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The Arizona Imaging & Microanalysis Society (AIMS) is a local professional society in the state of Arizona. It promotes the knowledge of biological, physical and industrial applications of microscopy, imaging and/or microanalysis. It facilitates the free exchange of ideas and information among academic, government and industrial users of these techniques.
AIMS hosts an annual conference every spring. This annual meeting provides a forum for members to discuss research and exchange ideas. It also provides an opportunity for learning about new techniques and concepts.
When COVID-19 forced AIMS to reconsider their in-person annual conference, they started looking for options to host their conference on a virtual platform. AIMS virtual meeting had very simple requirements for their virtual platform. They wanted a platform which:
This is where vFairs swooped in. vFairs not only offered the above, they also opened up new avenues for speaker sessions. Previously a limited number of speakers were invited, with additional costs incurred. With vFairs however, AIMS was able to add remote speakers. Now, they didn’t have to worry about flying anyone in.
Secondly, they benefited instantaneously from increased reach. As word started to spread worldwide, international audiences got interested in learning about how labs in the United States operate.
Thirdly, with vFairs virtual conference, the ability to grab statistics was extremely helpful for AIMS. When vendors had multiple doubts about virtual events, these statistics helped them understand the opportunities that open up with virtual events and exhibit booths for their business.
The first AIMS virtual meeting took place on March 19th, 2021. The event was open to attend for anyone interested in the topic globally. They attracted a number of interested international audiences as well.
The landing page itself hosted a ton of information about the event, from speakers, sponsors, agenda, and FAQs about the event. The AIMS team even added a navigational video to help guide attendees through the event. Their major goal was to host vendors and create a favorable experience for them.
An easily scrollable exhibit hall was created, where individual vendors showcased their products and relevant resources among other useful links. Vendors had completely customized booths, with branded banners and graphics on display. Even the avatars were diverse and were selected by the vendor themselves.
The vibrant lobby displayed various vendors and sponsors for extra visibility. There was also an announcement popup for poster awards, to facilitate attendees.
In addition to this, they had a virtual auditorium where they hosted various speaker sessions. AIMS virtual meeting opted for pre-recorded speaker sessions instead of live. However, the speakers were available to chat for specific hours to facilitate any questions from attendees.
The feature AIMS virtual meeting enjoyed the most was the poster halls. The posters appeared as if they were hanging. Attendees could download a larger version of the posters. Some of the presenters had a complementing recording with the posters, where they described the posters.
With different sponsorship tiers, some sponsors even had posters where they could talk about a new product to get extra exposure and awareness. This was only for those who were high-end sponsors.
Arizona Imaging had a wonderful time working with the vFairs team. Page Baluch recounts her time planning with vFairs “The sales representative from vFairs was super helpful. They helped us split up invoices and even accommodated the numerous changes”.
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