NIH’s Office of Extramural Research (OER) hosts two bi-annual events, the NIH Regional Seminar, that offer insight into the application and review process on program funding and grants administration. These Regional Seminars serve the NIH mission of providing education and training for the next generation of biomedical and behavioral scientists. Ripple Effect’s challenge was to plan and execute a multiple day event (three days in total), with six to seven concurrent breakouts, at local and non-local hotels.
We provide strategic project management to allow OER to make real-time decisions about seminar planning in order to maximize budget, and thereby offerings, to attendees. Specific support includes travel coordination; meeting and conference support (sourcing and securing venues, identifying onsite vendors, coordinating with volunteers and exhibitors, providing pre-, onsite, and post-event logistics); materials creation (content and graphics for badges, navigational signs, program booklets, and other conference materials); web support (creating and maintaining attendee registration website and developing content for event website); communications and outreach; policy expertise (staffing the 1:1 Meet the Experts booth and helping attendees identify what sessions they should attend); and survey analysis.
When Ripple Effect began supporting the NIH Regional Seminar in 2008, attendance was roughly 600 people; since then, it has grown to a 1000-person event that draws attendees from all over the world. With the exception of 2016, we supported every NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration from 2008 to 2019 and successfully executed 10 years of events. Ripple Effect has provided OER invaluable support in developing and executing its Regional Seminars and advancing the NIH mission.