The International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization’s 2020 Symposium leveraged community and technology for an interactive event
The International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) held their 2020 ICPHSO International Virtual Symposium at the end of October and followed the current and necessary trend of holding the Symposium virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a smaller event, a cornerstone of the Symposium was maintaining the engagement and networking typically enjoyed at the in-person meeting.
About the Symposium
The 2020 International Symposium focused on making products and the production process more sustainable. Sessions focused on educating and informing attendees about the latest developments in product safety, including policies and legislation affecting the industry. Programming also included discussions about COVID-19, new technologies, risk management, and compliance.
Creating Opportunities to Connect
With its international audience, the Symposium was extended an extra day to give attendees from different time zones the chance to experience the event and network.
“The networking aspect of our meetings is among the most important, and just providing a forum for people within the industry to connect,” said Erin Cole, ICPHSO meeting manager. “ICPHSO members include lawyers, manufacturers, testers, policymakers, and government officials, and the event brings everybody together from all facets of the consumer products industry.”
Another valued aspect of the meeting is the single forum that avoids breaking participants out and segregating attendees from those representing different aspects of the industry.
“Everyone can just pick and choose which sessions they feel are relevant to themselves, or that are interesting and might introduce them to a new area of the industry,” said Cole.
While planning for the International and Regional Symposiums, a member of ICPHSO donated access to their virtual conferencing software to help run the online events. This was a cost-effective way to host the small event in a short timeframe.
Attendees could utilize ICPHSO’s mobile app to ask speakers questions and interact with different polls, which could be set up in different formats. The mobile app also hosted event games that were utilized for trivia. Speakers shared game codes with session attendees to drive attendance and engagement on the app.
Having a global audience requires ICPHSO to engage a translation service company at in-person meetings to ensure a high-quality experience for all attendees. For this year’s virtual event, ICPHSO engaged an online translation service powered by artificial intelligence to translate the event for attendees who needed it. Around 30% of Symposium attendees used the translation service.
By engaging its member base to help with hosting the event, ICPHSO was able to host its highly anticipated Symposium for 200 attendees while still providing the networking and community event attendees and ICPHSO members value.