The International AIDS Virtual Conference 2020






Prime Sessions



Pre-Conference Events

website visitors




Workshops, Symposia and Abstract Sessions


Satellite Sessions



The International AIDS Conference is a biannual scientific and medical gathering dedicated to advancements in HIV/AIDS treatment and research. Traditionally held as a physical event, the AIDS 2020 conference was transformed into virtual due to the worldwide outbreak and continued spread of COVID-19. The International AIDS Society (IAS) retained MCI USA to pivot the event online and design, build, and run the whole show. MCI’s goal was to create an online experience that captured the unique energy of the International AIDS Conference, which mixes medicine and advocacy.

virtual conference sponsors


The team considered more than 130 digital platforms and found the most experiential one — offering no limits on attendee participation as well as robust sponsorship and branding opportunities. MCI was also able to integrate IAS’s learning-management system into the platform. This way, all the requirements for being an accredited provider of digital education were ported over to the virtual conference.

The agenda included live and pre-recorded sessions and presentations by leading scientists, health workers, policy specialists, community leaders, A-list celebrities, activists, government officials, and even members of the British royal family. The information was presented within a visually stunning virtual environment fully customised for the client. In addition to a plethora of virtual sessions and community networking opportunities, the event featured a Global Village and Youth Programme that enabled participation by online audiences around the world.

virtual conference lobby

When the conference launched, in addition to producing and managing the show, MCI provided round-the-clock tech support for speakers and exhibitors and staffed a 24-hour help desk to answer attendee questions.

Read an interview with James Kelley, director of onsite, lead cultivation, business development, and virtual events at MCI USA and one of the conference organisers, to get more details.

''MCI was by our side, and it truly felt like a partnership. We never felt deserted when we encountered problems. The MCI team was with us every step until a resolution or solution was found. I have said to other associations that having MCI as our advocate with the platform provider was invaluable. Your team had the purchase power with multiple projects running to make things happen that, had we been trying to negotiate directly, would have been much harder, if not impossible. Your brilliant project management of your team, fellow MCI staff on the project, and the suppliers absolutely saved the day.''

— Emily T. Blitz, Director of Conferences, International AIDS Society

''AIDS 2020 is a critical event for the medical and scientific community worldwide, and it has been a true privilege to be a part of allowing the show to go on, even in the midst of the challenges presented by a global pandemic. The MCI Group team’s tireless work, dedication, and skill in pivoting this landmark international event to a digital format was impressive, and we are honoured to have worked alongside them to make this a successful and productive experience for the many stakeholders around the world.''

— Diane Estner, Strategic Advisor, UgoVirtual – MCI partner and digital platform provider