There are many different ways people extract value from a healthcare conference. On April 13th, participants of the Health Information Technology Social Media (#HITsm) shared their ideas, experiences and thoughts about what healthcare conference organizers, presenters, exhibitors and attendees can do BEFORE, DURING and AFTER a conference to make the event more valuable. In part one of this four-part blog series, I shared information about the BEFORE part of a conference sequence. In part two I shared the first half of the DURING. In this third post, I share the remainder of what #HITsm chat participants thought about value that can be obtained DURING a conference.
In a final post, I’ll share what participants offered up regarding ways to make the most of a conference AFTER it’s over. Note: To make it easy on the reader – and me – I’ve removed all the Twitter handles, hashtags and, in less than a handful of instances, corrected a few tweets to make them easier to read. You can read the entire, verbatim transcript here.
Using Social Media to Engage Others at Healthcare Conferences
Websites, #hashtags, Twitter chats, YouTube, Facebook and all the other social medias. Its mobile easy to share and people can carry the info with them on a mobile device where ever they go. We’ve found that it’s best to use the technology they’re already using. Twitter is the best example, but LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat are other options. Great question – We’ve actually been considering setting up a “Twitter table” at KLAS events and invite the Twittersphere to join in on the problem-solving breakout sessions we typically have at each event. Love to hear opinions: good idea? bad idea? why? Social Media Ambassadors are pretty cool too! Any way that you can push out information, without requiring much effort on attendees is key Open-access input and bidirectional communication between speaker and audience. . . I like it. What if there was a shared Google doc that people could all take notes in who are watching? What a great idea!!! Take a risk and try it out! Maybe have a central thread in a Google doc or something for the problem solving. I wonder if that would be easier to brainstorm in vs. tweets. I wonder, would we be able to drive people to engage in the Google doc? People at the conference, perhaps, but those who are just listening in and not in attendance? I loved the one (Google Doc) you started at #HITMC last year. It was a brilliant idea to capture the unconference dialogue in that session!
Networking is One of the Primary Reasons People Attend Healthcare Conferences
#HIMSS18 had a Women in HIT Roundtable event Thursday. Upon arrival, there were 30+ small tables on different topics that you could join. The #Entrepreneurs table is continuing to meet offline to continue what we started there. Host breakout sessions during the session so that people have an opportunity to “group think” and then share findings with the group. Provide attendees with contact information so they can follow up with any additional questions. Provide a way for both physical and virtual attendees to connect and interact with others based on topics both are interested in. Provide tools that encourage interaction in the event environment. Some event apps do this. It is so easy to make it seem like you are in attendance even if not. Have even used this to ping people I know are there and get questions answered Perhaps presenters/vendors/etc. could share opportunities to get involved with outside of the conference? To keep the momentum going? Use lead retrievals to capture the information of people who visit your booth; ensure you develop a consistent way for classifying their information, and upload content to a CRM system – ensure you follow up with any potential leads! Don’t underestimate the power of a quick email at the conference to engage people as well. Bonus: When a presenter is not able to attend and they just cancel the session instead of have a discussion or a backup presenter. Also, I have seen a conference organizer go off on an exhibitor because they wanted to close down early due to low attendance at their event. “Ways to interact with conference attendees” https://t.co/hYAA3QlZYa Via @StudioNorth
Event Apps Have Become Table Stakes for Healthcare Conferences
An app created specifically for the conference, with all the events and info laid out and even a communication tool within the app could be one way to get attendees more involved and informed Have you seen the app that Disney World uses for their parks? Something similar to that would be wonderful. Many of these apps have SERIOUS #Usability issues Communication tool within the app could be one way to get attendees more involved and informed @HealthCatalyst does a tremendous job of providing real-time engagement, surveying and analytics through use of the conference app. @Slidoapp is a great app to facilitate this. Recently at @KLASresearch hosted events, we’ve been loading all of our conference collateral into an app. Because of the nature of our events (tight-knit, specific attendee lists) we put in bios on each attendee to facilitate networking time.
Video & Live-Streaming are Recent Additions to Many Healthcare Conferences
Live interviews, podcasts and now TV are apparently standard conference items now. I wish big conferences like #HIMSS would video tape all sessions so I can go back later to watch ones I missed. I only see an average of 5-6 the whole week if I’m lucky Here is 360 video of the #HITMC awards in #NewOrleans. (It starts w/big applause for @techguy!) At the time, it was live. If you watched w/ one of the 4 dozen #HIMSSVR glasses I sent, you felt “immersed”, as if you were actually, physically present! https://t.co/pjZwfx0vhW Utilize @TwitterVideo #Twitterlists and hashtags. Off the top of my head – if you were livestreaming, people offsite could participate real time. I think the taking of notes should be done by whomever is watching. Then, share the recap with all. – Kind of like a tweetchat recap! Definitely live streaming as well as tweeting and providing speaker content / videos as a post-conference follow up…. This is worth repeating. FREE live streaming & smart hashtags. Increase access means fuller conversations. Example – #Medx Live streaming is a beautiful thing! We have offices in Europe and it certainly comes in handy during company-wide meetings I also like to live stream from sessions so those who are far can be a part of things. Many of the World Health Care Congress events are live-streamed. But I think they charge. That doesn’t make sense. Their conversations could be so much more interesting if it was free. App to stream. Be bold, you matter too. Find confidence to engage our ‘high priests’ with no clothes.
Could Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Eventually Replace In-Person Attendance at Healthcare Conferences?
I would also like to see more Virtual Reality (VR) incorporated into conferences! Has anyone used it at a conference, and what was it used for?
Virtual Reality is breaking new grounds and is an experience people walk away talking about. VR has many opportunities for all these things. VR all the way! Makes sitting at home exciting! Interactive polls and open Mic Q&A’s with home viewers would be great. I love the idea of #VR conference attendance for those not able to attend in person. What @wareFLO did during the recent #VR conference was amazingly brilliant and can’t want until I can participate in more like that and maybe host one someday myself VR is an amazing way to watch events, just ask @wareFLO ??. @savvypuppets is another very fun approach. I liked how @BrennanSpiegel did #VR as well as @wareFLO for the live-streaming event at the #VR conference. Very interactive for so many miles away? I’m a little torn on a lot of these ideas. Growing interaction for all is great. However, also need to consider resources available to conference. Size/scope will greatly influence what can be done. “Five Ways to Use Interactive Technology to Create Great Customer Experiences” https://t.co/IxCjjFwjSN “Five ways VR & mixed reality are set to transform how we do business” (and do conferences too!) https://www.technative.io/five-ways-vr-mixed-reality-are-set-to-transform-how-we-do-business/ Healthcare Conference Attendees Do Not Live on Tchotchke Alone
Never underestimate conference meals! They really set the tone of the conference. We’ve participated in conferences where meals have been poor in quality, or not sufficient for everyone attending. No one can pay attention with an empty stomach. Attendees love to be fed. Also, freebies from exhibitors and contact lists of the exhibitors and speakers. So tangible items and contact info to help build valuable lists of different professions. It’s a little thing, but the gift bag can be powerful when done correctly. Ex: We give #BestinKLAS lapel pins to vendors that attend our award ceremony. More than anything else, they LOVE the pins. They take them on sales calls. Swag that adds value is good swag.
Support Services at Healthcare Conferences
I just saw how this conference organizer offers: ‘Babysitting and Youth/Teen Programs (per child, per session)’ What do people think of this? I think it’s a good thing AGREED!! Baby mommas and daddy’s can attend with a little support for their kiddos. Baby sitters and places to nurse and change diapers. The baby sitting is a hard one. Especially since different people approach it differently. However, having a nursing room and diaper room is easy and so valuable to those who need it. More Insight and Ideas About Making Healthcare Conferences Great Again
In the next and final post, I’ll share the balance of the information shared by #HITsm chat participants about what conference organizers, exhibitors and attendees can do to add value AFTER a healthcare conference including:
How Conference Organizers, Exhibitors & Attendees Can Share Content AFTER a Healthcare Conference
The Value of Recapping Healthcare Conferences
Ideas for Continuing Engagement After a Healthcare Conference
How Conference Organizers & Speakers Can Collect Feedback
And a few other random ideas, thoughts and criticisms about Healthcare Conferences
In the meantime, and as always, consider following me on Twitter where I share information about healthcare data, technology, and services as @ShimCode.