Enhancing HCP Engagement With a Hybrid Events Strategy
In the last year, pharma-sponsored events have declined by nearly 75%. This permanent change will affect how face to face meetings are conducted and what approach is used for these types of gatherings in future.
The world seems ready now more than ever before - with people experiencing varying degrees of comfort when meeting in person while still preferring digital engagement methods over other forms like phone calls or video conferences; this trend has led event organizers back into using hybrid approaches which offer many benefits such as extended reach across all audiences.
Below, we review how marketers can adapt to this new hybrid event approach, along with what you should take into consideration when planning such events.
Strategic Engagement is Key to Success
In recent times, both in-person and virtual events are measured by much more than the number of attendees. Now, we assess our efforts based on the relationship developed between organizations and healthcare professionals (HCPs), quality of interactions between attendees, experience of the event, and overall satisfaction.
When planning an event, consider the needs of both virtual and in-person attendees to provide a seamless experience. HCPs who have attended virtually or in-person should gain something unique from the event, bringing value to the time they’ve spent (which is very limited most times).
Providing a personalized experience will lead to meaningful conversations, and in-turn, increasing HCPs happiness and chance they will participate in future events.
How to Plan an Engaging Event
Creating events that are both engaging and meaningful involves many working parts. Below are ways to create new event experiences as a part of a wider engagement strategy:
Know Your Audience
One of the most important aspects of planning an event is getting to know your audience. This means understanding what they want and need, what type of events they are interested in, and what will motivate them to attend. It also means creating content and marketing that speaks to them directly. There are multiple ways to achieve this, including:
Use social media to get a sense of what they’re interested in. Look at what they’re sharing and commenting on, and see if there are any common themes.
Survey your audience before the event. This can help you gain a better understanding of their needs and expectations.
Plan interactivities or Q&A sessions during the event. This will give HCPs a chance to engage with each other and learn more about what they’re interested in.
Re-imagine the Format
While virtual attendees cannot enjoy the same in-person interactions as those attending a physical event, there are ways to reimagine an in-person event to cater to virtual attendees as well.
Breaking the event into shorter, more personal, and targeted experiences is one way to improve overall HCP engagement and make it easier for virtual attendees to follow along. Additionally, using live video or chat sessions can help create a more personal connection with remote attendees.
By incorporating these and other strategies, event planners can create a successful hybrid even that caters to both physical and virtual attendees.
Align With a Broader Content Strategy
Make sure to link events with your broader content strategy to communicate more in-depth insights regularly, including on-demand content. Also, think about delivering content in new and engaging ways (e.g., using gamification or extended reality to bring it to life).
Secure Excellent Speakers
Communicating in virtual environments requires tech-savvy, articulate individuals with strong communication skills to deliver a message and engage with the audience concisely.
Make the most of technology to streamline and minimize compliance risks so your team can engage and manage communication effectively.
No matter what delivery mechanism you choose—in-person, virtual, or a combination of both—ensure all teams involved are comfortable executing the perfect event.
For the Future
Virtual and hybrid events are undoubtedly reshaping HCP engagement, providing notable benefits as part of a broader commercial strategy.
Technology delivers the ability to reach out to a much greater audience and get to know new customers in a way that in-person events are unable. It spans geographies providing a way to reach more people, deliver more resources to existing audiences, and provide an entire library of relevant, engaging content to refer to at the click of a mouse.
Additionally, the format of virtual events can change to deliver a shorter, more personalized experience that better suits attendees’ work schedules. This will also make it easier for your audience to attend more events.