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September 25, 2018
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Americas: Didn't Miss a Beat: Heart Rhythm Society's Plan for Maintaining International Attendance


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In January 2018, the medical device and imaging trade associations of Europe and Asia instituted new rules that disallow member companies from directly sponsoring travel and registration costs for non-faculty healthcare providers attending conferences. Instead, those companies can provide funding to Medtech-approved third parties—including associations, hospital systems, and PCOs—that may, in turn, sponsor healthcare providers’ event-related costs. The purpose of the new regulations is to ensure that international physicians attending U.S. medical meetings are not unduly influenced by medical device companies.

Given the size and complexity of many medical events, quickly adapting to the new rules while maintaining attendance seemed to many event-planning teams an impossible task. But not all; at the Heart Rhythm Society’s annual scientific sessions in Chicago in May 2017, Christina Wurster, chief revenue officer for HRS, was already putting in motion a plan so that her group’s May 2018 event in Boston would see a minimal drop in international attendance, compared to the 15 percent to 20 percent decreases that were anticipated across the medical meetings segment.

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