Medical meetings have been enjoying great success of late,
according to the Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association. In
ranking the largest medical meetings of 2010, the Atlanta-based group
found the average total attendance of the top 50 shows was nearly 20,000
(19,512), a 5.1 percent increase over the year before. The average
number of medical professionals attending each of these shows was
13,227, a 7.2 percent year-over-year jump.
The question is: In
the face of prolonged economic uncertainty and increasingly complex
regulations surrounding health-care professionals, why do so many large
medical events forge on with such success? The reasons are ripe with
lessons that can apply to all meetings.
a word, it's continuity," says Steve Drew, the assistant executive
director of scientific assembly and informatics for the Radiological
Society of North America, when asked why his medical meeting is
thriving. "That's one of the main ingredients here," he adds. Indeed,
the meetings department at the Oak Brook, Ill.-based RSNA reports to
Drew, who has been at the society for 23 years and counting.
have similar kinds of longevity among employees across the meetings
department and throughout the organization," Drew explains. "Being able
to maintain a good, cohesive team ensures the continuity from year to
year. We could build on what was the best from last year and improve on
things that maybe didn't work as well as we would have liked."
RSNA's 2010 Annual Meeting ranked second on HCEA's list, having drawn
more than 58,000 attendees to the McCormick Convention Center.
Attendance at the 2011 meeting, held at the same venue from Nov. 27 to
Dec. 2, grew by nearly 2 percent, to 59,097, and the number of
radiologists in the house was a record-setting 16,272.
notion of continuity applies as well to the RSNA's volunteer board of
medical professionals. Board members sign up for an eight-year
commitment, Drew notes, which affords them plenty of time to familiarize
themselves with the scientific-assembly content for the gatherings
before transitioning to a broader leadership role within the
organization (with greater oversight for the meetings).