20 years ago international scientific meetings used to be a source of great learning for doctors and nurses, but also a lot of fun and a bit of a break from the daily routine.
The change in regulations made sponsoring less available (a good thing, for many reasons) so fewer people could afford to go. And of course, a trip half way around the world (in some cases), being gone for most of a week, with hotel fees and registration costs makes it a big investment. But…it was all worth it, and even necessary; This is where the greatest research was presented with the latest updates from the most experienced thought leaders.
Today the world doesn’t function like that anymore.
Social media and online news makes innovation and clinical data instantly available to anyone across the globe.
So why would doctors still fly around to meetings if there really isn’t anything new?
There is always a big win from meeting and discussing…but most international congresses are not designed that way. They are dinosaurs from the old times, when professors sit at podiums and a presenter stands at a podium and reads off data from a powerpoint presentation.
Health care professional attendee numbers are declining and so are sponsors. No manufacturer can spend a fortune paying for stand space, shipping expensive exhibition materials and paying company representatives to attend a 5 day meeting…especially not when so few of the customers are attending. And if they don’t have anything new to launch (and why would they? Innovation cannot wait 7 months for the next international meeting), they are just showing the same things that they can show customers at home.
I believe we need to rethink the whole concept. Accept that the old days are gone, and so are the old ways.
Come on, brilliant marketing agencies and event organisers. Take us all into present time?!