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The Attention-Grabbing Ways Healthcare Marketers Engage Attendees

The Attention-Grabbing Ways Healthcare Marketers Engage Attendees

Three trends to fortify healthcare industry exhibits

A version of this article originally appeared in the HCEA newsletter

With frenzied schedules and ever-shortening attention spans, healthcare professionals want much more out of their congress experience. 

Because the healthcare industry in 2018 is innovating so quickly, it stands to reason that its events should be equally innovative. As well, these events should be attention-grabbing enough to make sure attendees stick around long enough to learn about the amazing new science on offer.

Fortunately, there are a few trends on the horizon for healthcare industry exhibitors, all of which give attendees plenty of reason to stick around, engage, and learn more. 

Doing Good and Giving Back

Our fast-paced world can feel superficial at times, leading to an increased societal craving for meaning, purpose, and connections. Do Good is a trend that encourages marketers to integrate that need into their booths, focusing on a cause or purpose that resonates with their target audiences’ values — as well as the mission of their brand. This results in an event that not only educates and entertains, but one that inspires.

The Rx: Giveaways are a difficult thing to organize, considering how heavily the industry is regulated. Instead of focusing on items, focus on experiences. Creating an opportunity for attendees to give of their time or resources in a meaningful way can create a strong connection and a positive brand experience. 

An Apple — or Android — a Day

A modern-day phenomenon, nomophobia is a term used to describe the feeling of discomfort (and even panic) when one realizes that they are unable to use their mobile phone. Accustomed to keeping in touch, obtaining information, and entertaining ourselves, many people in our society feel incomplete and restless if forced to go without their phone for any significant period of time. Instead of fighting it, exhibitors can embrace this tendency and make device usage part of the brand experience.

The Rx: Millennials may have a reputation for frequent device usage, but they have nothing on physicians and medical professionals. The reasoning for this is noble, however, as these professionals need their devices available at all times, in case they are called in to attend to a patient. Respecting this need by providing plenty of charging stations and strong Wi-Fi will keep attendees from having to leave because their phone is dying.

The next level? Making use of phone addiction with engaging technologies like second screen, mobile apps, and gamification, letting medical professionals interact with the event on the platform they know (and love). 

+10 Vitality = Level Up

Game designers put an enormous amount of thought and research into how to keep people engaged and motivated toward specific goals. The psychology of risk and reward underpins virtually all modern games, creating entertainment that is immersive and addictive. When applied to brand experience, gamification is a lasting trend that gets audiences engaged and learning about what your brand has to offer.

The Rx: Gen X and millennials grew up with gaming consoles and PCs in their homes, and now make up a major segment of medical professionals.  Incorporating gamification (especially via mobile phone) into events introduces an element of fun that is both dynamic and comfortingly familiar. Sanofi Generics made excellent use of gamification at the European Respiratory Society conference, with a custom digital quiz and interactive game, all designed around an engaging "Back to Basics" educational theme. 

As the healthcare industry continues to incorporate new technology and new ideas, it only makes sense to be equally innovative when planning experiences for healthcare professionals. Interactive and digital elements are no longer limited to the tech industry - they are a part of attendees’ everyday lives, and by taking advantage of these engaging new trends, marketers can make attendees’ congress experience more immersive, more relevant, and more memorable for everybody involved. 

Dig further into these trends and many more by visiting the Freeman Trend Lab.


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Chris Metzger

VP, Business Development

He’s intimately in tune with the unique environment in which healthcare organizations operate, and he knows how to help them conceptualize and create vital messages that drive real change. He’s also adept at helping clients navigate the medical congresses and healthcare conventions that are...

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