How to maximise your presence at healthcare events?

05 Sep 23

Are you attending your first healthcare exhibition? Have you attended industry events before but haven’t seen a good return on investment?

Events are an integral part of the healthcare and medical device industries, but to make them worth your time, they need to be done right and play a clear role as part of your overall marketing strategy, rather than being treated as just an isolated event.

Over the years, we’ve helped many medical device companies get noticed and make an impact at healthcare events. By the end of this article, you should have some great ideas about what you can do to maximise the impact of your events this year.

How to prepare for an event?

Planning and laying the groundwork before attending an event is essential if you want to make the most out of the experience.

Attending events is expensive, so you need to start planning well in advance to ensure you make every second count.

  • Plan which events are worth your time

    There are numerous healthcare events in your sector every year, from huge-scale international exhibitions to local conferences. You likely can’t attend them all, so you’ll need to prioritise which ones will help you achieve your goals.

    Attending a large number of events may or may not be the correct strategy for you. It all depends on your objectives for the year and how you plan on engaging your audience.

    As healthcare audiences are continuing to move online, many companies are being more selective with their marketing budget and prioritising the events where they know their audience will be.

  • Gather the right event materials

    Having the right materials can set you up for success at an event. A top tip when creating materials is to consider the reason why you’re attending in the first place, and then ensure that it’s translated into your materials.

    If you’re going to showcase new clinical data, then flyers, posters and banners can be helpful to capture the attention of passing HCPs. If you have a new video to showcase, such as a product demonstration or subtitled KOL interview , you may want to hire a screen (or even a super cool video wall) as part of your stand to have it in the background. You can even provide headphones to allow people to listen to the video or make it available through Bluetooth.

    QR codes, which rose from the ashes during COVID, are also a top tool when it comes to your event materials. You can use them to direct your target audience to your website so they can continue to learn more about your technology, download data or maybe just join your ‘keep up to date’ list.

    Whatever they do, the most important thing is that you’re continuing to move your audience through their buyer’s journey.

  • Spread the word about your upcoming event

    Promoting your presence at events before the big day can maximise your chances of having worthwhile meetings with potential customers.

    Your audience, who are already engaged across your digital channels, will know that they can speak to your team face to face, addressing any fear, issues or concerns about the adoption of your technology.

    You can approach this in several ways.

    Social media
    Social media can be an effective way to build interest and anticipation for an upcoming event, especially if you already have an established audience there. You can start posting several weeks before, but your most effective posts will likely be in the days leading up to the event because they will be fresh in your audience’s mind.

    Your posts may encourage attendees to book meetings with your team or check out your standby sending out teasers about what they can see. For example, are you sharing new data? Are you doing demonstrations? Audiences are more likely to visit a stand if they know they’re going to get value from it.

    Email marketing
    Sending out emails to your mailing list is another valuable way to spread the word about your event attendance. After all, everyone digests information in different ways.

    Your emails can mirror your social media posts so regardless of where your audience engages with you, they’ll get the same message. Ideally, they’ll see both social media and email, but one is certainly better than none.

    Many companies prefer multichannel strategies to maximise exposure to their audience, however, this may not be right for you. If you’re only going to do one, we’ve published an article to help you decide which is best for you (Comparing social media and email marketing)

    Calendar invites
    Attaching calendar invites to your social media posts or email campaigns using QR codes or URL links is a super effective strategy we’ve used time and time again.

    This allows your audience to add your event (symposium, dinner, stand presentation) to their calendar, so they don’t miss it, and you maximise your attendance.

    We use a platform called QR Code Generator. provides a QR code and URL link to a page that not only looks professional but is really easy to set up.

  • Plan workshops and sessions

    Planning educational workshops and sessions can encourage your audience to carve out time in their agenda to learn more about how your technology can benefit patients. This not only increases awareness of your technology among your existing audience but introduces it to new audiences at the same time.

    A great tip is to allow your audience to sign-up and add it to their calendar ahead of time, to avoid double bookings and disappointment.

Looking for an agency that can manage your event presence?

Maximising your presence on the day

Unfortunately, thorough planning doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods quite yet, you still need to ensure that everything runs smoothly at the event itself.

So, what can you do to ensure everything goes to plan?

  • Stick to your schedule

    If you’ve planned workshops at your event, you need to make sure that they all run on time and that everyone can find them easily. Think about putting banners up on the way to your workshop location so no one gets lost, or printing flyers at your stand with the time and location of each workshop clearly mapped out.

    If you run over, or even cancel your workshop (which is unlikely), your audience might lose trust in you, which could damage your reputation. So do everything possible to ensure that doesn’t happen.

  • Social media throughout the day

    A strong social media presence throughout the day is another good way to remind your audience that you’re at the event and what they’ll get out of visiting your stand.

    You can continue to share your workshop and session schedule online to encourage last-minute registrations, but you can also include more personalised posts, such as sharing your team who are at the event, so attendees know the friendly faces they can expect to meet with.

    A great tip, that we regularly use, is to share a walkthrough from the entrance of the exhibition to your exhibition stand, so you can show people exactly where your stand is and how they can find you.

  • Localised paid ads

    Events offer a unique opportunity in which a lot of your audience is in the same place at the same time, and using localised paid ads is one way to take advantage of this.

    You can narrow down the location of your ads to be within the radius of the event, meaning that you have a higher chance of the right people seeing your ads. For bigger events, this can be an interesting route and one not all companies take.

    If paid ads are something you want to incorporate into your marketing then have a look at our guide on How to use paid ads as part of your digital marketing.

  • Drawing your audience in with an attraction

    Drawing your audience in with a centrepiece or activity is a good way to attract people to your stand. These attractions could include food and drinks, or a relevant challenge. Be aware that you can’t give gifts to HCPs over a certain financial value as it can be considered bribery.

    However, don’t get carried away with picking things just for fun, you need to consider them more as a creative way to convey your message. For example, if your device provides a practical benefit to the physician during the procedure, you can demonstrate this somehow so they can experience it first-hand.

    Whatever you choose to do, you need to ensure that your promotional activities are on-brand and don’t oppose your values.

Following up in a timely manner

A big driver of healthcare event success is ensuring that your team follows up with attendees in a timely manner. A great way to do this is by following up with additional information after a discussion that was held at the stand.

This will make your team stand out from the crowd as you’re sending relevant and personalised information. This could be information on a product, clinical data or an article that answers the question being discussed.

Next steps

Hopefully, this article has provided a good overview of all the things you can do to help maximise your event’s presence and make the most out of your exhibitions.

If you’d like support with running your events, whether that be designing your exhibition booth or running your full exhibition presence with symposia and dinner events, head over to our Exhibitions page to find out more and book a call with one of our team.

Alternatively, you can check out our podcast with an Events Coordinator where Becca Brady, our Account Director (previous events coordinator at Informa) discusses the best ways to maximise your event presence.

Other articles that might interest you.

Are events worth it?

Working with Podymos

Do you want to communicate more effectively with HCPs and patients? Do you want to get the most out of your presence at events? You’ve come to the right place.

Podymos is a healthcare marketing agency, specialising in downstream Medical Device marketing.

We’re more expensive than non-specialised agencies and freelance teams because we only work in the medical device space. This means we have specialist knowledge and experience that other agencies may not be able to offer you.

If you want high-quality, compliant campaigns that help achieve your business goals, we’d love to hear from you. Simply leave us your contact details below and we’ll get back to you very soon for a no-obligation chat.

Are you attending your first healthcare exhibition? Have you attended industry events before but haven’t seen a good return on investment?

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