In-person medical education conferences and scientific meetings are a huge delivery vehicle for the healthcare initiatives that are on everyone’s minds these days. Medical associations and societies fill education gaps, establish care standards and protocols, influence legislative and regulatory decision-making, and much more.
Medical meetings also have a positive impact on the economy: According to officials at the San Diego Convention Center, for example, 15 healthcare meetings planned in 2014 should draw more than 120,000 attendees to the city and result in $187 million in direct attendee spending and $425 million in economic impact. Here are some key considerations for planners of healthcare and medical meetings today:
1. Differentiate and specify the value of your meeting.
Through the 2007–2009 recession, medical societies sought to increase revenue by attracting a more diverse membership or customer base—interdisciplinary options were available everywhere.
One unfortunate outcome of this trend is a slate of meetings that appeal to everyone, which creates an opportunity for organizations looking to distinguish themselves and their offerings from the herd. Healthcare associations and societies must balance the value of interdisciplinary attendance (which supports today’s trend toward providing team-based care) with the need to specify exactly who will benefit from the content and programming.