The future of events in 8-bit realness

Digital innovation in healthcare at MonsterComm

Wow. We had a blast at MonsterComm, and it sounds like you did too! Our one-day event was held in an 8-bit (retro video game style) 2D-world showcasing what a digital event of the future could look like. We had:

  • Four talks by experts in their field
  • Three prizes from our virtual treasure hunt
  • Two guest experiences including office tours and a virtual reality (VR) demo
  • One digital conference with endless opportunity for flexibility and inclusivity

Our speakers discussed job flexibility and remote working, training the next generation of medical writers, and gamification in healthcare. This was a Monster First, and we are still on a high!

So, what were the key takeaways from MonsterComm?

Accessibility + Inclusivity = Digital events for everyone

Firstly, digital events come without the same baggage as physical events. In fact, baggage is one thing you definitely don’t need to worry about packing before attending a virtual conference.

These meetings are truly accessible, with wide open doors (both physical and virtual), by making it easy for guests to attend around any existing commitments or limitations.

Physically, there’s no travel time or inconvenient hotel stay required; you can tune in for the talk that piqued your interest, and still make it in time to collect your little one from nursery after work. We love how the digital space opens up possibilities and inclusivity by making it easier for those to attend for whom travel is difficult or not an option for various reasons.

Personally, it’s so easy to slide into a virtual conversation or ask a burning question by just typing it into the Q&A box. Our MonsterComm guests loved bumping into old friends and colleagues they hadn’t seen for years!

“It’s a great concept and I really enjoyed it. It’s so surreal but somehow because you can dip in and out it really has the feel of a real conference.”
— MonsterComm Delegate

Digital innovation makes remote working a piece of cake

At Word Monster we’ve always been remote first. It turns out, this is easy with all the digital tools we have at our disposal, helping us to stay connected. Our first speaker, Dr Carl Owen (our Head Monster), showed us how powerful remote working is. We can create anything together with our VR whiteboard, host client workshops in our virtual office, or record educational talks on an idyllic white-sand beach (sorry — that’s still VR!).

Ultimately, all this helps us feel like we’re in the same room as our colleagues. There’s also so much opportunity for us to get together, whether we’re playing poker, racing each other in our virtual go karts, or watching the latest episode of Bluey together (if you know, you know).

While we’d one day love to have our own bat-monster signal à la Commissioner Gordon, for now, whenever someone needs support, our tools make it easy and efficient to reach out to a colleague for help.

Flexible working and learning are the future

Turns out, remote working is a highly sought after job feature. As part of her session, Molly Johnson-Jones (Co-Founder at Flexa Careers) discussed how Flexa are changing the world by providing clarity on what a flexible job means (spoiler: turns out it’s different for everyone), and how you can find an employer that offers things you value.

Research from Flexa shows 76% of people say that flexibility is non-negotiable — something that’s already our philosophy at Word Monster. There is an unmet need for more fully remote jobs to meet growing demand, so for those companies that do offer it, kudos to you — definitely something to shout about!

That’s why we chose the flexible approach for our Monster Academy. As we heard from Dr Caroline Bradley (Head of Monster Academy), the Monster Academy offers consultancy, talent acquisition, mentoring, and of course, our bedrock: training workshops and education for new writers.

Our courses are developed from a deep understanding and expertise, by a team with over 100 years collective medical writing experience (say what?!). Monster Academy takes remote learning to a whole new level, on a timeframe that suits you, with the promise of personalised communication with, and feedback from, the trainers in a virtual space; an invaluable offering for those looking to join the world of med comms.

Gaming can elevate and bring new possibilities to (work and) healthcare

“Absolutely fantastic”
— MonsterComm Delegate

But it wasn’t all work and no play at MonsterComm, as demonstrated by our epic treasure hunt with three (yes three!) prizes that were up for grabs! (To the few of you who found our Easter Egg — wasn’t it awesome, matey?!)

Playing games together has been shown to increase bonding and feelings of connectedness (check out this awesome book!) and we’re a fan of them at Word Monster. Dr Stephanie Campbell (founder of OKKO Health) discussed how she’s using video games and data science to improve the lives of patients living with degenerative eye disease, through making monitoring more convenient for the patient, and increasing engagement through enjoyment and empowerment. Specifically, she spoke about how high-quality data from state-of-the-art technology can illustrate the nuances and impact of a patient’s eye health in a way that a regular-old eye chart can never do.

But gaming in healthcare is already established (everyone’s heard of Fitbit or Strava, right?) and now it’s even been used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and aid research into dementia. We were absolutely blown away by the patient testimonials and possibilities. The future of predictive healthcare is bright, and we foresee lots of gaming in our future. (Leave us alone Mum, it’s good for us!)

The Monsters join the digital event leaderboard

The world of med comms is changing and there is increasing emphasis on concepts and tools that just weren’t a thing a few years ago. At MonsterComm, we covered a lot of 8-bit ground discussing remote and flexible working, how our very own Monster Academy is upskilling medical writers to help fill the resource void, and how gamification is changing the world of healthcare for the better.

“What a great job I think you guys did! It was super interesting.”

— MonsterComm Delegate

That’s why we wanted to do this event a bit differently, by providing a more intuitive and natural way for people to get together remotely, that mimics the “real world” (ignoring the desert island we currently have as part of our virtual office). Virtual events are the future, allowing us to do more, faster, and cheaper, all from the comfort of our own homes.

With MonsterComm officially wrapped for 2023, we want to thank our speakers and sponsors. We couldn’t have held this event without you, so thank you for taking the time out of your day to share your insights. Our wonderful speakers:

And our fantastic sponsors:

TRAFIK: Your design studio for all things healthcare.

InnerCircle: One of our incredible partners, learn more about them by visiting their site.

Open Audience: Join them again for their ‘Engaging Pharma’ event on September 14th. They’ll be exploring the future of audience engagement, bringing together Medical Communications professionals and meeting owners to discuss the shift from traditional methods towards innovative omnichannel strategies. To receive your invite, simply contact

Leave Dates: who are generously offering a month of Leave Dates for FREE to everyone who attended the event. Just use this link and the code Monster1Month.

And lastly, thank YOU, our wonderful guests who came, danced, raced go-karts, or hunted for treasure with us on the day. We’re looking forward to welcoming you back to a virtual space soon. ‘Til next time!