The Medical Congress is dead. Long live the hybrid Medical Congress.

Richard Marcil, CCO at conversationHEALTH and
Sheila Patel, Vice President of Business Technology at Capgemini Invent

Like commercial engagement, medical congresses are forever changed post pandemic. The days of traveling to large, far-flung events will be fewer in 2021–22 as travel remains both limited and painful, and costs are high. But importantly, it’s changing customer behavior that will have the most impact. HCPs have simply become more digital and better connected through the pandemic.

There is little doubt that congresses are valuable to both industry and HCPs. HCPs and thought leaders in particular treat them as a primary source of medical education and knowledge — particularly for the latest clinical developments and to participate in ever-valuable networking and peer learning. But even pre-pandemic, one could argue that congresses were too many and not very effective in delivering on the aforementioned.

The good news is that industry has become far more adept at responding to quick-changing post-pandemic customer needs. With the vast majority of HCPs being highly digital, if not digital first, congress organizers and associations have significantly digitized and hybridized their congresses, favoring 24/7 always-on engagement and delivery. This includes pre and post events; digital-only events; simulcasts of key papers and presentations; gamification of some content, etc. All of which will help drive access, engagement and value for industry and HCPs.

But the best may be yet to come. Manufacturers are also aggressively innovating how they engage with HCPs at both physical and digital events to better meet the needs of their customers. This includes virtual rooms, e-learning platforms and AI-driven engagement. On the latter, conversationHEALTH is building virtual agents that (1) extend clinical learning during the congress by personalizing engagement and making content easier to consume; and (2) extend engagement after the congress, making content readily accessible in the clinical moment of need and even handing off to “their” MSLs as needed. Think of every HCP having their own personal virtual congress assistant — one that is infinitely scalable to a global audience, across geographies and languages.

The benefits of these hybrid medical congresses are many:

  • More reach, attendance and access
  • Better engagement — during and post event
  • Real-time collaboration, with local and global peers, with local and global sponsors
  • Democratization of leading clinical insight
  • Better connectivity to the the research sponsors post congress, i.e. manufacturers, clinicians

In short, the opportunity of the hybrid medical congress is combining the best aspects of traditional live events with the power of digital and AI, delivering benefits greater than either alone. Long live the hybrid medical congress — and see you “there”!

To learn more about our digital solutions to engage HCPs, patients and consumers, book a meeting with conversationHEALTH & Capgemini today.