I recently attended a meeting to hear about changes percolating through the healthcare sector in response to developing compliance regulation. I imagine that for some pharmaceutical marketing and events people, not to mention the convention venues and associated vested interests, this trend is causing sleepless nights.
Challenges facing the healthcare sector
I was told that the essence of this development is to move the purpose of meetings from promotion to education. The all expenses, hosted partner, international ‘conference’ in an exotic location (usually with a hot beach or cold piste outside) are things of the past. Healthcare professionals will soon have to declare every penny spent on them and the sector meeting planners will be required to work to tight, very public budgets.
The content of the big international conventions has traditionally been built around the publication of new research or the results of trials backed up by presentations from thought leaders and celebrity professionals. This all sounds like education but in reality is the sort of meeting content that can probably be best delivered through journals and online channels (or so I have been told by industry insiders).
Education in the 21st century requires 2 way interaction – the web has made the distribution and consumption of facts, information and data so immediate and simple that going to Nice or Davos cannot be justified. Broadcasting of keynote and thought leader presentations has been a feature of big symposia for some years and with moderated remote participation and Q&A Healthcare Professionals really don’t need to make the trip.
So what will healthcare education look like?
When it comes to ‘face to face’ the meetings will be much smaller and, because of the tight budgets and transparency, conducted in a more appropriate environment. We certainly feel at Sundial this represents a great opportunity for us to move into a sector that traditionally has been more interested in big convention centres, resort hotels and 5 star properties.
The pharmaceutical sponsors (now limited to tight budgets and a focussed agenda of learning) will realise that the conference centre environment of the higher end venues such as ours offers the levels of hospitality and facilities they want backed up by value for money and a conducive environment for their meetings.
Delegates will enjoy a far better experience without the herding and exhausting meetings environment with no natural daylight and poor networking opportunities. Meeting and learning in purpose built facilities, walking in small groups in the grounds of a venue and sharing high quality private dining and discussion will add real value to the hard working delegates.
If you want to know more about why meeting venues such as Sundial’s are the future for the education of Healthcare professionals please contact me.