How to Increase Attendance for an Upcoming Medical Education Conference

There are many elements that go into planning, promoting, and delivering a successful CME conference. Plus, marketing to medical professionals can prove to be a challenge. So, how do you get as many attendees at your medical education conference as possible? Read on to learn everything you need to know to increase the attendance at your upcoming CME event.

Were you expecting a PDF?

We totally get it. Sometimes it's easier to read this kind of thing the old-fashioned way, ya know, on paper.

Download the PDF or print this page to read at your leisure.

The Top Factors Physicians Consider When Choosing a CME Course

physician-advancing-career-icon

Continued medical education allows physicians to learn and advance accreditation long after med school. CME courses, conferences, lectures, and webinars continue to generate educational value and attract hundreds of thousands of people a year. How do physicians decide on the best courses and offerings? Check out these seven relevant factors that physicians face when choosing a CME course.

  1. Choose Online or In-Person
    Physicians have the choice of studying at their own pace with an online CME course or attending a live course at an approved learning institution. The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) features nearly 2,000 CME providers on their website for medical professionals to choose from.

  2. Check the Credentials of Learning Providers
    Physicians need to confirm the credentials of the learning providers from whom they will be taking their CME course. Learners are able to review their assessment tasks, instructional methods, and learning outcomes.

  3. Speak With Previous Course Takers
    Visiting with a professional who has already taken the CME course can be very helpful for physicians searching for the right course. SERMO, a social network made up of over 600,000 verified physicians, is a great resource for medical professionals to find CME alumni.

  4. Look for Courses That Provide Career Advancement
    Physicians have the chance to expand their portfolio - and therefore advance their career - by taking continuing education courses. The American College of Physicians, which was founded in 1915, has a range of resources on disciplines physicians can specialize in and information about CME programs.

  5. The Cost of CME
    Choosing a CME conference or course within a budget is a major deciding factor when physicians are looking to continue their education. American Medical News reports that CME fees range from $20 to $50 per credit hour, with annual CME requirements ranging from 15 to 50 credit hours.

  6. Meet With Course Providers
    Future learners may want to meet with the course provider before enrolling. If your conference or course takes place in a physical location, a physician may want to investigate the learning environment before making any commitments.

  7. Get Notified About CME Offerings
    Physicians are busy professionals and often need some assistance in finding the right CME course or conference for them. If you offer continued medical education events and materials, make sure future learners are aware of your brand and its quality.

How to Promote a Medical Conference

It’s important to understand which channels your target audience is using and what type of content they’re interested in to promote your medical conference. Whether you are trying to sell out an upcoming event or create buzz for next year’s conference, these promotion tips can help.

 

Twitter Chats & Hashtags

Twitter is a great platform for casual, real-time conversations concerning your upcoming event. By using a branded hashtag in this environment, you can generate a good response out of a regularly scheduled chat. Discussions in a Twitter chat can include topics that are going to be touched on at your medical conference or news affecting your specialization. Try to line up industry leaders to moderate the discussion so you can use the additional name power to attract users.

 

Retarget Previous Attendees

Using your mailing list to re-engage past attendees is a resourceful way of rounding up attendees for your upcoming medical conference. Ideally, you have been keeping in touch with them since the last event through newsletters, special promotions, follow-up surveys, and more interesting content. By occasionally engaging with past attendees in between conferences, you’re building a relationship over time. Then, once tickets are on sale, they’re that much closer to making the purchase.

 

Ask for Testimonials

There is no doubt medical professionals are busy; so, you need to communicate the value of your conference quickly and concisely. An efficient way of doing this is by asking previous attendees and speakers to provide a testimonial on past events. Are those individuals busy too? Probably. Save them some time by proposing to write a testimonial on behalf of them and getting approval to quote them on it.

 

Use a Follow Up Survey Tool

Another quick and intuitive way to receive feedback is to offer a short follow up survey to past attendees. With this information, you can improve your processes involved with promoting future CME events. Ask attendees how they found out about your conference and which channels they prefer to be reached through. MedEd Manager allows CME coordinators to send follow up surveys to attendees in addition to access to a myriad of helpful features.

 

Partner With an Industry Influencer

Contact industry leaders within your specialization to ask if they would be willing to post about your medical conference or share your content. By building relationships with industry influencers via their social media profiles, you’ll be exposed to their following. If you decide to pay the influencer for the exposure, be sure to let users know you’re sponsoring the posts.

 

Use LinkedIn Targeted Ads

With LinkedIn’s targeted advertising platform, you’re able to get a clear picture of the audience you are reaching. Find your ideal attendee profile with job title matches and other key demographics to target with your ad campaign. LinkedIn ads are a paid advertising method, however, well worth it for the targeting features.

 

Optimize Your Event Page

Your event’s registration page should drive visitors to your overall goal of event signups. Optimization tips include removing anything from the page that might distract visitors from registering, creating a call-to-action button, and implementing copy that emphasizes the value of your conference. Also, make it easy for visitors to get in touch with you if they have any questions.

How to Increase CME Course Registrants

cme-buyer-persona-icon

Generate a Buyer Persona

Oftentimes, event coordinators miss their attendance mark because of a lack of buyer personas. Sure, you want every care provider possible to attend your medical conference. But, this is unrealistic. Understand your ideal attendee’s specialization, demographics, unique challenges, etc. to effectively target the best audience for your event.

mobile-friendly-registration-icon

Provide a Mobile-Friendly Registration

Don’t limit a potential conference registrant to filling a form out at a desk. These days, everyone is on the go. Make sure your registration process is completely mobile-friendly.

cme-registration-form-icon

Keep it Simple

The quicker it takes a physician to fill out a form, the better. Don’t lose registrants over complicated and lengthy sign-up forms. Ask only the necessary questions in your event registration; you can always ask for more information later.

check-mark-icon

Make Sure Your Form Works for Everyone

Not only does your registration form need to work on different devices, but it also needs to work for different brands and browsers. Be certain to test your registration form on all fronts to ensure you’re not losing registrants.

Marketing for medical is similar to any other form of marketing. Your goal is to get the word out about your CME offerings so potential registrants make the commitment. You want to give physicians the most time possible to carve out time in their schedule for your medical conference or course. Encourage early registrants with special offers or entice major healthcare providers with bulk discounts.

A CME event manager can be an incredible asset for when you need to get the word out about your conference. Management software packages like the MedEd Manager can help you overcome any technical challenges by bringing in an experienced partner. MedEd Manager can automate and streamline marketing efforts to make sure your registration process is performing at optimal efficiency.

How to Increase Traffic to Your CME Course

Tips on Finding the Best Learning Management System

Medical professionals have the option to take a variety of different types of CME courses. Options include in-classroom, online, and medical conferences. Conferences tend to be popular amongst medical professionals due to the fact they cover a massive amount of information in a short period of time.

Organizing a CME conference, on the other hand, takes time, planning, and preparation. Fortunately, learning management software (LMS) can help streamline the process. Note some of the reasons why you could benefit from an LMS at your medical conference.

Easy-to-Use and Secure Registration

Implementing an LMS - especially one that is reinventing the standard of CME facilitation and marketing, like MedEd Manager - will simplify the entire registration process. Attendees can sign up quickly and make payments securely through a reliable interface.

 

Advanced Document Management

CME conferences tend to generate a massive amount of content for each attendee. Keeping all of the papers, packets, and brochures in order can be a hassle for participants and organizers. The LMS you choose should help eliminate this issue by offering content via any electronic device.

Increased Participant Engagement

A major benefit you should seek out in an LMS is improved participant engagement. No matter if you’re hosting your CME conference in person or online, an LMS should enable attendees to participate in open discussion forums, email, online chat, and instant messaging.

 

 

Accurate, Real-Time Record Keeping

Your CME manager should be able to provide real-time record keeping throughout your entire conference. Medical conference organizers and speakers need an accurate record of exactly who attended the conference and which portions they attended. Record keeping is extremely important for participants to have documentation of the necessary CME credits.

Hosting a CME conference can be immensely easier with the help of MedEd Manager. Learn how.

Reasons to Provide a Mobile Experience at Your CME Conference

increased-cme-engagement-graph-icon

Increased Engagement

Creating a mobile strategy will increase attendee engagement at your CME event. Studies have shown that participants have higher levels of engagement when they’re involved in a program that incorporates mobile learning. Personalization of mobile content can be used to complement your medical conference and improve learning outcomes.

cme-attendee-feedback-faces-icon

Get Feedback

Mobile apps make it easy to get feedback from your CME attendees during and after your event. Gathering data from medical professionals is important to continually improve your offerings and processes. Collecting feedback can lead to improved event targeting, measurement of conference ROI, and automated data collection.

three-medical-professionals-icon

Appeal to More Professionals

Physicians are busy people and oftentimes opt for the mobile version of a course or conference recording instead of physically attending. To target a larger audience, offer a mobile application that allows professionals to access your content from anywhere on their mobile devices.

managing-conference-registration-processes-icon

Manage Your Registration Process

A mobile experience at your medical conference will allow you to manage the registration process without breaking a sweat. Easily refund attendees, handle payments, and see who has checked into your event with mobile. Not to mention, one in four event professionals use tablets to register attendees

multiply-cme-event-promotion-graph-icon

Multiply Event Promotion

Use mobile apps to target medical professionals before, during, and after your CME conference. Platforms like SERMO and Doximity are specific to nurses, physicians, and medical students, making it easy to market to a qualified audience. Using general social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn is also an effective way to gain interest in your event and stay in touch with attendees.

Research has shown that event technology boosts attendance by 20 percent, increases productivity by 27 percent, and reduces event costs by as much as 30 percent. MedEd Manager can help you implement mobile at your next CME event.

Does Your CME Event Need an App?

Now that you know that a mobile experience at your CME event can potentially improve attendee satisfaction, it’s time to decide if your conference needs an app.

When you have a CME conference app, attendees can…

  • Easily access the schedule
  • Engage and communicate directly
  • Receive real-time updates for any conference changes
  • Access useful CME resources
  • Have a more satisfying and educational experience

Some reasons you might not want a CME conference app are…

  • If you don’t have the resources to build a quality app
  • If your average attendee doesn’t prefer mobile technology

Continued medical education conferences can gain a lot from a mobile app. Look into your options during your next CME planning phase, and map out whether this approach is right for your conference.

CME events can gain a lot from a mobile app. Look through your options during your next conference planning phase, and map out whether an app is the right direction for your event.

Tips on Finding a Medical Marketing Agency for Your CME Offerings

researching-computer-magnifying-glass-icon

Research and Ask for Recommendations

Using your networking sources or an online database can help you find out what other organizations have done. Search for an agency that has a track record that fits with your offerings. Don’t be afraid to ask agencies for references or testimonials from current clients.

lightbulb-cme-agency-icon

Be Sure They Know CME

A medical marketing agency may be fluent in working with hospitals to bring more patients through their doors, but may lack the CME knowledge to help you market your offerings. Do some research to see if the agency in question has done any CME-specific work.

seo-for-cme-computer-graph-icon

Be Sure They Know SEO

A marketing agency may be able to make a beautiful website for you to market your CME offerings, but if they don’t value SEO, it’s unlikely your target audience will ever see it. Search engine optimization helps your events and courses get in front of the people looking for exactly what you have to offer. Never underestimate the power of SEO in CME marketing.

cme-marketing-channels-megaphone-icon

They Should Use Various Marketing Channels

Not every physician uses the same social or professional media platforms. Be certain the your medical marketing agency has experience and knowledge in effectively communicating in a variety of channels.

analytics-for-cme-pie-graph-icon

They Should Provide Analytics

How will you know how far your CME conference has come if no one is measuring the promotional effort? Your medical marketing agency should keep a detailed record of analytics for your campaign, but deliver it to you in a digestible way. Then, you can decide on next steps together.

 


 

Increasing Attendance for a Medical Education Conference Isn’t Easy

We know that there’s a lot that goes into planning, promoting, and executing a CME conference. That’s why MedEd Web Solutions has created the MedEd Manager. MedEd Manager will organize, market, and streamline your CME offerings, so you can focus on delivering the best medical education possible.

Explore the MedEd Manager Demo

MedEd Manager makes it possible to:

  • Enter data once to easily manage all events, enhance marketing, and expedite payment processes.
  • Create a better experience for learners by transforming the way you facilitate CME events and courses.
  • Rest assured that all of your data is safe with a grade A provider of HIPPA-compliant, highly-secured hosting.
  • Use the built-in support portal to ask for assistance on any screen within MedEd Manager.
  • Easily control the credit types and certificates you offer for each course.

Access the MedEd Manager Demo