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European Association for the Study of the Liver

EASL, the European Association for the Study of the Liver, organises the annual International Liver CongressTM;
a major event in the global hepatology calendar with over 10,000 participants.

EASL first approached us in 2014 to create a new website for the 50th International Liver CongressTM 
within a very short timeframe – just 6 weeks from concept to delivery.

Since then we’ve worked with the team to customise and evolve the site for the next event, as well as providing ongoing support, training and working on several separate web and design projects.


ILC desktop
Project deliverables
  • New website to be responsive and effective across all devices
  • Bespoke design built in WordPress CMS
  • The ability to easily make updates prior to and during the Congress
  • Secure member's area to provide press with exclusive content

The details

EASL had a very clear idea of what they wanted to achieve, so the design process was fairly straight forward.

With EASL being based in Geneva we had limited opportunities to meet up in person, so the majority of this discussion happened via conference call and email.

Key design elements requested:

  • gold as an accent colour to highlight the 50th anniversary
  • EASL’s hepatocyte logo shape to feature subtly in the design
  • call to actions for registering and becoming an EASL member
  • a timer to show the countdown to the next Congress
  • a slideshow that the team could easily update at key times
  • video content on the homepage
  • banners with buttons that the team could easily update at key times
  • Latest News section to display on the homepage

We presented mock-up JPG designs for the team to review and they came back quickly with minor adjustments and ideas which we put into practice.

Once the team had signed off the designs we went into the development phase and installed the site on our test server ready for review. Again, the team provided feedback which we used to refine the site until they were happy with the final result.

Once the site was signed off in terms of design, we worked with the team to get all the content up on the test site and ready for launch on the agreed date.

Following the launch we went out to Geneva to meet with the team and ran a training session so they could start updating the site in-house. The site included bespoke options in the back end for controlling features such as the countdown timer and homepage slides.

On returning to the UK, we embarked on a new project in conjunction with EASL and their PR firm, to create a standalone Virtual Press Office (VPO) site. The purpose of the VPO was to provide members of the press at the event with access to restricted content.

Key elements requested:

  • to incorporate design features from the 2015 Congress site with a new design provided by EASL’s PR firm
  • a drag and drop interface to allow homepage modules to be rearranged
  • two homepage versions that could be easily switched for pre and during Congress
  • social media feeds on the homepage
  • secure member’s area to provide access to exclusive press-only content

We presented mock-up JPG designs for the team to review and worked with both EASL and their PR company to refine the design until it was signed off.

We then developed a bespoke WordPress theme with drag and drop interface in the back end, to allow the flexibility they needed during the event; bringing specific modules to the top of the page at key points during the Congress and hiding others.

Again, we installed the site on our test server for the team to review before launch. We then met with EASL and their PR firm for another training session, to demonstrate how to update the bespoke elements of the site and manage the member’s section.

In the lead up to the Congress and during the event itself, we provided a real-time help support/help desk to help the team with any technical difficulties and last minute changes to the site.

Following the 2015 Congress we were delighted to be asked back to refresh the site for 2016 with new branding and improved functionality. They provided us with branding for the 2016 event and having listened to feedback from the previous year, we made the following recommendations:

  • refresh the design with 2016 colours and branding
  • incorporate the VPO into the main site
  • improve gallery functionality to make it more flexible and responsive
  • improve mobile menu layout to enhance usability
  • enhance key date functionality to display on the homepage and be clickable

We provided the team with JPG mock-up designs of the site, incorporating the 2016 Gaudi-style branding,
which they quickly signed off to allow development to begin.

We installed the site on our test server for the team to review and developed the site in phases
to ensure launch on the specified date.

After the VPO functionality was finalised we met with the team and their PR firm again to provide further training on basic content updates and how to manage members and restricted content.

We continue to work with EASL on a weekly basis, providing website support, further development
and backup and updates of all current and archive ILC sites.

We have also worked with the team on a separate web project (not yet in the public domain!)
and several print design projects.

what the client had to say

“We have been absolutely thrilled with Soto’s work. Not only did they deliver the site on time and to budget – we had built in extra time for the development that wasn’t even needed – but they went above and beyond to create exactly the site we wanted.

Our own brief needed some refining, with which Soto willingly supported us, liaising with a global team from countries as disparate as Greece and the Philippines! They fully got to grips with our brief, exceeding our expectations with the end result.

Moving into full interactivity, across all devices, is new territory for us as technology, and Soto have enabled us to provide a seamless service to potential delegates; something we are currently developing across all our communications and platforms.

I have ten years’ experience in running website developments, and it is rare that at launch a site receives nothing but praise. We were so happy with the work that Zoey and her team put in that we immediately decided to invite them back to create our Virtual Press Office for the Congress. Indeed, we turned down a major London agency, feeling that Soto would provide a level of integrity, understanding and customer service which would make the site exceptional rather than merely adequate.“