Last month I shared an article with you:
HCPs Weigh In on What Draws Them to Conferences

It still continues to evoke areas that are worthy of discussion. I was particularly interested in the statistics regarding online continued education vs. in-person. What was found is that when it comes to the education portion of a meeting, online learning is preferred.

“Specifically, 37 percent say they mostly or always watch sessions on demand, 32 percent say they watch live and on-demand about equally, and just 23 percent say they watch all or most sessions live. As a result, HCPs overwhelmingly say that they attend virtual events for absorbing content rather than for making professional connections.”

The bolded statement is obvious given that there are very limited professional connections that could possible be made in an online learning environment, which is why exhibitors found out from the very beginning of the Covid online event era that it, quite frankly, SUCKED.

Strangely, though, I never really thought much about how it affected DPMs as attendees and their overall satisfaction. I think this has been overlooked because the popularity of online meetings maintains due to obvious time and cost benefits. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean satisfaction is high. In fact, this statement from the article was something I had never considered:

“Further, 68 percent feel that virtual attendees are considered less important by convention organizers than are in-person attendees, which drives HCPs’ narrowed expectations for the virtual experience.”

Again, I have been so caught up in the struggles for the online exhibitor, that it never crossed my mind to think that attendees feel a bit slighted as well. Are we sabotaging our online meetings because we’re so focused on what’s in front of us and in person? Does the screen create a lack of caring of quality education because we don’t have to “see” the disappointment up close and personal?

It makes sense for meeting organizers to put a large amount of focus into their in-person events given the expense and the time commitment by all. If you’re not going to do it right, why do it at all? But with that same sentiment…. if you’re not going to do an online event right, why do it at all?

When we say “yes” to putting on an online event, that means we are taking time away from any in-person event you are also planning for. Basically, what I’m saying is – if you’re not going to put the heart and soul into an online event, don’t do it at all. One, it still won’t be as “cared for” as the BIG SHOW. B. all it does is take much needed time away from the BIG SHOW. C. half-assed (pardon my language) events still cost money to promote and implement that could be allocated to making the BIG SHOW stronger.
Thoughts? Questions? Email Me!
Sarah Breymeier:

-Sarah Breymeier