The Pharma industry is on an all-time high and so are their conferences. Planning a successful medical conference can present a few more challenges than your average corporate meeting. There are different expectations from the attendees and many times the level of learning is dictated by continuing education requirements. But if you’re up to the challenge, this article will help you understand how to make your medical conference one of the most successful yet.
What Medical Conference Attendees are Looking For
You can’t start planning for a medical conference without knowing what your audience is looking for. Here’s your starting point:
- A solid agenda with subjects of interest, cutting-edge techniques or treatments, and continuing education opportunities.
- Hands-on learning or other interactive learning
- An ability to network with other practitioners, researchers, and medical/science professionals
- An experience tailored to their career level
Now, let’s review the main component in providing them with what they’re looking for.
Science Is the MOST Significant Component of Your Event
While numerous elements are significant to a successful scientific conference, this is the one that trumps them all. The value of learning and exchange will outline the success of your event in the eyes of your attendees. You’ll need to make sure the conference is surrounded in “good science.” In clearer terms, we’re talking about:
- Sought after speakers and researchers, the best in their field
- A combination of in-depth practices and subject matter and general sessions
- Sessions and activities for all career stages
- Continuing education sessions
- Multiple tracks so attendees can choose their learning
- Hands-on interactive learning and presentations on publication findings
- A call for papers (to let attendees share their findings as well)
- At least one networking or awards session focused on new research and findings
Create Stimulating Break Sessions
Most corporate event planners that work on medical conferences partner up with committees to appeal to the most recognized researchers and scientists in the industry because they know presenters and keynotes are some of the top picks.
To stand out in your own way from other medical conferences events, you want to create exciting break sessions. These are two-fold. First, you have the general break session you schedule for daily professional life with the opportunity to encourage and introduce them to new practices.
Secondly, there are the literal breaks you schedule for the entirety of the conference. These breaks don’t necessarily have to be about snacks, you should incorporate a change of scenery for attendees to give them a mental break from the workshops and conference room. These break sessions are valuable opportunities for discussions and networking, in addition to offering some local culture. Another great idea is to create a few smaller groups that can break off to enjoy a local bus tour or a tour of a local museum. The idea is to encompasses learning about historical (keep it as close to science as possible) practices in the local area.
- Group activities that will enhance their enjoyment of the city.
- Academic exchanges with local universities or corporations.
- Planning a trip to go to a learning session that matches the conference theme like an academic lecture on a subject of interest to the attendees.
Mull over opportunities that are of interest to attendees such as:
- Enjoying live performances
- Walking meetings or exercise clubs
- Exploration of historical spots
You can also help attendees explore the city by arranging your own group activity. For example, the Canadian Pediatric Society planned an early bird run for its applicants every morning.
There are many additional aspects to consider when planning a medical conference. Not only are you looking to deliver a pleasurable experience for the attendees, but you also want to address their main concerns of learning and connecting. While this can be accommodated at many destinations, some are more in tune with the wishes of the medical/scientific community than others.
For more event planning tips, be sure to check out our blog!