Gathering Hundreds Together Virtually Amid a Pandemic

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In April 2021, Karna supported a CDC client’s large meeting, which was held online due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

The three-day meeting, which included three plenary and eleven concurrent sessions across the days, was designed for members of a national network of CDC-funded medical and public health institutions to engage with and learn from one another. In partnership with CDC, Karna led all logistical facets of the conference, including creating the project plan, managing the registration portal, developing the marketing materials, , maintaining session materials, managing the meeting platform, providing go-live logistical and technical support, and conducting follow-up efforts, including surveys and evaluation reporting. 

More than 450 people from NIH, CDC, and academic, scientific, student, community, and state and local government organizations registered for the meeting. It was the largest group this program had for this meeting due to the virtual format, which allowed hundreds of people who would have otherwise been unable to attend due to capacity, travel, and time restrictions. In a post-meeting survey, an attendee noted that the online format created a “good opportunity to get more speakers that couldn’t have traveled otherwise.” In contrast, attendees at a similar meeting held in-person in early 2020 included only 115 members of the network and 12 community representatives.

Logistics for this virtual meeting and platform were planned and executed in less than three months. Karna provided project management, communications, and graphic design staff to ensure all key responsibilities were addressed, including branding, marketing, and reporting. The resulting event set the stage for future hybrid meetings that allow in-person and virtual collaboration nationwide. 

“Karna’s support was integral to the success of the meeting. The team worked tirelessly to ensure attendees had a seamless, enjoyable, and productive experience.” 

–CDC Project COR

Karna’s support was led by Leslyn Wong, Sarah Boim, and Jacqui Read. Their efforts resulted in an engaging and meaningful event that facilitated knowledge-sharing and collaboration for hundreds of event attendees.  

Sarah Boim, Public Health Analyst II

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