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Essential Tips For Planning A Successful Medical Conference

Updated: 2 days ago

Conferences are vital to the medical and pharmaceutical industry in the UK and worldwide as a platform to share research and information, update staff training, or exchange ideas. They can be complex events to plan due to the detailed and varied nature of the subject matter and the breadth of the audience. Here are some ideas and suggestions.


Define your audience and goals

Start by asking yourself what the primary purpose of the conference is, and who your target audience will be. The medical and life sciences sector is very broad, so guard against being too ambitious or unfocused in your goals. If you do want to cover several topics, consider breaking the conference down into a multi-day event.


Typical medical conferences might include presentations of the latest scientific or medical research; keynote presentations by distinguished speakers; panel discussions or Q&A sessions; workshops; training sessions; networking events; regulatory updates; and demonstrations of new technologies or treatments. 


Select the right venue

When selecting the conference venue, consider if it has good transport links and is centrally located to major roads, rail stations and hotels and airports if you expect to have international attendees. Does the venue have purpose-built facilities with a range of room sizes, audiovisual technology, and accessibility features?


Ideally, the venue should have multiple rooms available to accommodate workshops, smaller meetings, and breakout sessions to take place simultaneously with larger talks. 


Make use of technology

Use technology to enhance the quality of the participants’ experience and assist with the planning and execution of the conference. There are specific software packages available that are designed to help organisers get all those fine details nailed down and to encourage audience participation. 


Digital platforms can be utilised for live-streaming sessions, or to allow attendees to connect and network with each other remotely. They can also be used to host real-time updates about schedules, speakers, and any other relevant information, and to live-blog the main points of a keynote speech. 


Furthermore, technology can be used as an immersive learning tool to augment presentations of new research, training updates, or important medical and scientific data. For example, virtual reality or augmented reality tools can enhance demonstrations and present complex information in a clear and memorable way.  


Create networking opportunities

Medical conferences tend to be first and foremost about communicating cutting edge research and sharing information. However, it's still important to create some more social space and time to allow for less formal interactions to take place. This allows everyone from junior researchers to leading experts in their field to meet and form new contacts. 


Gather feedback from attendees

After the event, gather feedback from the participants to find out which elements they thought worked well, and what could be improved or done differently. This could be via surveys, emails, or post-conference focus groups, social media. This information will be valuable when planning similar events in the future. 


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