Giving Healthcare Attendees What They Want

Sparks Marketing
Zimmer Biomet Booth at DKOU

The key to engagement

As a part of our proprietary research into the current healthcare event landscape for attendees and brands, we decided to break the mold when it comes to understanding attendee wants and desires for attendance and engagement.

Of course, we know that attendees routinely list content, networking and “seeing what’s new” as the big three reasons to attend. But we wanted deeper insight into what attendees really mean by content and networking—and how this information can better inform the strategy for our healthcare brands as they look to maximize the impact of their engagements.

What is content?

The healthcare events audience has always been unique in the face-to-face marketing space. They are highly scientific so it's no surprise that they are interested in data and clinical information. Particularly driven by “what’s next" and "what is in the pipeline." Content always ranks high in reasons to attend, but what kind of content do they mean specifically and how can this inform exhibitors and sponsors?

There's good news for all brands. Yes, attendees are highly interested in the congress-curated content and learning tracks. Late-breaking, live cases, KOL presentations… These are the hallmarks of medical events. But our research shows that 72% of healthcare attendees report that they are also interested in industry curated content.

And it’s not just podium presentations and “innovation theaters." An even higher percentage of attendees say that they are interested in in-booth learning. The modern healthcare conference attendee is looking for content and learning across the entire meeting landscape creating real opportunity for brands as they engage on the show floor and beyond.

What is networking?

Networking has become the top reason listed by healthcare attendees for attendance since the pandemic. What is a bit surprising is that attendees now think of networking as learning. It is part of the content of the meeting.

When we asked attendees what networking really means to them the answers were interesting. Building their professional network was number one, but it was followed closely by the desire to have informal scientific conversations and making research connections. This is important information for brands, particularly when you consider that attendees also say that they are looking for structured/organized networking opportunities. And it also points to the growing influence and importance of medical information/education zones in booth design.

Key takeaways

  1. Content is the big opportunity.
    Brands should really focus their strategies around delivering engaging content on the show floor. It can take many forms, but attendees want to consume content rather than be sold to. And best of all, they value your content as much as they value the curated congress content.

  2. Networking is part of that content.
    Attendees are looking for ways to connect with both colleagues and brands. And they are also looking for structured and facilitated opportunities for connection. Brands can play a pivotal role in facilitating 1-on-1 meetings, KOL meetups and happy hour/social sponsorships. These conversations are likely to be just as important as booth content.

If you’d like to learn more or schedule a presentation of the full research findings, feel free to send us a note at