat. Sponsorship from their flagship in-person event served as a major revenue driver for the organization. With no idea of when things might return to normal, C+D knew they would need to explore alternative means of retaining their sponsors and saving the C+D Awards.

Another problem identified by C+D was the lack of networking opportunities available to many pharmacy professionals, particularly independent pharmacists who typically have little chance to meet their peers outside of events. C+D wanted to create a platform for pharmacists to meet and interact. Pharmacists are also required to undertake a process known as revalidation, which consists of discussing a subject they need greater knowledge of with another pharmacist. C+D were keen to explore ways of making this process easier for people in their industry.

Results

The 2020 C+D Awards were delivered virtually to around 95% of the expected audience size. This was a major success for the organization, proving that their audience were receptive to the change of format and giving cause for optimism regarding future events. 65% of sponsor revenue was retained, a triumph for this new format.

C+D have generated revenue through selling on-demand events hosted on the community. Exhibitors and sponsors are charged to post their own content, creating another revenue stream for the organization. Their first training room, offering paid access to courses on how to use the community, also generated around £25k in revenue, with monthly sponsored training courses generating consistent revenue for the organization.

A year on from the launch of the community, it has generated over £45k of revenue for C+D and helped to secure an additional £15k via the Jobs platform, showing that consolidating their online presence has benefitted all areas of their business.

To learn more about C+D's journey to building a community, download the full case study below.