Medical meetings are being disrupted more than any other sector we work with. While the profession is thriving, scientific meetings and healthcare professional conferences aren’t performing nearly as well as they did five to ten years ago.
Three of the main factors contributing to declines in registration and industry participation include:
1. Private practices are joining large hospital systems. The healthcare industry supply chain is selling to a less fragmented market. Hospital systems are increasingly shifting CME from outbound to inbound.
2. Patient outcomes, not procedures, are the new measurement for reimbursement. The latest research and science are taking a backseat to practice improvement in the era of affordable healthcare.
3. Pharma and medical device regulations and self-policing, both here and overseas, are shifting marketing spend away from large medical meetings, resulting in smaller booth sizes, fewer sponsorship and promotion dollars and less funding of large contingencies of international registrants.
Meetings where education is primarily research- and science-based are the ones that will experience the greatest disruption. They will attract fewer practicing healthcare professionals who are interested in learning how to best navigate the new patient-friendly reimbursement model. The “speakers speaking to speakers” business model attracts faculty and students, but not the mid-career practitioner who is critical for sustainability.