9 Tips for Successful Virtual HCP Engagements and Events
Want to ensure your virtual HCP engagements and events go off without a hitch? Follow these 9 tips for virtual event success.
Keyword(s): HCP engagements and events
Healthcare providers (HCPs) must attend meetings and events to renew their licenses. This can mean that your HCP engagements and events may have reluctant participants. The strain on the HCPs with COVID-19 also makes it hard to find time to attend.
So how can you overcome these obstacles and create worthwhile events? One answer is to transition to a virtual format. Continue reading to find tips to make your meeting or engagement a success.
Advantages of Virtual HCP Engagements and Events
In defiance of seeming logic, over 1.5 million HCPs lost their jobs between February and April 2020. This resulted from canceled elective procedures and healthcare appointments. Thus, many HCP are now working more shifts and longer hours.
This means they have even less time to attend meetings and non-direct-care obligations. Many organizations now use virtual formats to meet physical distancing and time constraints.
Virtual programs provide an optimal avenue for many different types of programs including:
- Speaker programs
- Advisory boards
- Questions and answer sessions
- Compliance reporting
This isn’t the same as just watching a video. Today’s virtual platforms allow interaction between participants. This promotes a better learning environment, sharing of ideas, and decision-making.
Virtual events can occur in real-time or asynchronously. They’re able to record attendance, customize surveys, and webcast the event.
Optimizing Your Virtual Program
As with all programs, up-front planning is an important key to success. The following tips will help you ensure that your virtual program is the best it can be.
1. Learn About the Target Audience
Begin by choosing a target audience. Learn about the issues that impact their daily work lives. For example, the top 7 challenges for the pharma industry and pharma marketing in 2021 are:
- Finding cures for currently incurable diseases
- Rising customer expectations
- Stagnant scientific productivity
- Culture management issues
- Scrutiny of the pharma-economic performance of drugs by healthcare payers
- Increasing self-medication treatment plans
- Increased emphasis on prevention
While COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind, people are still fighting long-term health issues. This means that work must continue for non-COVID related problems.
In addition to traditional HCPs, other markets play a valuable role in healthcare. Remember contributors such as the biotech and medical device industry.
2. Avoid Glitches
Adult learners respond best when they feel respected. When professionals feel like their time is being wasted, they’ll tune out mentally and/or physically. This is why it’s vital to ensure that the virtual platform will work for all users without delay.
Using a professional virtual event company gives you the benefit of their expertise. They provide time-tested virtual solutions. Their staff provides quick troubleshooting if a problem arises.
3. Create a Meaningful Experience
Consider enhancing the attendee’s experience as appropriate to the audience and purpose. For example, avoid “dead air” between sessions by inserting music or slideshows. Consider infographics, engaging speakers, door prizes, or attendee gifts.
4. Be Professional and Authentic
Audiences see through meaningless hype and will often dismiss further information presented. Make sure you understand the issues that the attendees care about. Be clear, current, and fact-based.
5. Plan for Participant Engagement
All great speakers know that if the audience isn’t involved, they’re often only warming the seat. Begin by learning about the participants’ strengths and expertise. When leading a meeting, find a way to encourage each participant to contribute.
Plan engaging questions and use a combination of personal observations and business insights. Tie-in responses from attendees to create connections. This builds respect and rapport.
6. Establish Presenter Video Quality Parameters
Make sure that you provide all speakers with specific virtual video quality criteria. It’s vital that all presentations are equal in quality. Participants become annoyed if they can’t see or hear a speaker.
Set guidelines for slides used during the program. Busy, small text slides create confusion, frustration, and don’t convey information. Ensure that every part of the event is of the highest quality.
7. Make Attendance Easy
In 2020, most people feel stressed and their patience is thin. If they aren’t able to easily register and access your program, they will move on. Focus on promoting your program and answering anticipated attendee questions.
Provide an easy contact to answer questions and help with registration for the event. Send information before the meeting or program to remind registrants and increase interest.
Decide if the event must be at a specific time or if it can be asynchronous. Education offerings are often more attractive if participants can complete them when convenient.
8. Always Meet Expectations
All meetings, educations programs, or planning sessions should have an agenda or objectives. It’s vital that the program addresses all these stated points. Professionals become frustrated when there’s no control or attention to the agenda.
If you’ve ever attended a meeting that ended up being more of a social event, you’ll understand. People are busy and they don’t want to waste their time. Event leaders must redirect discussions that move away from pertinent and valuable topics.
9. Ask for Feedback
Meaningful feedback can help improve your skills. Yet, enticing attendees to provide truly honest and helpful information isn’t easy. After conferences or meetings, most people are ready to leave and get on with their next activity.
Many continuing education credentialing agencies require specific formats for program reviews. These are often required for attendees to receive credit. It’s common for people to rush through and circle the same number on the Likert Scale.
Attendees with very positive or very negative experiences often give the most feedback. Thus, with these factors in mind, keep the evaluation short. Explore ways to elicit truthful and valuable responses that can help you improve.
Looking for the Right Company to Manage Meetings and Events?
HCP engagements and events need expertise to successfully reach the audience. It’s important to find a company with the unique knowledge to plan your event.
Frictionless Solutions prepares and manages a variety of events. This includes speaker programs, healthcare engagements, and peer-to-peer meetings. Our team also coordinates Ask an Expert, Round Table, and Virtual Advisory Board meetings.
Our efficient, flexible, and transparent approach creates better engagements with improved outcomes. Contact us today if you would like to ask questions or submit a request for proposal.