Healthcare Conferences and Congresses: Beyond the Event
Conferences and medical Congresses are ubiquitous in the healthcare industry. As healthcare public relations professionals, we constantly strive to identify meetings of interest and opportunities to increase our clients’ brand visibility. Then we may prepare and implement a media strategy, help our clients with their presentation and/or identify other meeting participants that would be valuable connections. When planning the event, we ask ourselves the following questions: Who is the association in charge? Do they have their own media strategy? What are their goals? And, how can we align? We also must keep in mind that when the meeting ends, the deliverables continue.
A recent experience demonstrated the usefulness of these questions. Meeting organizers used social media strategies to engage participants, continue dialogue and create connections between attendees following the conference. By posting speaker videos on a dedicated YouTube channel and igniting discussion on their Facebook page, organizers created an opportunity for participants maintain the momentum.
It was an obvious way for organizers to extend the reach of the conference, but one that we hadn’t planned for. Lesson learned.
In this instance, our client chose not to actively participate in the social media activities, but they did want us to monitor the discussions. Best case scenario: there would be a series of comments about how interesting our client’s presentation or product was. This would provide an opportunity to make a connection and to generate further buzz. Worst case scenario: a conference participant would make a negative remark about the presentation or product. In this case, our immediate action to mitigate the damage would be ideal.
Either way, without thinking about post-meeting outputs, such as monitoring social channels, you run the risk of missing out on client mentions. By spending a few minutes each day monitoring social media, we helped our client in a low cost, highly effective manner. We also learned to keep such an activity on our radar for the future.
Remember, always keep the full picture in mind. After all, your client is a part of the meeting, not the other way around.
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