75% of meeting professionals face healthcare education challenges, says AMEX

A report called ‘On The Horizon: Healthcare Congress Trends to Watch’ looks at trends through the prism of attracting healthcare providers (HCPs), the most likely target attendees for healthcare congresses.

To gather data and insights, American Express Meetings & Events surveyed healthcare planners, congress organisers, and global meeting suppliers.

According to the report, the top trends to watch for healthcare congresses include:

  • Time pressures- To sustain and increase attendance, congress organisers will need to create clear value and measurable return for their audience.
  • Education- To keep attendees engaged, planners should think creatively about hands-on, interactive programming and meeting space design to shake up outdated learning environments.
  • High end experiences- Congress organisers and sponsors that work to find creative ways to provide unique food, beverage and accommodation experiences within spending limits will make HCPs feel like VIPs.
  • Digital solutions- Eighty percent (80%) of those surveyed feel that the growing number of next generation healthcare providers will drive substantial change in attendee engagement strategies. Meeting planners should proactively seek this next generation of HCPs to act as congress advisors to help boost attendance and engagement.
  • Emerging technologies- Not only is tech appealing on the exhibition floor, but can help facilitate new ways for companies to interact with HCPs when in-person meetings are not an option or after the meeting ends.
  • Data- Organisers have a lot to gain both in attendee experience and compliance, a key area for healthcare and pharma hosts, if they can better collect and use data before, during and after the event.
  • Personalisation- For HCPs, organisers must balance data-driven personalisation with privacy policies often imposed on them by healthcare organisations and regulations. Most times this begins before the meeting via registration and mobile apps, to help planners deliver on what HCPs are looking to experience.

Commenting on the results, Lisa McKenzie, vice president healthcare and pharmaceutical, American Express Meetings & Events, said: “Healthcare and pharma congresses face a complicated challenge: to grow engagement and attendance, they must navigate highly complex regulated environments and compete for the time of healthcare providers, whose time is already in demand. But it’s not insurmountable. By remaining keen observers of meeting trends, congress planners can make their event a valuable experience for healthcare providers and encourage attendance year after year.”