3DMedNet convened members of the exciting 3D printing in medicine industry for the first time, by providing an online space for sharing knowledge, connecting and collaborating. In the wake of the success of the online community, they identified an opportunity to launch a live dedicated event for this audience: 3DMedLIVE.
3DMedNet are part of Future Science Group, who we featured in a case study earlier this year, looking at how they used online communities to diversify revenue streams with sponsorship and advertising. 3DMedNet have taken this to the next level and added a live event series to their offering.
The online community itself was crucial in generating engagement and excitement for the event, to ensure this time-poor audience would join them in the leap from online to in-person engagement. It also gave the event legitimacy to speakers, sponsors and attendees, and was a key offering in sponsorship deals.
Editor Georgi Makin was kind enough to take time out at the event to explain to us the various ways the online community was so important for its success - and you can download the full 3DMedLIVE case study here.
How 3DMedNet used their community to drive event attendance
The online community supported sign-ups in several innovative ways:
1. An event content hub
A dedicated ‘3DMedLIVE’ room provided a hub for event updates, exclusive speaker content and video interviews. Pre-event content gave context and teased information around the sessions. As Georgi Makin, Editor, explains, “Pre-talk editorials like, ‘Why does this matter? Why should you care about the fact that you can 3D print a holder for a probe for a heart? What’s the problem?’ Then you come to the event to find out the solution.”
2. A behind-the-scenes look
The community members were given insight into every stage of the event coming to fruition. The advisory board was displayed so that members could see and understand the expert minds that were curating the agenda. The event itself was given its own member profile, giving attendees a direct route to engage directly. All of this helped members understand and feel invested in the event, helping to drive sign ups.
3. Igniting the conversation
The 3DMedLIVE room provided attendees with a space to meet and share their thoughts beforehand. Room members could put forward questions to be answered at the event, simultaneously informing event content, and providing an opportunity to engage in the conversation with fellow attendees before, during and after the event.
The event saw 167 attendees, with 4 exhibitors and 15 media partners. An incredible success for an inaugural event.
The audience was incredibly engaged, both with the event content as well as fellow attendees. There was no indication that this was the first time this community had met in person. Feedback on the agenda was hugely positive, and 93% of event attendees said that they would recommend the event to a colleague.
The role now for the community is continuing the momentum created by the event, as put perfectly by Georgi.
We can persuade people to keep engaging with us, whether that’s online, through subscriptions, and maintaining that connection so that we can then use that to base future events.