Healthcare is one of the industries organising an increasingly high number of events and conferences every year. Throughout the whole year there are numerous workshops, congresses, symposium, conferences and educational meetings organised in the UK and worldwide. One of the problems the healthcare companies are facing is the formula they have been using in the last 20 years. A PowerPoint, and a speaker giving a lecture.
Yet in the last 20 years there have been huge technological advances, political, cultural, and environmental changes, shaping a brand new society. The way we live, work, consume, play, communicate and obtain information has changed dramatically. Even the way we search for health advice. So if everything has changed, why not take a new approach?
In order to spend your marketing budget wisely, you need to think about how to stand out from your competitors, and how to organise a medical conference addressing today´s needs.
The main 3 trends in medical events management:
It may seem odd, but the reality is that the end customer in the healthcare business has been pretty much ignored until now. So, the future must focus on the patient, involve them in the healing process, empower them, listen to their voice, in a word, engage the Patient. A first step would be to invite them to the healthcare conferences. Seems fair, right? Many studies prove that having an open communication channel between physicians and patients is a good thing. And when the patients are involved in their healing process, they are significantly more satisfied.
The biggest trend in 2016. It affects not only the congress management side, but the whole healthcare industry with its digital transformation journey. Gamification offers many different ways to generate engagement with the audience. Using satisfaction surveys, enhancing communication with your peers, or boost participation and interaction in the debates. For example: with an app available for the attendees with all the information needed for the conference. They just need to use it on their smartphone, which they are going to be using constantly anyway. The audience can send questions to the speakers, and also rate the questions so only the most interesting ones are answered, if time is an issue. Little awards can be given to those who generated more engagement. This is just an example, but there are many options to use gamification in a congress.
Communication. This is probably the area with more significative changes in the last decades. The way we communicate to each other nowadays. And with the corporations we interact with. Social media just did not exist back in the day. LinkedIn launched in 2003. Facebook started in 2004. Twitter in 2006. No selfies, no hashtags. Now even local businesses rely on social media to communicate and interact with their potential customers. Twitter is especially useful for live events. Healthcare conferences are a very good example of this. To promote it before your event and generate buzz and excitement among the attendees. Enhance debate and audience engagement during the event. And get insights on the things that went well and what to improve for future occasions. Do not miss the opportunity to get to a larger audience, and continue the debate after the event is finished.
The technologies available today offer a myriad of choices to make your healthcare event meaningful, relevant, and worthwhile for the attendees. These trends are the key to successful congresses. How to make it happen is not easy, true. But it´s not rocket science either.