Does it still make sense to attend real-life events? We certainly think so. However, we recommend you choose them wisely, not to waste your time on something that won’t give you any value, and then prepare accordingly.
In our case, it’s especially worthwhile to attend the ones related to digital health. So, based on some great events we attended over the last month, we created a 3-step guide on how to make the most of healthcare industry conferences.
It’s incredibly important to take advantage of your presence at an event while you’re there. To explain how important it is we took notes, collaborated as a team during events and created this blog for you. No matter the size of your organisation or project, you will find easy-to-implement steps, with tips and recommendations alongside.
If you find what we write about in this article valuable, remember to follow us on LinkedIn, where we share more of our experiences from healthcare industry conferences and events.
Enjoy your read!
Step 1 – Get inspired at healthcare industry conferences
Inspiration leads us towards creative thinking about our work. By getting inspired we can produce ideas we wouldn’t be able to create without the things we’ve seen and people we spoke to. To experience and to get inspired is as important as all scientific or technological work behind each project.
To gain inspiration, be open to knowledge
Many people in the healthcare industry know each other from diverse educational backgrounds, hubs and accelerators. Accordingly, there are a lot of great opportunities to dive into very specific, unique knowledge of significant importance to your project.
Though, don’t forget to be prepared for technical conversations and be open to absorbing a lot of unknown facts at healthcare industry conferences.
Ask questions to know more
No one knows everything, even in their field of expertise, so don’t be afraid to ask! Not only about what the presenter or a research group does, but also about how they do it.
Some questions you can ask at healthcare-related, and other events, that people will love to answer:
- Ask them why they chose this particular project to work on.
- Ask about the story behind it.
- Ask about their biggest and most interesting challenges.
- Ask about what they would do differently if they had the knowledge they have now.
- Ask whether they can give you any advice, based on their experiences.
Remember that, when talking to people, it should be about them, and not you. You’ll get the most out of each conversation when you allow people to speak from the heart and ask open questions, as opposed to the yes-or-no ones. And when you hear about something especially relevant for you, ask for more details, possibly introducing a similar issue you’re currently working on. Usually, the people who attend such events are more than happy to share!
Maybe someone will know how to solve a problem in your current project? And, oftentimes, just talking to people doing similar things makes you think in different ways about what you’re working on. Don’t miss on that opportunity, and talk to a lot of people – especially the ones whose work makes you curious.
How we got inspired at Biomed Israel
Have you ever thought of a scientific solution that would solve a specific problem… if only your idea came to life? – Check it out, as it may already exist!
We’ve attended Biomed Israel for the first time this year. What we can share about the projects we’ve seen there, is that the ideas you might have heard of – or even read about in sci-fi books – are already prototypes, and the prototypes you’ve seen are ready products there!
It’s amazing to see how modern biotech evolves. We have noted the most interesting project, ideas and practices to brainstorm on later – and we recommend you always do the same. It’s great to get awed and inspired, but it may be equally beneficial to later carefully think about and discuss the innovations, technologies, and ideas you came across during an event.
📚 Book recommendation
“Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle” by Dan Senor, Saul Singer
An amazing, thought-provoking book that explains the excellence of start-ups and technological approaches in Israel. It’s based on case studies, therefore it’s an easy and valuable read.
Step 2 – Build your brand awareness at healthcare industry conferences
In the diverse environment at healthcare conferences, you should adjust your approach toward brand recognition. From project stands, through presenting on stage, to networking and making connections, you need to make sure you know what brand you stand for and what you want to present.
Exchange thoughts and experiences
We can’t be everywhere at once. And by “we”, we mean both you and us!
In mid-May, we attended four events in Tel Aviv, Berlin (twice) and Warsaw. You might have attended four or more different healthcare industry conferences during that time. Let’s talk about what we’ve both seen and learned. We build our brand awareness by being social – at conferences, online, or on other networking channels.
Why don’t you comment on our LinkedIn post that shares this article, for us and other companies that follow us to get to know your organisation? Whether you’re a small group of scientists working on an innovative project or a large company trying to release new products – we’re all in it together!
Back to real-world events – don’t miss out on any brand recognition or ‘ah-ha!’ moments while sharing your experiences at healthcare industry conferences. Don’t only listen and learn, but also react to what you hear and exchange ideas.
Someone’s working on a similar project? Talk about it!
At any event in the world, whether it’s in your country, abroad or overseas, you might meet people who do similar work to yours.
On a slide during one of the panels at Bionnale 2022, we read: “Call for Pharma companies: eliminate the paper-based leaflets and replace them with digital info”. We instantly thought: “An app we worked on does it!”.
A mobile application we developed for Dr.Max’s chain of pharmacies allows patients to get access to all medicine leaflets from their smartphones. No need to look for a medicine package to check any important information.
You can also find similarities to your project in what others are doing. It’s yet another occasion for a conversation and, therefore, brand recognition.
At the conferences, exchange of thoughts and making contacts are the most important, as they build the network and indicate the directions of personal and company growth.
~ Marta Danch-Wierzchowska, PhD – Project Leader at Revolve
The core role of Berlin in digital health and our brand awareness
Attending the Bionnale conference and mentoring at Vision Health Pioneers Incubator hackaton (both in Berlin), we once again concluded that taking part in diverse events and conferences is crucial to brand recognition.
We believe that Berlin, with its events and a robust innovation and startup ecosystem, is a very important city on the world’s digital health map. It’s an amazing place to go for any healthcare-related research and networking.
If we like Berlin for digital health conferences, you might too. Don’t wait and come to one of the healthcare industry events there. Be the face of your brand and show others that real people are working behind your project – this builds your brand awareness and trustworthiness, even in busy, industry-crowded Berlin.
Step 3 – share your knowledge and expertise
When thinking about sharing your know-how, you might be asking yourself: “Am I there yet”? Let’s make it clear – in some fields you are! There’s always something you’re more experienced in and knowledgeable in than many others.
For us, sharing knowledge can mean talking about medical software development, based on our current and past projects, or explaining what complying with ISO 13485 means for medical software development. You should also share your know-how with others. Not about the secret ingredients of your product or solution, but about your expertise, knowledge and experience in what you do. Don’t hesitate to share or listen to stories about failures. Not every story is a success story and It’s always helpful to learn from someone’s mistakes.
Present what can be useful for others
Presentation is one of the ways to share your knowledge with others. The majority, if not all healthcare industry conferences, have presentation sessions to which you can contribute with your own.
While making a presentation, try to have your audience in mind. Make sure the information and data shown are digestive (especially if it’s the sixth hour of listening to various presentations). Talk about what your audience might need and find useful, not about what you’re the proudest of. That’s a common mistake, and if you avoid it, your presentation will be more interesting and valuable to those who listen to it.
Finally – make it memorable. Make bold what’s important, and double-check if you stress it while presenting. Also, use storytelling and humour. Although the audience, a lot of the time, might be the “high profile” type, in the end, we’re all humans. Make your presentation humane. Everyone will appreciate a hard topic explained in an approachable way. And that’s also a good conversation starter.
Be a mentor at healthcare industry events
You probably have your mentors whom you value and admire for certain things, but it’s worth remembering that for someone else – that mentor could be you. Don’t diminish what might be useful for others.
We participate in the aforementioned Vision Health Pioneer Incubator events as mentors. Lately, we’ve spent a few days working with our mentees at a hackathon, where every team had 12 minutes with each mentor to ask questions, get feedback, and challenge their ideas. We hope that our mentees learned from us as much, as we ended up learning from them!
We love to mentor people striving for a quality experience in their field. Supporting Vision Health Pioneers Incubator is a great way to do that. Maybe there is a similar initiative in your country that you could contribute to? Could you contribute?
Our presentation at MEDmeetsTECH
In the spirit of sharing our know-how, we also attended the MEDmeetsTECH conference in Warsaw. At the event, we presented lessons learned from creating an application for rehabilitation. We developed our software for a wearable motion tracker, which monitors joint movement in real-time. We tried our best to make sure that our presentation could be useful for others.
We spoke about good practices, as well as what can go wrong in a project like this one. We talked about specifics, like having to simplify some app interfaces, even from a colour palette perspective, to make them accessible for people with disabilities.
This one is important and doesn’t always come to one’s mind when we see “boring colours” in an app.
Real-life scenarios and use cases tend to be more valuable and interesting to the audience than pure theory. So, if you can, talk about your specific challenges and solutions, as well as successes and failures. Tips, tricks and things to bear in mind while working in your field are always useful – share them!
Which events are you going to attend?
Even though we work in a different country than most of our clients are based (and probably from where you’re reading this article), we still prefer to have face-to-face conversations and get to know our clients in person. Real-life healthcare industry events are the perfect occasion to do just that and to show that we truly care about people, not only lines of code.
We also enjoy meeting new people – both in the „real world” and online. Therefore – we would love to hear from you! Which healthcare industry conferences do you like to attend and why? Do you have any other tips that would help others get more out of attending these? We’re always open to sharing knowledge and networking, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us on LinkedIn and let us know.