eventi healthcare

Healthcare events, how to organize them

The complexities of medical-scientific meetings and advice to better organize healthcare events.

In the world of event organization, many agencies propose themselves as specialized for healthcare events. But setting up a medical or scientific conference or congress is not so simple.

This is because healthcare events such as congresses and medical-scientific conferences make up the largest segment of the entire congress market. Just to get an idea, the events of this type organized every year in the world are over 30 thousand.

Who promotes them? Mainly doctors and pharmaceutical and scientific companies.

In such a market, competition is wide. So healthcare event organizers are trying to move away from traditional meetings and conferences by focusing on original schemes.

Planning, marketing and managing healthcare events is a complex task. It is so both for the number of documents required for all the regulations that must be respected and for everything else. Therefore, event planning, in this case, could take a little more time and efforts than other meetings and gatherings from other sectors.

Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not the absence of disease. This means that when it comes to healthcare, the themes behind an event can concern different macro-sectors. Just to mention the major ones:

  • Diagnosis

  • Treatments

  • Prevention of diseases

  • Physical and mental disorders

  • Health legislation

It is a very important starting point to frame the first criticality of healthcare events: the complexity of the topics that can be treated. Not to mention that new technology and telemedicine are literally revolutionizing the sector, opening new frontiers both in the field of care and in the doctor-patient relationship.

Paraphrasing a famous line from Aldous Huxley: “Medicine has made so much progress that no one is healthy anymore.” Seriously, all events follow a more or less fixed pattern which can be summarized as:

  • Planning

  • Promotion

  • Progress

  • Follow up

What you need to know before organizing healthcare events

When you organize healthcare events, following this pattern is not enough. First of all a deeper analysis is needed compared to “lighter” events concerning sport or leisure.

Just to make an idea, let’s think about the legislation for the advertising of drugs, which in Italy, has very strict rules that allow the promotion of only over-the-counter drugs (OTC). A few months ago the Council of State allowed the public advertising also for SOP medicines (without a prescription). To find out more, read Legislative Decree 219 of 2006 relating to the Community code on medicines. This is just an example of how the field of action for an organizer can be shrink and complicate.

Study. Study hard. Inaccuracies or generalizations in the medical science field are duly prohibited. Therefore, even those who deal with the event will have to carefully read up on the issues covered finding all details needed by the experts.

This does not mean reading medical treatises or studying entire scientific publications,  but having a clear understanding of the topic of the congress/convention, its history, its development over the years and what the future scenarios are.

The scenario analysis is the first step in designing a healthcare event. Because only through the initial acquisition of information is possible to understand, more precisely, the characteristics of the congress and/or convention that you intend to propose.

It will also be an opportunity to highlight both the most suitable strategies and any obstacles. Besides defining the budget and identifying the venue and date, it will be essential to correctly estimate the timing of the event.

Another fundamental question concerns sponsorships, sponsors and partnerships. In medical science, companies and organizations are many and very different from each other, so it is important to establish with the client all parties involved in the event.

When the event is held in a conference centre, the organization is more “simple” because it is possible to interface with operators used to deal with this type of events. But if the location is “unconventional” which happens more and more often, the organization of the healthcare event will be dealt under the full responsibility of the professional team in charge to held it.

Organize conferences or medical-scientific conferences is not simple. But it is an important test to distinguish proper events organization professionals from all others…