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It was August 2020 and just a few months’ shy from the long-awaited annual NHCS flagship event, Singapore LIVE 2021. This year, running into its third decade, SingLIVE was faced with the prevalent and challenging pandemic. The big question of whether to proceed remained despite the months of hard work put in by the organising team.
“Singapore had just completed its first circuit breaker in June and the virus was still raging in several countries; travel restrictions did not appear to be ceasing - we knew the pandemic was not going away soon. We had to make a tough decision for the safety of everyone,” said Prof Koh Tian Hai, course director of Singapore LIVE as he recounts the challenging judgement call he had to make with the rest of the course directors.
Shortly, Singapore LIVE announced to its participants that it was transforming the delivery of the meeting onto a virtual platform.
Leong Tarn Meng, Manager of the Events team tasked with organising Singapore LIVE shared, “We had been preparing for the milestone conference since the beginning of the year, such as sourcing of the meeting venue and planning the celebratory events. All of that had to change. We had to quickly turnaround and adapt our plans to suit a virtual platform and audience.”
(L-R) Collaborating with an industry partner at Cath Lab to deliver one of the meeting’s preview series webinars; Prof Koh takes the stage in another preview series webinar. It was a flurry of activities as the Events team tackled the short yet uphill journey to host a regional interventional meeting online, from selecting and working with a reliable production firm to broadcasting the meeting; and taking all forms of promotional events to the virtual space.
The first-ever virtual Singapore LIVE finally concluded on 23 January 2021, had exceeded expectations with a peak of over 2,000 regional participants, engaging in some 30 sessions, including nine live cases from overseas transmission centres as well as NHCS. The turnout was a remarkable example of how the pandemic gave new impetus to innovative and novel ways of learning in a safe environment.
We walk you through some behind-the-scenes footage!
48 hours to the event
Location - Production firm somewhere in central Singapore
(L-R) It is almost crunch time as Tarn Meng briefs staff who have been roped in to help with managing the secretarial roles of the virtual meeting; a glimpse of the programme rundown; conducting a mock meeting.
(L-R) Calibrating and fine-tuning the broadcast details and design with the production crew; one of the many production members hard at work.
22 January 2021 – The big day!
Location – NHCS Cath Lab
NHCS Cath Lab team standing by for the live case broadcast.
Location – Wherever one may be (with internet!)
Screen captures of the comprehensive webinar sessions which comprised live cases, both overseas and from NHCS, symposiums and clinical case presentations as well as the highly anticipated Training Village which featured a beating heart model used in a simulated learning session. Onwards to 2022
As the curtain closes on this meeting held in one of most challenging times of the decade, we take the experience and knowledge gained to move towards Singapore LIVE 2022. What form will it take? Stay tuned.
The Events team would like to thank Prof Koh and the interventional team for their guidance, the support staff and management for their patience while the team learns from scratch, the makings of a virtual event, as well as faculty and sponsors for their support and accommodating the tight programme timeline and limitations.