Published on June 28, 2021

AHMEDABAD: When city-based diabetologists recently became the hosts of the Diabetes India 2021 conference, they decided to add zing to the virtual programme. The event also had the 11th World Diabetes Congress on the agenda involving over 4,000 doctors and experts from across the globe.

Dr Banshi Saboo, a city-based diabetologist and the organizing secretary for the event, said that networking dinners are a major part of such international meetings. They were sorely missed by all. “We thus decided to host a gala dinner where all could participate. As the mode was virtual, we had a food delivery service send the meals to the participants across India. We also collaborated with a hotel brand for a uniform menu,” he said. “For international partners, we chose delivery services in their respective countries.”

The delegates were also sent uniform glasses and a bottle of fruit beer. Foreigners got Indian wine.

“Thus, at the designated time, all were present virtually, having the same meal with uniform glasses. We had also requested all to wear Indian attire if possible. Thus, the event became a memorable one,” said Dr Saboo. He added that all participants also got a virtual tour of Ahmedabad.

City-based event organizers said that the pandemic has forced hosts to push the envelope. Many designed virtual sets with various lecture halls, whereas many experimented with mixed reality.

Recently, an Ahmedabad-based hotel organized a virtual meet for all wedding planners across the city. “The virtual meet was held to promote the hotel as a venue for weddings and events,” said Jaydeep Mehta, founder of True Events. “Before the pandemic, such events were held as planned gatherings at the venue itself.” Mehta said that restrictions on the number of guests and apprehensions among people have made in-person gatherings impossible. “Recently, a virtual birthday party was organized similarly,” said Krunal Parekh, a wedding planner.

(With input from Niyati Parikh)

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