The ActWELL trial was led by ASA from the University of Dundee and contact details for trial participants were held by the Health Informatics Centre (HIC) at the University.
Invitation distribution was therefore managed through HIC, which charged the trial team to do this as it was not part of the original contract between the trial team and HIC. Other stakeholders were sent an invitation via email by members of the trial team.
The invitations were emailed (n = 400) and posted (n = 38) out 15 days before the first event. We were fortunate that most participants (91%) had provided their email address and by proxy could be expected to have internet access. Out of 519 stakeholders invited a total of 89 attended of which 53 were trial participants and 21 BCN lifestyle coaches. The lunchtime event was the most popular with highest number of registrations (n = 50), including most NHS Staff attending and a total of 39 attendees.
A number of attendees were in contact via email before and after events. One of the trial participant attendees sent a list of questions providing us with a useful set of questions to start off each Q&A session. Other email contacts were mainly about how to access the results other than at the events, issues around joining the events and thanking the trial team for holding the events. Demand was met with the three events planned and therefore no further events were scheduled.
Experience of the event
All three events were delivered as planned and there were no technical problems. All three were delivered as per the program shown in [Supplementary 1]. All three started and finished on time.
The majority of survey respondents indicated that they had had all their questions about the ActWELL study and its findings answered. Five of the 47 attendees who responded said that their questions had not been answered and these questions were around future plans for the rollout of the intervention, which the team could not yet answer (n = 2); making the intervention more accessible to all socio-economic groups (n = 1); specific risk (n = 2). In addition, one attendee also requested access to the paper when published in their response.
All survey respondents indicated that the information was presented in a way that was easy to understand (n = 47). One did add a comment that there was not enough time to look at the results on the slides.
All responses to the survey are summarised in [Supplementary file 4].
From our perspective as speakers (ASA, AH, JM and ST), the online events were a great success and hugely rewarding.
Being able to speak directly to participants and others who had helped us to do the trial was a joy and the obvious interest and appreciation of those attending made it all the more satisfying.
We were asked many excellent and probing questions in over 90 minutes of questioning across the three events and these both made us think and gave us confidence that the ActWELL intervention5 is worth pursuing. It is hard to now imagine not including online dissemination events in future trial dissemination plans.
The total cost for the three events was £1,624 GBP (€1,842 EUR; $2,220 USD) with trial participant invitations and event management and technical assistance at the events being the highest expenditure items (see supplementary file 5). Staff hours spent planning and organising the events have been counted separately (see supplementary file 5) as cost depends on local circumstances. A total of 40 hours, over two months, were spent by the research team on preparing the events. Having now done these events, we would expect somewhat less time to be needed for future events.