CBI Scene Blog

Strategy for Attendee Acquisition for Life Sciences Meetings

Posted by Taya Paige on Dec 12, 2017 2:02:00 PM

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Timing is everything! A strategic, organized and agile approach is the key to attendee acquisition.

There’s no easy way to cut corners on this one. Partnering with a third party who specializes in Strategic Meeting Management (SMM) can save you time and increase ROI up to 20%. All with a simple equation:

 

Relevant content and education + Location + Draw and speaker acquisition = Best chances for attendee acquisition

 

But don’t stop there. Let’s dig deeper into the solution.

Step 1—Identify target audience and develop event marketing strategy

Your target audience should be carefully studied, segmented and communicated to appropriately. Don’t simply share information about your company. Be thought leaders. Add value. Plan frequent touch points. Cultivate a consistent message to connect with your audience, and watch your email list grow by popular demand. From there, you can build a powerful invitation list and achieve your audience acquisition goals.

Step 2—Determine best date and location, depending on audience

Plan far enough in advance to secure a unique and compliant venue. Planning out the year in advance—or several years—creates many efficiencies, gives you negotiating power and saves you money even if you need to make changes down the road. Planning a high-level annual calendar of event and potential hotels/destinations helps move the planning process along faster, more efficiently and within budget.

Step 3—Acquire speakers, considering location for cost efficiency and physician speaker’s time

Studies show that speakers and content play a crucial role in meetings, especially within medical meetings. It’s important to plan far enough in advance to secure quality speakers, yet not too soon where the latest content and/or speaker relevance may be outdated.

Step 4—Acquire your audience

Identifying and engaging with social influencers is important. For instance, many pharma and healthcare companies are shifting their focus and marketing dollars to research nurses and pharmacists gaining influence in today's healthcare environment. While social media is popular, there is still power in delivering messages that address specific content for your target audience. Check with the stakeholders to ensure you're considering the right audience vs. checking the box and using the same target lists.

Step 5—Follow up and retain your audience

Acquiring the top attendees is great. But then you need to retain them. They are busy people and many companies are likely approaching them. Motivate attendees to commit and attend by learning the physician registration preferences and showing you understand their needs. Provide white glove customer service and make the effort to go above and beyond. Focus on understanding and planning around compliance rules and regulations—there are no compliance regulations against simple courtesy and customer service.

Audience acquisition is key to ROI so your stakeholders will appreciate your extra effort and the value you bring to the table. They may even decide to engage in the process! When this happens, everyone wins.

 

 

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About the Author

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Taya Paige, Business Development Manager, ITA Group

Taya Paige has over 25 years of meeting, incentive and recognition industry experience, including leadership positions in sales, marketing and operations and as an entrepreneur. She is known for her impact and roots within the pharmaceutical/healthcare meetings industry and is a contributing author of the CMP-HC certification, which represents current and best practices in the industry.  She also serves on the MPI-MD Advisory Counsel. She is well-known in the hospitality field for her ability to build a robust network of U.S. and global relationships driving innovation solutions, results and building deep and long-lasting partnerships that have made her a reliable and trustworthy resource.

 

Paige received her Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Business from Ithaca College in New York and has earned the Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM), an MBA-level executive education for meeting professionals.  She also has the Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC). 

 

 

 

Topics: meeting professionals, Meeting Management

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