The Nigerian Bar Association held their 61st Annual General Conference as a hybrid event using the Whova event platform. Based in the city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria, the conference reached remarkable levels of attendee and sponsor engagement – its global audience of over 14,000 attendees exchanged nearly 35,000 messages while generating over 1.5 million sponsor impressions.
About the Nigerian Bar Association 61st Annual General Conference
The Nigerian Bar Association is the professional association of all 120,000+ lawyers admitted to the Bar in Nigeria. The members of the NBA work together to protect human rights, the rule of law, and good governance, with their core mission being to wield the law to manifest positive social change.
As the NBA’s flagship event, the Annual General Conference invites NBA members to engage with state representatives, past and present leaders, and industry experts in the interrogation of crucial national issues with the objective of creating solutions together.
- Hosting a world class international hybrid conference
Since the conference was attended internationally, it was important for the sessions and resources to be digitally accessible across different time zones, and just as engaging as the in-person venue.
- Facilitating hybrid engagement
This conference is a huge opportunity for law professionals to connect and learn from each other locally and internationally. The organizers needed to make this engagement opportunity stronger than ever and bridge the gap between those attending online and in-person.
- Organizing many speakers
The one-week conference had a total of over 100 speakers, each with their own content and session details to manage. How could the organizers handle all of this in addition to the rest of the event logistics they were in charge of?
- Maximizing sponsor ROI
With over 20 sponsors counting on the event to provide branding and lead engagement, it was crucial to have several avenues to achieve this for them and ensure their continued support.
- Sparking discussions with the Community Board
Conversations centralized in one convenient page – Whova’s Community Board is the communication hub during events. Virtual attendees contributed to the same conversations as in-person attendees. Integrated Icebreakers and discussion threads provided a gateway for attendee-attendee communication as well as organizer-to-attendee.
The NBA’s General Conference attendees created hundreds of discussion topics and posted over 15,000 messages. Lawyers in their specific niche could find each other in discussion threads, making it easy to share knowledge about their particular field. If attendees wanted to continue the conversation in a more private, direct space, they could always turn to Whova’s 1-1 messaging or even schedule virtual and in-person Meet-ups.
- Engagement-loaded Q&A sessions
The conference’s speakers and panelists used Whova’s Session Q&A feature to engage their audience in real time. Attendees at home and in-person could: 1) give an encouraging thumbs-up on submitted questions they want answered, 2) browse the speakers’ responses to questions, and 3) submit their own questions themselves. Rather than just being talked at, these engagement features helped voice the attendees’ thoughts directly to the speakers, resulting in a genuine exchange of conversation.
Attendees could ask speakers questions throughout the sessions
Attendees could also have in-depth discussions with each other using the session chat sidebar. Those at home and those in Port Harcourt connected despite the physical distance between them, taking part in the same knowledge exchange they both had access to. In-person attendees could access these Session Q&A features on mobile while virtual attendees could access them on desktop, making it easy for them to join the discussion together.
- A library of recorded sessions
The organizers recorded the conference’s sessions and uploaded them directly to the Whova platform for attendees to access. Specific sessions could be found in the conference agenda, while all uploaded videos were available in the app’s Video Gallery. This not only made it easy for attendees in time zones different from Nigeria’s to catch up on sessions, but also helped in-person attendees who missed the session or just wanted to refresh their memory.
- Speaker-empowering Speaker Center
Whova’s Speaker Center takes the reins from the organizers and hands them to the speakers themselves. Rather than the organizers having to sift through documents of information and creating individualized company profiles for over 100 speakers, the Speaker Center allows the attendees to customize their own profiles and have full control of their image on the Whova app.
Speakers could upload their information to be featured in the platform
All the organizers have to do is distribute an online form to the speakers, who then can upload the session information themselves and at their leisure. And – because the Speaker Center integrates with the Whova’s Agenda – when organizers attach a speaker to a scheduled session, their speaker information automatically follows and appears in the session information. This way, organizers didn’t need to waste time copying and pasting speaker bios over a hundred times.
- Impressive impressions with tiered sponsorship
Using the Sponsor Tiering feature, the organizers sorted the conference sponsors into 4 different tiers: Headline, Platinum, Gold, and their standard package. The highest paying sponsors were featured first in the digital booths, gaining the attendee’s attention first. As the event’s Headline Sponsor, the Government of River State, Nigeria received over 26,000 impressions out of the sponsors’ collective total of over 1.5 million impressions. In addition to the digital booths where sponsors could directly interact with leads checking out their page, in-app banners displayed in high-traffic pages increased brand visibility.
Sponsors gained visibility with digital booths and in-app banners throughout the platform