May 8, 2018

Facilitating audience engagement is a top priority at educational meetings, allowing them to network between themselves as well as with your speakers and educators. Today, there are more resources than ever that allow for...

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Facilitating audience engagement is a top priority at educational meetings, allowing them to network between themselves as well as with your speakers and educators. Today, there are more resources than ever that allow for HCPs to create the kind of authentic peer-to-peer networking that drives value for the life sciences company as well as the participants.

The ubiquity of mobile technology — WiFi and smartphones, in particular — has made it especially easy to construct an environment where everyone can share their opinions and create meaningful dialogue.

Here are a few tools presenters and facilitators can use to achieve those ends, even if you don’t have a particularly tech-savvy audience base.

Throwable mics:

Get the ball rolling, so to speak, on a Q&A session with a “throwable mic.” They might look like toys, but these devices reimagine the usual wireless microphone that gets — often clumsily — passed around for audience feedback. Being able to toss the mic to the next participant who wants to make their voice heard is a fun way to foster engagement and keeps the exchange of ideas flowing. There are a few different versions: Catchbox is a soft cube with colorful covers that can be swapped out, while “Shark Tank” contender Qball is a foam ball that looks like a playground kickball; both are lightweight enough for even non-athletes to enjoy the interactivity.

SMS polling tools:

Technology that lets a presenter or facilitator survey HCPs in real time is a double win: It delivers benefits to the audience by increasing engagement, and it gives the organizer the opportunity to collect data that can be used to help determine program ROI. The premise is simple: Services like Poll Everywhere and Polldaddy let make setting up and conducting a poll in real time simple; either yes-or-no answers or write-in options can be accommodated, and the program can be integrated into presentation platforms like PowerPoint and Google Slides. Participants just need their phone to respond, which they can do via text or online — some even have the capability to collect responses via social media.

Slido is a web and app-based tool that also includes live audience polling, but it goes further than that, letting presenters or facilitators crowdsource questions, solicit feedback and engage in more free-form dialogue. This has the added advantage of drawing out even the more reticent audience members, since questions can be asked anonymously. Its dashboard can provide organizers and clients with a wealth of analytics — who’s engaging with you, and which keywords or conversation topics spark the most interest. Slido integrates with most presentation programs as well as social media and messaging platforms like Prezi, Twitter and Slack.

The best part about all of these tools is that they don’t make demands of your HCPs: They don’t have to create accounts, master new skills or jump over any of the other hurdles that can inhibit the adoption of other kinds of technological solutions, while still delivering to you high-tech solutions to age-old communication challenges.

December 7, 2017

As the year draws to a close, take this opportunity to evaluate and reflect on your career. The new year offers not only a fresh start, but a chance to build on your professional...

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Disclaimer


As the year draws to a close, take this opportunity to evaluate and reflect on your career. The new year offers not only a fresh start, but a chance to build on your professional goals and enhance your knowledge: Did you achieve what you wanted to this year? What opportunities for growth and development do you want to pursue for next year?
It pays to take stock by asking yourself these kinds of questions now so that you can put a plan into place: Life sciences education is a growing, fast-moving field, and the day-to-day management of client needs — evaluating venues, overseeing expense reporting and countless other detail-oriented tasks — can sometimes mean your long-term career goals get pushed to the side.
But, just as HCPs need to keep abreast of the medical and scientific developments they need to inform patient care, so too do professionals in the field of managing HCP educational programming.
One key source of professional development is industry conferences. We went to a few really great events this year that we will be at again in 2018. Dreamforce in San Francisco is great for those who want to learn about the de facto technology standards for the life sciences industry, and CBI’s Life Sciences conferences include some leading-edge insights.
One new conference that we found very helpful and will be at next year is CBI’s Comprehensive Strategies for Managing HCP Interactions, a topic that touches on multiple aspects of client services.
Another conference we found very helpful is CBI’s Transparency & Aggregate Spend, which takes a comprehensive, up-to-date look at the complex infrastructure of state and local regulations on which our compliance-centric platform is based, as well as federal and emerging global regulations for HCP spend reporting. This is another conference we are putting on our calendar for 2018!
In addition to conference attendance, consider if you would benefit from joining or renewing membership in an industry association such as Meeting Professionals International, which can be invaluable for networking and growing your opportunities. Professional associations also offer resources if one of your goals for 2018 is to earn an industry-specific certification like the CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) or CMP-HC (Certified Meeting Professional – Healthcare) designation.
And finally, whatever else you set your sights on for your 2018 professional goals, you should add deepening your knowledge of data analytics to that list.
“Big Data” is a catchphrase that gets thrown around a lot, but the buzzword belies the groundbreaking and granular insights today’s technology allows us to undertake with the information we gather. Acquiring a mastery of the tools that allow us to extract more value from the information we gather is a top priority for all of us — this is how we can remain on the cutting edge in 2018 and beyond.
 

Contributed by:


Grazia Mohren, Senior Marketing Manager, AHM

Passionate about digital marketing, social media, and incorporating new technologies into marketing strategy, Grazia Mohren brings more than 12 years of experience in marketing and public relations, to her role as senior marketing manager at AHM. Prior to joining AHM in 2017, Mohren spearheaded campaigns for hundreds of events and conferences, including Oscar and Golden Globe events, film festivals, product launches, and more.