Bringing health care professionals (HCPs) together for training on how to participate in the clinical trials that will advance their products is essential for the success of pharmaceutical and life sciences companies. Maximizing (HCP) attendance at these investigator meetings is a number one priority for meeting planners, and finding the right mix of education, networking, and entertainment results in a “must attend” event for physicians.
1. Think Content, Content, Content
A simple pre-conference survey could easily unveil valuable insights into what your audience needs to take away from your investigator meetings. A Physician’s time away from their practices is valuable, so make sure you are providing the right content in the right format to entice them to attend your events. When it comes to investigator meetings, a formal presentation of the protocol and an interactive question/answer session about the study is the best place to start. Throw in an opportunity to earn CME credits and your investigator meeting is sure to be a huge draw. Be sure your content stays on task. Too much time spent on generic concepts will not generate attendance. Spend more time on scientific background and protocol review to ensure your audience goes away from your investigator meeting with a clear picture of the topic at hand. While HCPs consider content to be a critical factor when deciding to attend an investigator meeting, they also cite it as the most important element meeting organizers should work to improve. Presentation format, use of mobile technology, and opportunities to connect with other attendees are other areas HCPs feel could be enhanced.
2. Feature Networking Opportunities
To further entice HCP attendance, investigator meeting promotions should highlight all networking opportunities available during the event. Aside from educational offerings, HCPs’ top reason for attending an investigator meeting is based on the quality of networking opportunities available. And we’re not just talking the tired “happy hour” mixers. HCPs want to connect with other HCPs, but they also want the connection to be meaningful and relevant to growing their network. Separate break-out sessions and roundtable discussions targeting health care specialties is a great way to connect like-minded HCPs at investigator meetings. Another way to create unique networking opportunities is to host “meet the speaker” functions. This can be done in conjunction with receptions and happy hours. It gives HCPs a chance to visit one-on-one with industry experts in a casual setting. Sponsor staff, even those not presenting content, should be made available for discussion throughout the event to foster better communication during the study itself. Interactivity is a critical aspect of investigator meetings. It creates a dialog for instant feedback on questions and concerns that both sponsors and HCPs will find valuable.
3. Up Your Game
The use of technology at investigator meetings has become a great tool to encourage interaction. We have moved beyond the usual meeting apps into a world of gamification. And it’s not just attractive to millennials; everyone enjoys it! Live polling and audience response systems enhance engagement and networking in a learning environment. An audience response system allows HCPs to ask questions anonymously in large forums. More questions are asked, resulting in further interaction between sponsors and HCPs – with just a little nudge from technology.Although the main goal of an investigator meeting is to discuss the science of the study and critical trial topics, there’s no reason why it must be unengaging. Try to find creative ways to frame up the content. One way to do is by hosting a game show with study-related content – like Jeopardy or Family Feud.
4. Build it and They Will Come
Investigator meetings require an investment of time, attention, and money for everyone involved. They are a key milestone in the clinical trial process so it’s vital that meeting planners create an environment that ensures protocol information is delivered in an engaging and memorable fashion. If done correctly, HCPs will benefit from increased opportunities to interact with each other and the content – elevating the investigator meeting experience to new heights!