The annual European CME Forum is a must for anybody working in medical education. The forum brings together like-minded individuals to discuss the challenges faced over the past year, analyse success stories and share best practice. Although forced to move online this year, the organisers did a great job of keeping participants engaged throughout the course of the three-day event. Here are just a few of my top take-aways:
“Don’t write your French essay in English and just translate it”
In other words, don’t take the content for your face-to-face meeting and dump it into an online setting, it just won’t work. Content needs to be carefully considered for the specific audience you are intending to reach, and for the specific format of your online meeting — for example, content for a live panel discussion will vary greatly from that of a workshop.
Education should be outcome-focused: start with the end goal in mind
What are you trying to achieve with your online educational activity? That should be the driving force of any decision you make — from audience to faculty, format to frequency, every step should consider the end goal and be planned accordingly.
A good chair offline can be a lousy chair online
Taking responsibility for the effective running of an online meeting requires a specific skillset. If somebody has been chairing your face-to-face events for many years and always does a great job, don’t assume they can do the same in an online setting. Although many of the skills will be applicable in both settings, a virtual meeting chair also needs to understand the platform they are using and be able to monitor typed questions coming in, collating any similar questions before posing them to the panel or responding themselves.
Online meetings offer an easy opportunity for further content
A lot of virtual meetings are recorded by default these days. That means, as the organiser, you have instant access to a great knowledge base. With minimal additional work from you or the Faculty, you can create supporting materials from the original meetings: an on-demand library of full meetings, bite-size highlight reels, downloadable slide decks and summary reports to name but a few.
What next for medical education?
It was clear from the presentations, workshops, panel meetings and tabletop discussions that virtual meetings are set to continue being an important part of medical education. Although certainly not a replacement for all face-to-face events, we need to continue to embrace the new technologies that are being developed, whilst remaining aware of “zoom-fatigue” and that learners are often time-poor. It is important we provide the right education in an engaging, accessible and innovative way.
The Corpus has been running first-class online medical education meetings since 2014 and is continuing to evolve and develop both our programmes and our meeting platform to meet the ever-changing needs of physicians around the world. Our expertise, stretching far beyond the surge in demand seen this year, helps our clients make the most of their virtual meetings and understand how best to incorporate them into future planning.
For more information about how The Corpus can help you plan for success in 2021 and beyond, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0)20 7428 2903.