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February 23, 2015

PCMA: How Medical Meetings Are Solving Big Issues With Hybrid Technology

As physicians adjust to the new era of patient care, medical associations are grappling with a new set of challenges to attract, engage and educate healthcare professionals. Uniting communities of medical professionals in-person remains a top objective, but the hurdles in front of face-to-face conference participation are growing taller for many physicians.

In the US, prospective medical meeting attendees are overwhelmed with patients. The 2014 Survey of America’s Physicians revealed that 81 percent of doctors are over-extended or at full capacity without any room to see more patients. If they are unable to make more room for patients, how will they manage to find time to spend three or four days away from their practices in a convention center?

Internationally, there is no shortage of issues, either. Many US-based medical meeting organizers are making strides in marketing to global attendees, but a new European disclosure code is raising concerns across the pond.

“Some of our attendance is remaining flat, especially since international attendance may be declining because of the pharma rules moving more and more to Europe where sponsors aren’t paying for attendees to travel,” Janet Skorepa, Associate Executive Director, American Urological Association, said in a forum for medical meeting planners at Convening Leaders 2015.

There are potential sponsorship dollars for attendees in developing markets in Latin America and South America, but securing a visa and sorting through paperwork can be turn-offs for first-time attendees.

The good news? Hybrid event technology makes establishing the first point of engagement with attendees easier than ever. Rather than spending large amounts of marketing dollars on efforts to motivate physicians to register for a conference, forward-thinking medical associations are giving this audience a much easier decision to make: log on and learn from home.

“There are people that just can’t physically be at your event, but that doesn’t mean they can’t play some kind of role in your community,” Donny Neufuss, Director, Global Accounts, Production Resource Group, said.

Read more at PCMA.org... 

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