Okay, so there are a ton of clinical research trade shows and conferences each year. This makes it difficult to get the most bang for the buck. While it would be great if researchers could attend multiple events each year, the reality is that is not always possible, due to budgetary limitations, time constraints or other factors. If you are in this position, it’s important to make sure you do your homework, and pick the conference or trade show that is best for you, and best for your company. Let’s take a look at some key questions to ask and actions to take during the selection process.
Questions to Ask:
What Types of Learning Tracks are Offered?
You don’t always have to go to the biggest events to find best learning tracks. Small, specialized shows often have great learning opportunities. Also, the number of learning tracks is less important than the topics discussed. It’s important to ask yourself, are the tracks offered interesting to me, and will they help me professionally?
Will the Exhibitors I Need to Speak with be in Attendance?
Throughout the year, there is a good chance your organization will identify areas where the products or services of clinical research vendors will be necessary. When selecting your trade show, ensure that the types of vendors you need to talk with will be in attendance. This allows for that face-to-face interaction that makes the purchasing process easier. Even if the product is software or a physical commodity, make sure that there are exhibitors in attendance who can help solve your problems.
Who is Speaking at the Event?
Understanding who the speakers are during the event is also important. Knowing who is speaking will help to determine if the show will be valuable for you. Knowing the speakers and their backgrounds will help to determine show’s if the content will be educational and valuable to you.
Are CME’s Offered as Part of the Learning Tracks?
Do you need CME’s? If so, make sure you know what types of credits are offered, and what areas they cover.
Actions to Take:
Talk to Colleagues and Co-Workers
Ask colleagues and co-workers about their experiences at certain industry events and see if there are any that the recommend. A firsthand account of an event is often a great way to determine if you will see value.
Research Past Events
The ability to research past events is not always possible; but when it is, do all of the research you can. Look for any information shared by previous attendees or previous speakers. This will help to give you a feel for how others have felt about the event.