ESC Congress 2022: integrating creativity and design to optimise the experience of medical congress attendees

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Onsite congress activity is back, reuniting delegates from around the world to share the very latest innovations in their areas of expertise.

The return to meeting in-person has brought with it new scenarios and challenges when designing an event of this type.

With digital congresses, the concern was how to keep delegates engaged with the content on the screen and evoke meaningful networking opportunities. For physical events, the focus is very much on offering delegates a fully integrated experience – where connecting with the content, the people, and the organisation hosting the event is essential.

Now more than ever, it is necessary to create exceptional spaces that evoke an emotional response from the attendees and are integral to the congress experience itself.

70 years of ESC Congress

The annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) is an example of this. For its 70th anniversary, the ESC chose Barcelona as the venue for its first-ever hybrid event, with all major sessions from the congress being broadcast live to thousands of delegates around the world.

The ESC was supported by 4foreverything for the development of some of the common areas and stages of the congress. The design, production and implementation company for events, fairs and congresses based in Madrid, Barcelona and Amsterdam has extensive experience working with important PCOs and associations inside and outside of Spain.

A memorable experience.

This 2022 edition of ESC Congress had a clear objective on the part of the organisation for those attending the physical event: to make the attendee experience more memorable and rewarding than ever.

Without losing sight of this goal, 4foreverything worked closely with the association’s management to define the design of each of the designated zones, 4 in total: Global Community, Research Gateway, ‘The Zone’ and Meeting on the Go.

Different spaces: a common design inspired by the heart.

4foreverything worked on a design that would give continuity to all the spaces in order to create a coherent image.

A common element linked all the main spaces (Research Gateway – reserved for presentations of medical papers and ‘The Zone’ – reserved for holding different conferences). In this case, it was about the lines that represent an electrocardiogram made with giant fabrics hanging from different points of the ceiling that ran throughout these areas.

The Global Community, an area for institutional members exhibiting at the congress, was developed using the haemoglobin structure as a basis for developing the design and distribution of its spaces. This area was designed taking into account graphic elements that represent how this protein transports oxygen to the tissues, through different substructures and a central core.

This space was distributed across different sections, separated by streets and paths made with tiles, with a presentation stage at its epicentre. Each of the sections combined open stands with spacious meeting and networking areas. Everything was designed using the same triangular modules that were used to construct the stands.

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  • The objective of any congress is to foster relationships between attendees, the different exhibitors and participants. For this reason, when designing and planning the spaces great importance was given to the creation of areas where communication was facilitated. In this sense, the designs proposed by 4foreverything allowed attendees to see and experience the entire area at a glance. Strategic zones, such as information or service points, were located in the central areas for better visibility and access for attendees. The creation of open networking or rest areas also facilitated communication between attendees. The designs were produced using natural materials and greenery to make the space attractive and pleasant and to leverage the sustainable positioning of the congress. Networking areas, including a mix of long-stay rest and conversation areas, were created with low modular furniture that visitors could move as they pleased to make seating combinations that worked for them. In short, the design exercise carried out by 4foreverything for ESC Congress 2022 made it possible to respond to the main challenge of the organiser: generating spaces based on a concept that gives personality to the event, and that constructively improves the engagement of those attending it.

The delegates’ experience at the heart of the design

The objective of any congress is to foster relationships between attendees, the different exhibitors and participants.

For this reason, when designing and planning the spaces great importance was given to the creation of areas where communication was facilitated. In this sense, the designs proposed by 4foreverything allowed attendees to see and experience the entire area at a glance.

Strategic zones, such as information or service points, were located in the central areas for better visibility and access for attendees. The creation of open networking or rest areas also facilitated communication between attendees.

The designs were produced using natural materials and greenery to make the space attractive and pleasant and to leverage the sustainable positioning of the congress.

Networking areas, including a mix of long-stay rest and conversation areas, were created with low modular furniture that visitors could move as they pleased to make seating combinations that worked for them.

In short, the design exercise carried out by 4foreverything for ESC Congress 2022 made it possible to respond to the main challenge of the organiser: generating spaces based on a concept that gives personality to the event, and that constructively improves the engagement of those attending it.

Conference & Meetings World is published for the international conference and meetings industry. It tackles the issues facing organisers of international events. The editorial is independent, fresh and news driven, with a global reach.

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