The Delft International Conference on Sociohydrology was held as a hybrid event for the first time at the Delft University of Technology. Using Whova’s virtual platform, they shared groundbreaking research on sociohydrology with attendees and speakers around the world.
Experts and practitioners of hydrology, governance, sociology, water economics, and more spoke and participated in the conference. The hybrid options opened the conference up to attendees from all over the world by allowing them to join remotely. Whova’s all-in-one event management online platform ensured the event engaged remote and in-person attendees, while also managing numerous sessions and over 200 speakers.
“[It was like we were] professional organizers, which we are not, we are just academics.”Saket Pande
Interview with the Organizers
About Delft International Conference on Sociohydrology
Held at Delft University of Technology, the Delft International Conference on Sociohydrology was a result of a collaboration between several high profile research, higher education and professional organizations driven by a common ambition to address essential questions and challenges of water sustainability. These included Dutch National Science Foundation (Netherlands), Frontiers in Water journal (Switzerland), Wageningen University (Netherlands), Vienna University of Technology (Austria), WARREDOC (Italy), CNDS (Sweden), NEWAVE (Netherlands), eawag (Switzerland), Netherlands Water Network (KNW) and Panta Rhei research initiative of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (International). In addition, several thought leaders were part of the international organizing committee.
Speakers sparked critical conversations about water injustice, relationships between (and governance of) humans and their water systems, big data and interventions to alleviate water crises through Whova’s live polls and chat options.
- Launch event information online
The organizers needed to display their event information online professionally to attract more attendees. As they didn’t have much experience creating website pages, they wanted a way they could easily generate a web page without coding or design knowledge.
- Engage the audience
It can be easy for speakers to mostly focus on the in-person attendees right in front of them. The organizers wanted to help speakers manage a hybrid audience by providing them with virtual tools to engage in-person and remote attendees.
- Manage speaker information
With over 200 speakers at the conference, the organizers had a lot of information to manage. It can be difficult to coordinate session logistics with speakers through email, so the organizers needed a way to easily gather all the speaker biographies and session details.
- Communicate information with attendees
Coordinating information specified for in-person and remote attendees was a challenge, so the organizers needed a system to direct communications towards each attendee category.
- Network online and in-person
The organizers were concerned about engaging essentially two audience bases. They wanted to create an online space where attendees could have the chance to connect and talk, regardless of their remote or in-person status.
- Share Whova’s expert looking web pages
The organizers easily embedded Whova’s premade agenda web pages into their event website with a single line of code. The organizers could also customize the look and branding colors of the page. Any changes they made in Whova were automatically updated on the web pages.
“The webpages were very easy and convenient and looked very nice.”Saket Pande
The organizers embedded Whova’s webpages onto their event website to provide accessible event information
- Engage the audience with live polls during speaker sessions
Whova’s live polls helped grow audience interactions throughout speaker sessions. Polls created by the speakers or organizers remained under the app’s Resources section, where attendees could view or answer them all in one spot. Speakers could ask important questions on their subject matter while the organizers polled attendees on their overall event experience.
The speakers easily incorporated the discussions into their sessions as in-person and remote attendees answered in real-time.
Attendees could answer live polls during sessions or find them later in the app’s Resources section
- Streamline setting up speaker information with Whova
Whova’s Speaker Center empowered speakers to upload their information via personal links sent by the organizers. The feature reduced the organizer’s workload while also ensuring speaker information was accurate and up to date.
Instead of uploading speakers one by one, the organizers could upload everything at once with Whova’s convenient excel sheets. After they input basic speaker information onto the pre-made Excel sheets, the organizers uploaded the Excel sheets to Whova’s platform to automatically sync their information. The organizer also utilized the Speaker Center to email all or specific speakers important notifications at any point in the event.
- Share information with in-app announcements and documents
The organizers quickly updated attendees about session details or reminded them to complete surveys with Whova’s in-app announcements. The organizers simply selected recipients to include all or specific attendees, speakers, or sponsors to receive these notifications. Any announcements they made remained in the Community Board under the discussion topic “Organizer Announcements” for attendees to access at any point.
Besides communicating with attendees in the app, the organizers uploaded 140 documents onto Whova’s Resources section to view and download. The feature saved paper and provided an all-in-one space for event or session information. The organizers also conveniently kept the app open for six months after the event ended, so attendees had plenty of time to read any information they might have missed during the conference. Whova also tracks attendee document views for organizers to analyze in the post-event report to improve future event information.
All 140 PDFs were easily accessible in the app
- Network through meet-ups and discussions on the Community Board
Attendees chatted and participated in virtual or in-person meet-ups on Whova’s Community Board, an in-app discussion forum designed to help attendees network. Attendees could post discussion topics about industry news or favorite hikes on the board before, during, and after the conference.
The organizers easily generated attendee name badges, complete with a scannable QR code, from the information on their personal profiles. Attendees could also connect with other professionals by searching for their personal profiles in the attendee’s tab and sending a 1:1 message.