A national nonprofit advocating for persons with ataxia, a degenerative neurological disease, transferred their annual conference fully online for the first time and sought a new roadmap for a more accessible conference in the future.
With the goal of accessibility in mind, JDC curated an easy-to-use web platform with live help services, easily navigable attendee and speaker directories and online games, and a four-day conference with four hours of programming each day.
Opening day included a newcomers’ orientation and a session for the newly diagnosed. Subsequent days featured keynote speakers and a virtual exhibit hall with exhibitor spotlights.
Key throughout the conference were scheduled networking breaks, to facilitate ease of connection for attendees who might be geographically isolated, and support groups for single participants, married participants, and partners and parents of people with ataxia. This culminated in Birds of a Feather sessions on the final day, where people with the same subtype of ataxia were able to speak with each other about their specific experiences and with medical professionals knowledgeable about their condition.
The end-of-conference event included a live DJ who played music and ran games and a dance-off. Attendees even gave impromptu live musical performances.
In light of the success of the 2021 virtual conference, the National Ataxia Foundation has booked JDC Events to plan their 2022 hybrid conference.