How the Microscopy Society of America, Virtual, Inc., and Cadmium Bring Scientific Events to Life

The Challenge: Event technology that could meet the unique needs of the scientific community

The Microscopy Society of America (MSA) “enables the discoveries that positively impact the course of humanity.” With a focus on the full field of microscopy, from biological to materials applications, the society provides a home for microscopists in all fields of study.

Co-hosted by MSA and the Microanalysis Society (MAS), the Microscopy & Microanalysis (M&M) scientific meeting is an important gathering showcasing new advancements in microscopy while bringing microscopists from different fields together to collaborate and network. The M&M meeting takes place in the summer, and brings together over 2,300 scientists in a new location every year.

While MSA has over 1,800 members, it was once run solely by volunteers. This is why they turned to a Professional Management Company (PMC) called Virtual, Inc. (Virtual) to help them manage all society operations and organize their annual event. Virtual is a “professional services firm that partners with member-based organizations, consortia, and professional associations to manage and grow their existing organization, take care of operations comprehensively while guiding them with proven growth strategies for the achievement of their vision.” With experience in managing associations in the scientific field, Virtual has offered MSA resources such as marketing, accounting, event services, and knowledgeable staff who have spent years in their respective professions.

MSA needed an event management solution that was suitable for the scientific community. One that could handle scientific presentations from nearly 1,200 presenters and that enabled them to log onto their speaker and submission portals and get essential information.

They needed:

  • Multiple registration types for different audiences, including attendees, exhibitors, and students.
  • To oversee the management of over 80 exhibitors with multiple booths and vertical builds.
  • A website and mobile app that could tie it all together for attendees.
  • An event tech platform that would integrate with their Association Management System (AMS).


Having worked with Cadmium’s event technology in the past, Virtual realized MSA and Cadmium would be a great fit.


The Solution: Cadmium, an event technology partner that understands the intricacies of scientific events the the importance of integrating with Association Management Systems.

Since starting with Cadmium’s event tech solutions in 2020, the M&M event has used a variety of Cadmium technologies. 

Scorecard has been an essential tool; in 2023, M&M saw over 1,100 submissions of scientific papers and presentations, often with multiple authors. The tool enabled M&M to collect submissions, manage reviews, and make the selections of who would be presenting. Presenters were assigned task lists that made it easy for them to stay on track with submissions. 

“Overall a very easy to use system, very clear what the necessary steps were.” – Carol J., attendee

With EdgeReg, Virtual can control and oversee all registration activity. A dashboard makes it easy to understand their registration count, how close they are to their goal, registrations by time period, and their transactions.

The Exhibitor Harvester enables attendees to take charge of their booths with task-based activities while Virtual can manage booth space and sponsorships and sync all this information to the event mobile app and website. 

The mobile app and website make for a cohesive event experience. Information added or removed is updated immediately, with changes only having to be made in one place and synced across channels. For exhibitors, up-to-date information can be found easily, with all of the information attendees and exhibitors need at their fingertips. 


The Results: A more efficient and effective event

Cadmium has helped Virtual greatly streamline the submission process and has made the whole event planning process much easier. Every year, MSA publishes proceedings and Virtual is able to pull submissions directly from Cadmium in a print-ready format to easily create the print published proceedings.   

Also, as a result of making use of Cadmium’s event technology and online access, MSA no longer needs to send 20+ people to manage the programming of the M&M event. And efficiencies created with Cadmium’s event technology means that the Virtual staff can be better focused on other priorities. For instance, Virtual found that the integration between Cadmium’s EdgeReg and iMIS, their association management software, has been a huge time saver by eliminating manual work that previously had to be done. 

“The fact that it’s been more efficient, gives the staff the bandwidth to focus on other things that enable us to meet our goals.”
– Ashley Carey, Managing Director of MSA


Overall, the M&M meeting is about bringing the community together and with Virtual’s management and Cadmium’s event technology, the feedback from the community has been positive. 

“The event is very important to the community, it’s where they do all of their networking and relationship-building, as well as share important scientific content. If people are happy with what they’ve been able to learn and build the relationships they want, we’d consider that a huge success.”  – Ashley Carey, Managing Director of MSA


About Microscopy Society of America

The Microscopy Society of America held their first meeting in 1942 as the Electron Microscope Society of America (EMSA). While the society started in the field of electron microscopy, it has since evolved to include microscopists in all fields of study. The mission of the MSA is to create a “collaborative community dedicated to fostering research, innovation, advancement, and promotion of microscopy.” 


About Virtual, Inc.

Virtual is a professional services firm that enables organizations to achieve their goals and make a mark on the world. Whether helping an organization go from zero to 800 corporate members in a mere 18 months or extending the reach and impact of an international group dedicated to curing prostate and breast cancer, Virtual provides strategic advisory and execution services that drive real results for technology consortia, standards groups and associations that are forming, growing, or changing.

Dedicated to finding the right technology solutions for each client, Virtual relies on innovative tools to support our skilled staff to meet and exceed client expectations. Whatever the challenge, whatever the goals, we are happy to meet with clients to strategize ways we can help them get there. Tools are critical to our collective success together.

Virtual has won multiple top places to work awards and has been named three times to Inc. Magazine’s list of 5,000 fastest-growing private companies. Virtual is accredited by the AMC Institute, the global trade group that represents the association management industry. Visit: