Physicians are probably the hardest group of attendees to get to your meetings because they are so busy and often inundated with numerous educational requests. I plan many of these types of meetings and have certainly noticed a decline in attendance over the last several years.
American Express Meetings & Events wanted to know what can be done to turn around attendance. They polled 505 physicians to learn more about what they are looking for in today’s educational seminars. The results are published in Doctor’s Orders: The Physician’s Perspective on Meetings and Events.
Physicians desire four key areas from pharmaceutical meetings:
- Creating a compelling agenda
- Delivering that agenda in an engaging way
- Integrating mobile apps and
- Understanding that urban, suburban and rural doctors have different needs
Doctors attend any given medical meeting to learn new information and/or obtain Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits. Yet, they are often disappointed how the material is delivered. So, let’s delve into the four key areas that planners must focus on when planning their medical/pharmaceutical meetings.
Who Does the Best Job Creating a Compelling Agenda?
These organizations deliver the best bang for the buck:
- 77% of the respondents said associations
- 74% stated universities and hospitals and
- 66% said pharmaceutical or medical device companies
However, medical meetings as a whole have a lot of competition. It turns out that physicians would rather receive their information through clinical practice guidelines or medical journals OVER face-to-face meetings.
What About Engagement?
Doctors found they prefer the following presentation methods:
- 43% said in a workshop or breakout session at an association conference
- 28% stated via a panel discussion
- 20% said in a single speaker lecture
They want interactivity with the presenters. 54% of the under-40 physicians said engagement was vital to the talk versus 37% of those over 40 years old.
What About Mobile Apps?
Mobile apps are used in the following ways:
- 76% use it access content, such as presenters’ presentations
- 65% get maps for meeting rooms, agendas and other news associated with the conference
- 55% use the app to check-in and out of specific meetings –a great way to automate the CME process
While most mobile apps run across multiple hardware platforms, it is important to understand if your attendees:
- have their own devices
- will or will not be bringing them to the meeting and
- if they are not bringing them or not familiar with mobile devices, renting iPads or obtaining tablet rentals is probably the best way to go.
What About Understanding Your Audience?
All PowerPoint presentations are not created equally. It is important to note that rural doctors face different issues than urban ones and vice-versa. The presentations need to be segmented as such and tailored to each physician’s specific needs.
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