I want to paraphrase this post by saying that this post is about a challenge my org is facing, a solution I think could work, but that I wanted your thoughts/critiques of it that could help refine the solution. I’m always interested in case studies, I think we can all learn a lot from each other by following [Chatham house rules](https://www.google.com/search?q=chatham+house+rules&rlz=1C1CHBD_en-GBGB859GB859&oq=chatham+hou&aqs=chrome.1.0l3j69i57j0l4.4055j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8) as well.
**The Problem**Firstly its more of a digital marketing problem, and events specific, but I do believe in sharing ideas / learning from others in different disciplines to get ideas that I wouldnt normally hear in my own industry.
* Our organisation is a Not-for-profit with one arm of it revolving around event management of some of the worlds largest medical conferences within a specific discipline.
* Essentially these conferences are for anywhere between 1000 and 4000 delegates (usually clinicians/researchers in the specific discipline) to come, learn the latest research, share clinical best practice, make new connections for new research and develop their understanding.
* COVID-19 makes this near on impossible – we cannot risk such a critical group of people, from throughout Europe/The world, getting the virus and potentially exposing patients or other healthcare professionals to it when they return. As such we are going Digital – this is completely new for us and will be quite interesting.
**My challenge**Delegates gain so much value concentrated down in three days than they do in months of video calls ect, because they can share ideas with peers sitting next to them mid talk, or tell what someone is thinking from seeing their mannerisms and even have little side chats / meetings mid conference. A digital-only meeting hampers this incredibly.
How can I bring these incredibly important elements of a conference to the digital space and be sure that it can be promoted and widely used by the audience in the way that they will find valuable?
*I’ve struggled to find something that fits this ability to ‘split off’ from the main digital stream of the conference because Zoom is somewhat limited in its options.*
**My Proposed Solution**- Using Discord as ‘the platform’ for the conference.- Here people can readily have private conversations with people on the side, keep track of conversations, ask questions, make small subgroups ect ect.- From this as well, the main sessions can be linked out of discord itself for people to watch or readily see are live so they can access the session (many sessions happen in parallel, i.e 3 at the same time in 3 different rooms)
**Challenges to my solution**- Less technology skilled delegates may be put off having to learn a completely new system they never heard of- The UI of discord is around gaming which may confuse delegates / not be appropriate in terms of professionalism and the brand- Can I keep out people who haven’t paid for attending, yet get given the link to join the discord by a peer (i’m not super knowledgeable on discords features and functions)- Will it need significant moderation to ensure smooth running and solving of issues for upwards of 3000 people at the same time.- Is it easy to drive the value of discord in marketing, when RE the first point, people may be put off it from being not skilled in using digital platforms / systems.
Appreciate if anyone has any thoughts or feedback on this, happy to answer any questions people may have or even other platforms that do the same thing and solve some of the challenges.
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