TMC Strategic Communications


Creating virtual environments.

Designing a 3D Virtual Environment to host Europe’s largest meeting in applied brain research.

The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) is an independent scientific association dedicated to the science and treatment of disorders of the brain.

It is the largest non-institutional supporter of applied and translational neuroscience research and education in Europe.

The annual ECNP Congress has always been held in the traditional face-to-face format spanning 4 days and for 2020 was intended to be in Vienna, Austria. However, due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we were asked to work with the ECNP team, their IT partner, and sponsors to develop a compelling online experience that would rival and improve upon the previous Congresses. We also looked at opportunities to expand the Congresses appeal to delegates throughout the world.

Our brief was to deliver a high-value virtual experience for all attendees. A solution that was easy-to-use, engaging, and allowed delegates to network and connect with healthcare professionals, exhibitors and speakers. Including the development of the overall look and feel of the web platform, the user interface and congress centre, lobby, session rooms and plaza breakout area; this enabled returning delegates to feel comfortable with the consistency and provided first-time attendees the opportunity to experience the ECNP Congress remotely.

  • Over 100 live and pre-recorded sessions available to 4,500 delegates

  • Over 850 e-posters and abstract presentations

  • Streamed over 
4 days and available on-demand for 
3 months

The Solution

Whilst it was envisaged that most delegates would attend the event using a laptop or desktop, we planned our solution around developing an interface and virtual environment that would be fully responsive, working across all modern devices and be quick to load.

We worked with ECNP to evaluate which areas of the Congress needed to be created virtually to deliver the ‘ECNP Congress experience’.


Explore the virtual environment below and navigate through the bespoke hotspots and features:

The scientific sessions were a mixture of live, pre-recorded and on-demand, meaning the ability for up to 1,000 delegates to attend each live session was crucial. There was also an industry virtual exhibition and ePoster area with live presentations available 24 hours per day during the event.

TMC Strategic Communications
TMC Strategic Communications

Each area was designed to maximise engagement within a 3D environment. With delegates from over 98 countries the user journey needed to be straight-forward and logical. It was of utmost importance that delegates took away the same value from the virtual Congress as they did from the face-to-face Congresses.

TMC Strategic Communications

“Our platform is the best I have seen and I have attended many 
Congresses in the last 
few months.”

Alexander Schubert – Executive Director, ECNP

We created a user interface that allowed delegates to discover the most relevant content and sessions through 3D environments whilst ensuring they could plan and attend sessions within 2-3 clicks. Essential to this was integration with the ECNP CRM enabling single sign on, delegate profile population and the programme to be updated dynamically from the central system. Attendees could then schedule their time throughout the Congress and maximise the value from the sessions.

TMC Strategic Communications
TMC Strategic Communications
TMC Strategic Communications
ECNP Virtual Congress iPad Image

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