Every Tuesday we send out the MedComms Networking email newsletter to subscribers. It includes brief commentary on what we're doing and planning, and highlights relevant news to encourage sharing of information, experiences and ideas and to stimulate discussion. The text and links included below, by definition, were accurate on the day of publication, but may then become outdated.
MedComms Networking - 14 September 2021
So, the conference season is upon us. How many of you are busily organising events with fingers crossed and a completely different plan B ready if required? Are you still feeling agile and ready to pivot at a moment's notice? Or are you just plain exhausted from balancing conflicting opinions from various stake-holders?
"F2F was always best!"
"No, virtual is proven now!"
"No, no, let's do hybrid, it sounds... exciting..."
Are you desperate to get back into planes, trains and automobiles? Is your income protected if circumstances change? What about everyone else's? Last year was painful for some, lucrative for others.
I was interviewed last week for an upcoming event about events. In such situations I always suffer from imposter syndrome, but for what it's worth I focused on three points that seemed relevant to MedComms and that I enjoy arguing about.
1 - money - everyone seems to want to skip over this, but business models have been disrupted. Maybe not yours, but what about those around you? If the medical society of X winds up, or a venue closes suddenly, where does that leave plans for your next educational programme? Watch different event organisers scrambling to find new ways to re-fill their coffers.
2 - language - it fascinates me how we're developing a whole new language to describe the events business. Several years ago, I ran a workshop here in Oxford and casually turned my laptop around to stream the proceedings for some folks who couldn't join us. It worked OK. Was I already running a hybrid meeting without knowing it? What more is needed?
3 - metrics - numbers of registrations for free virtual events in the middle of a pandemic are not comparable to numbers of tickets sold for F2F meetings pre-pandemic and won't be the same as numbers of tickets sold for future events. Be careful of numbers, however impressive. We can easily increase audience numbers and diversity and inclusion, but will we in practice? Did we really need a pandemic to try?
You might be interested in listening to a couple of recent podcasts from ISMPP, Successfully Navigating the Changing Medical Conference Landscape parts 1 and 2.
For a reality check, I particularly liked a short BMJ blog article last week from Richard Smith, My first talk to a physically-present audience in 20 months: is this the future or the past?
And I think this from last month should be required reading for everyone in MedComms, Digital transformation of major scientific meetings induced by the COVID-19 pandemic: insights from the ESC 2020 annual congress. There are some lovely points for discussion around metrics, for instance, for a team journal club meeting.
Meanwhile I'm keeping things 'simple' for myself. Our weekly #MedComms webinars start again tomorrow, Wednesday 15 September. Katie Buxton, Andrea Cole, Rebecca Douglas and Neil Marmont from Ashfield Health will talk about their allegro training programme for Associate and Senior Medical Writers. Please join us.
There's lots more coming. Go #MedComms!
Managing Director, NetworkPharma Ltd
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