Hybrid events have been increasing in popularity over the last few years, but are about to reach their peak this year as more medical professionals are recognizing their benefits.
Hybrid medical conferences offer a convenient way to connect physically with colleagues, whilst allowing other healthcare professionals to connect across time zones, languages, cultures, or even continents without having to travel long distances or pay high fares.
The hybrid medical conference offers something that cannot be found anywhere else: all the benefits of a physical event with the flexibility and reach of a virtual event that healthcare professionals can connect to from any location, anytime!
- What is a “hybrid” medical conference
- The benefits of in-person medical conferences
- The benefits of virtual medical conferences
- Current market challenges for medical conferences
- Hybrid conferences are changing the future of education
- The benefits of hybrid events vs traditional events
What is a “hybrid” medical conference
A hybrid medical conference is a meeting that combines both in-person and virtual events. A hybrid event has a strong online, where people from all around the world gather to talk about their respective fields of medicine.
The virtual portion of the meeting can be either a pre-conference or post-conference, or it can be an online component that is included as part of the overall meeting.
The global pandemic of Covid-19 had (and is still having) a significant impact on in-person medical events. Many medical conferences and conventions have been canceled, postponed, or relocated in order to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus.
While this may be frustrating for attendees, it is important to remember that the health and safety of everyone involved should be the top priority.
As the world came to a standstill, many medical associations opted for shifting their in-person events to a virtual conference that allowed them to continue sharing education and engaging with their community.
This phenomenon drastically increased the number of attendees and regions around the world that we’re able to access this content, previously far beyond their reach. With lower costs and the flexibility of online streaming, the demand for virtual events was never greater.
Now as countries lower their restrictions, a lot of healthcare professionals are eager to stretch their hands once again. This is an opportunity for Professional Medical Associations to integrate into their business model hybrid events and cash in on those who are willing to travel across the world to meet with other HCP and also, on those that prefer to stay home and access the content online.
The benefits of in-person medical conferences
In-person medical conferences offer an array of benefits that virtual events cannot duplicate. Professional congress organizers and medical societies should consider these benefits when planning their events.
Organizations Can Create An Interactive And Engaging Environment
This is beneficial to attendees and exhibitors alike. Conference-goers are able to learn from top experts in the field, network with colleagues, and discover new products and services. Exhibitors have the opportunity to connect with potential customers and enhance their brand awareness.
One of the major reasons medical conferences have been changing from just an in-person meeting to a hybrid event is because medical professionals are being taught medical skills more often through practical, hands-on experiences rather than just reading medical books or attending virtual events.
This is a great way for medical professionals to learn and improve their medical skills because they can be presented with different scenarios which can teach them valuable lessons.
Develop Meaningful Relationships Between Attendees and Exhibitors
At medical conferences, attendees have the opportunity to not only explore new products that are being showcased but engage in meaningful relationships with industry representatives. For the attendees, they can learn about new products, participate in research studies, obtain new equipment, gain access to educational opportunities provided by the sponsors, and many other opportunities that are not available online.
The medical device representatives can get feedback from the attendees about their products and how they can improve them, but also show the way these products work through an enhanced live customer experience.
Create Unforgettable Experiences Provided By The Destination
An in-person event provides a unique opportunity to engage with a variety of cultural experiences, as well as a wide range of activities outside of the medical field, which can be appealing to attendees.
Medical professionals can greatly benefit from exposing themselves to different cultures. By interacting with people from other cultures, they can learn new perspectives and ways of thinking. This can help them become more innovative and open-minded in their approach to medicine.
Cultural growth can also help medical professionals become more empathetic and understanding of their patients. They will be better able to relate to the patients’ experiences and understand their cultural backgrounds. This can lead to improved patient care and better outcomes.
Medical professionals who travel to different parts of the world can also learn about new medical treatments and technologies. They can also gain new insights into the challenges faced by healthcare providers in other parts of the world. All this can help them become better doctors.
The benefits of virtual conferences for Professional Medical Associations
The use of hybrid medical conferences is becoming more popular in medicine, especially after COVID 19 caused a widespread epidemic that would lead to people everywhere resorting to the use of these tools to communicate and continue learning.
Virtual events allow the world to continue its course, enhancing the way we communicate and share experiences with one another. Making distant realities one with the other. Some of these benefits dripped into the world of medical congresses and changed the industry forever.
Connecting Online Communities All Over The World
A virtual event can allow medical professionals who are on the other side of the world to interact with their peers through the use of online streaming or video conferencing.
Online events give medical professionals from different parts of the world a chance to learn from each other and to provide medical care for their patients who are disconnected from medical educational centers due to geographical location.
This can be beneficial for those associations that have members all over the world and it allows them to connect even when they are on opposite sides of the globe. Increasing the chance for new development, greater collaboration, and more virtual conference attendees.
Keynote Speakers From Around The World Can Share Knowledge At An Instant
Virtual conferences can also be advantageous to medical societies that want to learn more about specific medical topics but don’t have speakers in their own country. They can use an online conference to bring in experts from around the world and collect valuable content for future medical events.
Professional Medical Societies can invite featured guests to their event without needing to spend enormous amounts of money on flight tickets or stay. At the same time, they attract a remote audience that follows the keynote speaker. Making hosting virtual events more profitable and easier to manage.
Participants Save Time and Money By Participating In A Virtual Event
Virtual conferences have a drastically reduced cost for those who are attending as well as those who are hosting. Those who want to attend medical conferences, they can do so from the comfort of their own home and save on travel expenses as well as accommodation costs. Organizing a medical conference is also substantially cheaper when you use virtual events as opposed to in-person ones.
Also, saves the attendee the hassle of needing to ask for permission or rescheduling appointments with patients. This makes virtual conferences the preferred educational channel for first-level responders and essential workers.
You Can Expect More C-Level Executives and Decision Makers Attending Conferences
There are a number of reasons why executives and decision-makers are more likely to attend virtual events. First, virtual events are more affordable than in-person events. They also save time and hassle, since attendees don’t have to absent themselves from the office for 2 or 3 days, aside from having to travel or find accommodation. Virtual events are also more convenient for busy professionals since they can attend from the comfort of their own homes or offices, or connect for a couple of hours during a break.
Virtual events offer great networking opportunities for individuals that don’t feel comfortable being pursued by annoying sales representatives. The distance established by the screen makes it easier for executives and decision-makers to engage with exhibitors or other attendees during the event.
Organize Your Own Schedule And Never Miss Session
Virtual conferences are becoming increasingly popular due to the flexibility they provide. This is through the integration of on-demand streaming services which allow medical professionals to have access to conference content whenever and wherever they want. This can be great for those who may have missed a session or want to revisit a presentation they found interesting.
Keep Attendees Engaged After The Event
On-demand streaming services can also be beneficial for medical professionals who are unable to attend medical conferences in person. They can watch the sessions they are interested in from the comfort of their own home and still participate in the conversations that are happening in the virtual conference.
On-demand streaming services are a must-have in any online event. They provide medical professionals with the ability to access conference content whenever and wherever they want. This can be great for those who may have missed a session or want to revisit a presentation they found interesting. On-demand streaming services also keep attendees engaged after the event by continuing to send push notifications that remind them about the sponsors or revisit Q&A sessions or forums that may have been of interest.
Gain High-Quality Insights To Improve Your Event Performance
Virtual booths give sponsors the opportunity not only to get insight into who their target audience is but also to make sure they’re reaching those customers.
Current Market Challenges To Medical Conferences
The pandemic has had many effects on professional medical societies. The medical associations that are still active most had to decrease the number of medical conferences that they put on, which will make it more difficult for medical professionals to network and receive medical knowledge.
Budget Cuts That Still Affect The Events Industry
The medical associations cut back on the medical education offered to medical professionals because sponsors canceled their support. Since most sponsoring companies had to make significant cuts to their marketing budget due to COVID 19, little to no money went to sponsorships of third-party events. Professional Medical Associations finance their events with resources from sponsors, this meant that they weren’t able to execute the same number of events or even cancel the events.
Private Companies, A New Player In Medical Education
One of the main goals of private companies when assisting events organized by Professional Medical Associations is to generate leads. They found out that by organizing these virtual events themselves, they could generate plenty of leads and have greater control of the narrative of their products.
Also, competing with Professional Medical Associations for the time healthcare professionals use to educate themselves. This has led to a sharp decrease in sponsorships, even as live events are now possible and restrictions have been lifted in some countries. This is making it hard for Professional Medical Associations to find financing from these companies for their events.
Uncertainty Over The Restrictions On Live Events That Some Countries Still Impose
Even though some countries have lifted the restrictions on medical conferences and other live events, there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding these events. Sponsors are hesitant to invest in medical conferences and other live events until the situation is more stable. This has led to a decrease in the number of medical conferences and other live events that are being held.
Hybrid Events Are Changing The Future Of Education.
In the medical field, there’s nothing more exciting than a new invention or idea. Hybrid medical conferences are just that – they’re reinventing the way we think about medical conferences and making them something to look forward to.
Participants Benefit from Both Experiences
In a hybrid event, healthcare professionals can choose to obtain the benefits of in-person and virtual events. Those that choose to attend the in-person experience can spend more time networking, creating meaningful bonds with other attendees, and living the unforgettable experiences that the destinations have to offer whilst being able to access the educational content on-demand that they might have missed and reviewed it as many times as they wish. Gaining the maximum benefits from both worlds.
With hybrid events, doctors who choose to participate can do so from anywhere in the world. They can learn about new treatments and techniques that they might not otherwise be able to access or attend in person due to their location, resources, or availability.
Organizations Are Being Able to Reach Attendees from Remote Areas
Doctors in remote areas of the world often lack access to medical education and training opportunities. This can be due to a number of reasons, including the distance from medical schools and the cost of travel. As a result, these doctors may not have up-to-date knowledge about the latest medical treatments and technologies.
The virtual event component of conferences can help to address this issue by providing educational opportunities for doctors in remote areas. These conferences allow doctors to participate in interactive sessions online, so they don’t have to travel to attend the conference. This can help to reduce the cost and time required for them to receive medical education.
The benefits go beyond just providing more educational opportunities for those who would never get a chance at learning these things professionally; it’s also giving people living far away from hope, due to improved skillsets and enhanced protocols that doctors can apply in the population.
This also increases the market size for event organizers and thus greater profit potential from these unexplored markets. Meaning, professional medical societies have the opportunity to increase their independence from industry sponsors and focus on generating higher-level education financed by their own community.
Event Organizers Foster Audience Participation In Creative Ways
Consider in all of your virtual conference ideas the concept of “customer journey” for both participants and sponsors. This will allow you to bring together multiple tools for the comfort and engagement of your audience. The event website and mobile event app are tools that can complement the in-person event, working side by side with the virtual environment.
The event website is the gateway to the virtual event.
Here visitors can find the academic program, access the virtual environment, explore guest speakers, identify sponsored sessions, get a 3D tour of the virtual booths and even buy event merch in the online store.
In general terms, the web page is the main marketing and sales tool that traditional conferences and virtual events have to increase lead generation, centralize event marketing activities, and lead registered attendees to the online platform.
The mobile event app can boost engagement.
The event app serves as a tool to participate in live polling, chat with other event participants, follow the live stream, schedule the sessions they wish to see later in the virtual event platform.
The event app can serve as part of your marketing and engagement efforts when you use them to send push notifications, invite guests to the sponsored sessions, or allow participants to connect to the virtual photo booth and share on social media their pictures of the event. An event app is a great tool for all hybrid/virtual events!
Most Traditional Lecture Formats Can Be Replicate in Virtual Events
One of the best ways to create an interactive and engaging environment in medical conferences is by using a variety of formats to deliver the scientific program. This can include traditional lectures, panel discussions, debates, and roundtables. In addition, organizations can also use more innovative methods such as flash talks, PechaKucha (Story Telling) presentations, and medical posters. These formats can easily be replicated by event planners online.
Panel discussions are a great way to get attendees involved in the conference. Panel moderators can ask provocative questions that will generate discussion among the audience. The keynote speaker should be prepared to answer questions from the audience, and the discussion should be steered in a way that provides valuable information to all attendees.
Another format that will make your virtual event highly engaging is Debates. When you bring together two sides that often disagree on an argument or topic in order to spark great discussions between all parties involved; your medical community will not only enjoy listening but also become more engaged than ever before!
Obtain Greater Insights from Your Virtual Audience
Online events provide event organizers with insights to measure the overall event success, but also pinpoint details that can make a huge difference in the user experience. This information is crucial when defining which activities actually added value to the virtual event.
For example, in the next event, they can choose to eliminate the online conferences that had the least engagement and create sessions that feature the keynote speakers that bring in greater interest.
Also, exhibitors can obtain a great deal of information that can help them improve the way they connect with leads at different stages of the funnel. Increasing their chances to convert leads and increase revenue.
The benefits of hybrid events vs in-person only events
- First, hybrid events allow people from all over the world to attend, regardless of where they live. But also bring together physically people through their live component. Increasing the potential market size that Professional Medical Associations have and generating revenue from remote participants and decreasing the dependency on sponsors.
- Second, hybrid events are more cost-effective than in-person-only events. Because it allows the total cost to be divided into the people that participate physically but also online.
- Third, hybrid events allow for more networking opportunities. Since participants can connect online and/or meet in an in-person event.
- Finally, hybrid events are more convenient because people can choose to attend from the comfort of their own homes.
Medical conferences are a great way to bring medical professionals together for the advancement of medical practice. The benefits of in-person medical conferences include being able to network with other healthcare practitioners, have live demonstrations and presentations, attend lectures on current medical topics, get free samples from exhibitors or sponsors – all at one event location.
While these events offer many advantages that virtual medical conferences do not provide, they also come with some drawbacks such as higher costs; limited accessibility due to location; less engagement because attendees cannot be present in multiple places at once; lack of opportunity for hands-on learning experiences like interactive workshops/sessions, since there are limited spots in these events; and poor attendance when there is an unpopular speaker (compared to if it was online).
Virtual medical conferences offer many advantages that physical medical conferences do not provide such as lower costs and a lack of location restrictions. The drawback is that people are not able to develop meaningful relationships in greater depth.
Virtual events allow for people on opposite ends of the world to interact with each other while in-person medical conferences are great for networking opportunities. For this reason, it’s best to combine these two formats together.
In 2022, we predict all Professional Medical Associations should have hybrid medical conferences because there will be more opportunities for everyone from any part of the globe who wants to have the opportunity to attend physically or access through an event app or live stream, thus increasing potential market size and revenue.
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