Jan 28, 2016

The New Rules of Engagement: Enhancing Your Presence at Oncology Congresses

Engaging your audience is a perpetual challenge all marketers face, and healthcare marketing is no exception. We see it time and again—at every major healthcare congress, companies inevitably vie for traffic with increasingly bigger and louder approaches to customer engagement in the hopes that attendees will spend valuable time in their booths learning about their products, disease state initiatives, educational materials, etc.

As a result, our industry’s exhibition halls have evolved to resemble the Las Vegas Strip. Booth footprints have become larger and more elaborate, and massive LED walls and plasma screens are now the norm to communicate key product attributes, mechanism of action, and safety information. Differentiation among exhibit booths has become much more difficult to decipher, and delegates rarely have one destination or purpose in mind when they walk through the exhibit halls of ASCO, ASH, or AACR.

A recent study of how exhibit practices affect attendee product decisions noted that the “number one reason physicians stop at pharmaceutical exhibits is ‘happenstance’—just walking around seeing all the exhibits.”1 One of the key recommendations of the study was to “create an attendee experience that not only engages and captures attention but also compels the visitor to take positive actions as a result of their visit.”1 This is an approach that we at The Navicor Group have cultivated by developing unique ways to educate healthcare professionals on highly scientific subject matter. Utilizing tactile materials including LEGO® Bricks, balloons, chalk, puzzle pieces, and tracks with rolling balls, we have begun to emerge from the ambient digital clutter of the exhibit floor and have created appointment viewing—or Engagement Education—for our clients’ key customers within these convention spaces.

This dedication to Engagement Education—the antithesis of a happenstance occurrence—creates a scientifically relevant experience that is memorable, unexpected, and exceptional—and much different from the pervasive digital approach. We believe Engagement Education is a critical element for elevating awareness, increasing delegate traffic into the footprint, and introducing meaningful dialogue between key customers and industry representatives.

Moreover, this approach is instrumental in creating a belief within the minds of key customers that our clients are unique in the way they approach the treatment of patients suffering from cancer and its comorbidities. “What will they do next?” is a theme we’ve heard from multiple delegates, and is repeatedly recognized as a driver for our clients’ convention exhibits.

For more information on our approach to engagement education, please contact Jason Ferguson (jason.ferguson@inventivhealth.com, 614.543.6755).

LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.

Reference: 1. Lorimer EJ, Goldberg M. Dynamics in exhibit marketing for healthcare exhibitors: a study of practices and staff performance that impacts attendee decisions to use, prescribe or recommend products and services. Marketech 360 website. http://marketech360.com/UserFiles/File/White%20Paper%20-%20PharmaDevice%20-%20FINAL%203.8.08.pdf. Accessed December 15, 2015.

Jason Ferguson
Jason Ferguson
Account Director: Navicor, part of the inVentiv health network.

Jason brings nearly 20 years of innovative problem solving, account management, and a passion for the patients our clients’ brands serve at The Navicor Group.