The 5 Key Actions To Digitally Engage HCPs and KOLs at Meetings post is part 2 of a series of posts on medical affairs. If you missed the first in the series, please find it here, The Definitive Guide to Holding a Great HCP and KOL Meeting. If you’d like to see the next part in the series, just click here, How to Help HCPs and KOLs Get the Most From Networking.
Amazing things can happen when you get a group of healthcare professionals (HCPs) in a room together. From cultivating community to brainstorming drug-launch strategies, any goal is achievable through the synergy of a live event. But to get the best results, event organizers must first put in place key strategies to drive sustained engagement among participants.
Planning HCP and KOL meetings involves a few specific engagement challenges. To most effectively reach both the audiences’ and planners’ short and long-term objectives, organizers must put plans in place to address each of these hurdles.
The battle for attendance
The first challenge is actually getting people in the room. With multiple sessions almost always taking place at the same time, organizers are in a battle for attendance whether they like it or not. Getting event participants to choose one symposium over another requires putting together a program that’s both compelling in its focus and promises a memorable experience.
The “wow” factor
Next, a successful session must deliver a “wow” factor that will make an impact on every participant, giving them a reason to come back for more. With participants often showing up unexpectedly, or wandering in and out of rooms, grabbing and sustaining attention is a must. Interactivity and visual engagement are two critical strategies for organizers to leave a lasting impression.
The need for feedback
Lastly, gathering valuable feedback is always a challenge for event organizers. Constructive comments and suggestions are incredibly important for informing how future sessions are planned and executed, but historically, the participant response rate for any type of feedback form is low.
Here’s the good news: with SpotMe and some advance preparation, healthcare event organizers can overcome all of these challenges. Read on to learn about five proven strategies for designing transformative events for HCPs and KOLs.
Before we discuss the engagement actions, let’s actually identify the benchmarks we’re aiming for.
In analyzing our data, from the thousands of meetings and events hosted on the SpotMe platform, we were able to identify the best performing pharma and life science, teams. Specifically, we were able to identify five clear benchmarks that all pharma and life science companies and team should be aiming for at their meetings:
- 85%+ participation in interactive elements (e.g. polls).
- 25+ questions per 100 participants per day.
- 5+ meaningful interactions (posts, likes, and comments, etc.) per participant per day.
- 40%+ response rate to event evaluation.
- 4.5 satisfaction score (out of 5).
So, what steps can we take to actually meet these benchmarks?
1. Engage the Audience Through Live Polling Every Twenty Minutes
Without interactivity, a session is just a lecture. To win the battle of attendance and deliver a “wow” factor, it’s necessary to integrate engagement strategies into session planning from the very start. Don’t wait until the event outline is complete, then try to retroactively add interactive elements on top. Instead, build the session around engagement tools like Polling.
A smart strategy is to begin the activity with an introductory question which sets an interactive tone for the rest of the session. From there, intersperse multiple audience questions throughout it; this helps to sustain attention and invites participants to feel like they’re contributing and not just consuming information. Over the course of a one-hour symposium, the moderator could invite the audience to use the Polling tool every twenty minutes to break up the presentation.
Waiting until the end of the presentation to interact with the audience can make the questions feel pointless and that their participation isn’t important. Furthermore, Polling is doubly beneficial; it gives the company a way to interact with the audience, but also get their feedback on what matters for the company.
SpotMe offers a number of other tools to further enhance the Polling experience. For example, answers to Q&A prompts can be displayed in the room, to underscore authenticity and engage attention through a fresh visual.
Organizers should explore the Polling module and its advanced options, like picture polling and results comparisons. SpotMe has seen up to an 85% participation rate during interactive moments and a 20% increase in the polling participation rate when organizers implement such advanced options.
2. Use Q&A and Panel Discussion Tools
By utilizing Q&A, you can broadcast questions on a large screen to encourage interactivity between your panelists and the audience in real-time.
Any disruptive issues can be easily safeguarded against by the moderation feature, which allows the speaker to veto offensive dialogue and navigate the discussion to optimal results.
Furthermore, the panel discussion tool imbues participants with the ability to choose which topics they’d like to hear about most and any questions related to them.
These features have led to an impressive benchmark of 25 questions & answers per 100 HCPs.
3. Use Push Notifications to Capitalize on Key Engagement Moments
What makes an extraordinary moment so special? The fact that it cannot be predicted…but what if you had the power to instantly take advantage of those special moments at your events?
Now you can, by using push notifications in SpotMe’s Home feed. Indeed, the results speak for themselves with 5 meaningful interactions per HCP per day (*interactions = likes, comments, posts, etc).
4. Emphasize Feedback, but Make It Simple
Getting feedback is key to helping organizers improve future sessions for effectiveness and impact — but it’s also a constant challenge to gather thoughtful responses. That said, there are a couple of proven strategies that organizers can use to increase the response rate for event evaluations.
First, SpotMe recommends a short evaluation form. To avoid an immediate decline of the form, there should be no more than four or five questions for participants to answer. It also helps to have the evaluation form prominent on the event app home feed (i.e. app homepage)—and available from the start of the meeting. That way, whenever someone opens their app, it’s simple for them to jump in and complete.
The SpotMe platform also allows for “star-rating” polling as a way to gather feedback that’s incredibly simple for participants. Here’s an example of how to request feedback in an effective way: at the end of a session, the chair or moderator should encourage the audience to open their app and provide a star rating for just a couple of questions that the organizer has deemed most important.
Together, these features have resulted in a 40% response event feedback rate.
5. Implement a faculty onboarding strategy, ASAP
During a session, a digital tool is only as useful as the number of people who use it. Who better than the speaker to promote the use of the meeting app? So organizers must make sure that all presenters—speakers, moderators, and anyone else guiding the session—know how to use the tool before they’re on the stage.
Presenters should be onboarded to the platform and specific tools as early as possible. Ideally, they’ll learn how everything works before or as they are designing their presentation so that they can build in interactivity at multiple points. At a minimum, organizers should dedicate appropriate time for interactivity training & briefings during session slide reviews.
Beyond the basic know-how, organizers should strive to instill in presenters an understanding of why the digital platform matters and how interactivity will enhance the event. The more that presenters can become advocates for engagement tools, the more successful the session will be.
How do we know this works, because having a faculty onboarding as well as implementing the other 4 key points, leads the best performing teams to receive 4.5+ (out of 5) event score ratings.
The best news: we just launched templates for medical education and satellite symposia meetings. These templates are pre-packaged with all the features you need to achieve great meetings, all you need to do is add your branding and publish.
Want to learn more? Discover how SpotMe powers engaging, transformative events for healthcare professionals. Or speak to our sales team today, and we can show you live the power of SpotMe meeting apps.