Over the coming months we’re going to be sharing interviews with our team on their area of expertise, starting with medical device events.
Becca is an Account Manager here at Podymos, with experience in running both in person and digital events. She has travelled the world attending medical device events, and since the pandemic she has become an expert on virtual events as well. She discussed everything medical device events, from how they’re going to change in 2022 to how to make an impact when attending events.
1. How do you see events changing in 2022?
Events are going to need to adopt more of a hybrid model, with some elements online and others in person. I think people will move to attending 1 or 2 big events a year and then getting the rest of the content they need from online events. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, HCPs are short-staffed and leaving their hospitals for 2-3 days can be difficult. Signing into a relevant online session is a lot easier in comparison. Also, if an attendee is able to get what they need from an educational point of view, it makes more sense in terms of ROI to attend online.
On the other hand, face to face connection can never truly be replaced and speaking with companies and building connections is still as vital as ever. Online events make it considerably more difficult to do this. That’s why I think that people will still make the effort to attend events that will have the most impact for them, rather than attending all of them.
2. Why are events so important?
Events, whether online or in person, should be seen as a crucial part of a company’s commercial plans. They can allow for larger marketing campaigns to be done in only a few days during an event vs. through other marketing channels such as email campaigns, social media, or through sales representatives which would all take longer. For attendees and exhibitors, there are different but still crucial reasons to attend.
Allows the opportunity to meet and build connections
The education available allows people to stay on top of therapeutic areas and keep at the top of their game
They can showcase new products and perform large commercial launches
The speakers can position themselves as thought leaders that are changing their space through innovation
Companies can get valuable feedback from customers on current and future technologies
Expand knowledge on the latest technologies and innovations to improve patient outcomes and operational gain (a topic increasingly important in today’s post COVID world) through podium presentations and poster sessions
Engage with peers about the latest clinical data and real-world experience
Network with medical device companies to understand how current and new technologies will support their practice moving forwards
Dedicated time away from normal practice to focus on learning
3. What makes an event successful in this industry?
The best events have the right balance between networking and learning. Delegates should have information that will advance their clinical practice and patient outcomes. Companies should have a list of leads that they can follow up and improved customer relationships to advance the adoption of their technology. There should be relevant content that pushes the industry or specialty forward and allows for peer-to-peer learning.
There should also be ample time for companies to network and highlight their new products and innovations as this also pushes the industry forward.
4. How can companies make an impact at an event?
All events present lots of branding opportunities, anything that can be branded at an event often is, but just because it can be branded doesn’t mean it should be. Companies should use branding to tell their story, not simply just to be seen.
Companies often talk about event ROI and the expense of branding, but it can be money well spent if there is a sound strategy in place. You should pick the highest impact items that will add to your story. Good questions to ask the event organisers include:
What would the footfall be like here?
How many delegates are you expecting in total?
Have you got zones designated for technology types in the hall?
Last year, who sponsored your additional branding items?
If your stand has low footfall, you will need to add your branding into high footfall places such as near food and water stands, to encourage people to visit your stand.
Another point would be measuring your event success. If you’re going to give out flyers, add a QR code to direct people for more information (you could even create a quick video linked through the QR code which shows someone walking to your stand, so that people know exactly where you are). This is helpful for your customers to learn more, but it also helps you to measure how people engaged with your content.
5. How can companies make an event part of a multi-channel approach?
We’ve talked a lot about multi-channel approach elsewhere on our knowledge hub and website and I think this should be at the front of people’s minds when they plan their event strategy. You need to know your brand story and be able to impart this to your audience at every opportunity including on your stand, social media, podium presentations, email campaigns, dinners, general interactions and the materials that you hand out.
Something worth mentioning is that if you’re promoting your sustainability on social media, you should also be sustainable at events and make an impact with branded materials that are sustainable. You must be authentic at every stage.
6. How can I optimise my event presence?
You should promote your details for the event before it takes place, including adding your stand number to your social media posts. You should also make the most of posting on social media whilst the event is taking place. It’s important to think outside the box, posts like “meet us at our stand”, with a stand number, have a place but why not do a series of interviews with KOL’s attending congresses, or from your team about what your company will be doing at the congress. I would also recommend an email campaign before the event, to really extend your reach.
If you have any more questions for Becca about events, multichannel marketing or any of the other topics mentioned in this interview, we’d love to hear from you. We are always happy to share what we know with you.
About Podymos Podymos is a dedicated medical device marketing agency. We are passionate about sharing relevant knowledge to expand our clients’ capabilities. If you would like to find out more about what we do, you can visit our services page, or get in contact with us.
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