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Measuring and Improving Medical Meetings: The Complete Guide

Ryan Mazon
Posted byRyan Mazon
on 12/12/18 04:45 PM

Ryan is Senior Vice President, Business Development at Educational Measures

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Today, I'm going to show you how to measure and continuously improve your live medical meetings. You'll learn the analytical secrets to help you measure key performance indicators like ROI. And no, you don't need to be a data scientist or analytics expert to take advantage of this guide. You simply need to know what to measure and how. In fact, success with meeting analytics starts with asking yourself three simple questions:

What is my goal?

What do I want to measure?

What data do I need to collect?

So, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, you'll love this powerful roadmap.

Let's get started. 


Be Laser Focused on Your Goals4-1 5-1

 Profiling Your Audience How to Measure EngagementNext Steps



Chapter 1: Be Laser Focused on Your Goals

From the moment your meeting begins, you're under pressure to demonstrate ROI. But measuring ROI can be challenging, depending on your meeting type and audience. You'll need to create a measurement plan and secure event technology to collect audience data. Ideally, your event technology will have a built-in analytics and insights platform.


The truth is, there are A LOT of opportunities to collect audience data. So many, it can be overwhelming. What's the secret? 

Work backwards, and stay laser focused on your meeting goals. This will help you narrow down what to measure and what data to collect


Here's some real-life examples of medical meeting goals:

Continuing Medical Education (CME) - You are a continuing medical education provider, and you want to demonstrate that

7-2 your meeting resulted in long-term knowledge retention.

Pharma/Biotech (Clinical) - You are a study leader running investigator meetings at a pharmaceutical or life sciences company. You want to show that participants understand the information delivered, buy in to the clinical trial protocol, and follow the protocol when they get back to their site. 

Pharma/Biotech (Marketing) - You are a product manager at a pharmaceutical or biotech company. You want to test your product's value proposition from a data perspective at an advisory board meeting.

Professional Association - You are the head of meetings for a medical association. You want to improve audience engagement at your annual meeting during the presentation of late-breaking abstracts.  

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Chapter 2: How to Measure Knowledge Transfer and Retention

Do you want to know how much your audience caught from your meeting when they walked away? How much they will change their behavior when they leave? Or maybe, you'd like to know how much they retained three to six months later? For this, you'll need to measure knowledge data and retention.

8-2The best part? Nothing fancy is required.  Pre- and post-surveys are an effective means of measuring both of these metrics. They're also easy to implement, cost effective, and just plain effective. 

Want to amp up the excitement factor for your attendees? Utilize your event technology and challenge them with knowledge games. Not only will you increase participation by waking up their competitive spirit, but you can measure your audience's confidence in their knowledge.

Measuring longer-term knowledge retention is also simple. Send participants a 3-6 month post-meeting survey and ask them questions specific to the desired behavior change. The more specific you are, the better.

 For example, if you are clinical study manager, you may want to ask investigator meeting participants how closely they are following specific aspects of the study protocol. 

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Chapter 3: Measuring Audience Satisfaction

If you work for a life sciences company, you may spend hundreds of millions per year in investigator meetings, speaker training, and advisory boards. If you work for a professional medical association, growing your annual meeting attendance is essential. The common denominator? It's critical to make your meetings stand out. You need to not only provide your audience with a fantastic environment, but with outstanding speakers, content, and networking opportunities. You want to give them reason to come back year after year.

And let's not forget the need to turn them into strong advocates for your company, product, or events.  But how do you know if you are hitting the mark? And how do you measure audience satisfaction across an entire portfolio of meetings? With iPad event technology such as that has built-in analytics, it's simple to capture, pool data, and evaluate audience satisfaction from multiple live meetings. 

Bottom line, pooled measurement of sentiment and satisfaction can provide a powerful roadmap for long-term improvements. The more granular you can get with measurement, the more specific you can be with your improvements. 

Advanced meeting professionals are already measuring individual sessions, content and presenters, the venue, destination, amenities, food and beverage, and more. Want to compare and contrast different meetings? You'll want to conduct identical evaluations so that your data is consistent. Consistency is especially important if you are doing more than 25 meetings per year. 

I'm going to tell you four types of data you can collect to measure audience satisfaction:



Basic Evaluations

Sometimes, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. You just need to re-think where the wheel is placed. Spread your evaluations throughout the sessions instead of waiting for the end of your event. You won't believe the difference this alone will make in the number of completions.  Evaluations should be specific and consistent. Utilize a 1-10 scale to get a more accurate measurement of satisfaction. Surveys that are pushed to take over the entire screen will get the most responses. 


Utilize snap polls at key points throughout the event to measure the ongoing sentiment of the audience. Emoticons like thumbs up and thumbs down or smiley face and sad face will get the most response and impress millennials in your audience


Turn on a five-star rating system for every slide to better understand what's working and what isn't.


At the end of the event, rankings will provide insights beyond basic evaluations. Who were the top five speakers? Which sessions had the most informative content? Is your message being received or accepted as valuable? It will even help you determine what content needs tweaking. Ideally, your event analytics technology will provide these intelligent insights in an easy-to-use platform. 

Next, I'll cover the best ways to profile your audience. 

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Chapter 4: Profiling Your Audience

Profiling your audience is an essential component of achieving ROI. Why? It allows you to personalize the meeting experience to achieve maximum results. But before we get into that, here are a few things you may want to find out about your medical audience:

  • Personality types

  • Learning preferences and styles

  • Topic interests

  • Desired goal in attending your event

  • How they interact with your content, speakers and engagement technology interface, etc.

Opportunities for personalization are nearly limitless. Poll a main session and utilize profiling to guide your audience to specific breakout sessions. Feed the results of profiling questions into a CRM system, and increase the effectiveness of your sales force. Or, change up the instructional design of your next meeting based on what you learn in the current event. The more you personalize, the greater impact you will achieve. 

10Virtually everyone has heard of big data. You'd be amazed at how many companies are collecting more than 10,000 attributes for their customers and doing micro-segmentation. 

But remember this rule of thumb:

It’s not just about the data. It is about how to use data to drive your business.

So, start small and make sure the data you collect aligns with your meeting and business objectives. And beware of over collection! To be GDPR compliant, you should avoid collecting personal information that you don't need. When choosing an event technology provider, be sure to ask if they are GDPR compliant. 


Here are some types of data you may want to collect on your audience:


You can collect demographic information on your medical audience such as age, sex, education level, income level, marital status, occupation, religion, birth rate, death rate, average size of a family, average age at marriage.


Psychographics are tests that can help you better understand your audience's learning styles. You'll want to choose the personality or learning style assessment that best fits your business and meeting objectives. Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about psychographics.

Application Usage 

Clickstream data will quickly reveal how well meeting participants navigate your meeting application, engage with the presenter and consume information. Better understanding this will help you improve future meetings and events. 

Next up, I'll share effective ways to measure audience engagement. 

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Chapter 5: How to Measure Audience Engagement

Here's the thing about audience engagement. It impacts EVERYTHING. The more engaged your audience is, the more value they are going to get out of your meeting. With an engaged audience and presenters, the probability of you achieving your meeting goals increases exponentially!

When measuring engagement, you need to understand three things: 11

1) What's driving the engagement

2) The context of the engagement

3) The impact of the engagement

By capturing every click and comment from every meeting, you provide yourself with a rich set of engagement data. But don't stop there. To understand the impact of engagement, you'll want to collect post-meeting data on knowledge retention and behavioral changes.

Second screen iPad technology provides the most accurate, reliable, and interactive way of collecting engagement data. Remember, you have a captive heath care audience so take advantage. They will engage far more while seated in a meeting than using an event app walking from session to session.

Let's take a look at specific data you can collect and analyze to measure audience engagement:


Slide Engagement

If you want to achieve your meeting goals, you can't afford to guess what information resonates with your audience. Capturing slide ratings, saved slides, notes taken, and questions asked, and snap-polls gives you quantitative data from every slide. 

Speaker Engagement

Behind every slide, there is a presenter. While evaluations capture overall speaker effectiveness, second screen technology captures detailed effectiveness all along the presenter journey. Evaluations tell the meeting planner which speakers were the most effective. Engagement tells the presenter and planner exactly what makes speakers effective.

Real-time Q&A

Even the most shy and introverted participants deserve a voice in the conversation. Second screen technology provides a non-threatening way for these audience members to ask questions when they are most engaged in a topic. Then you can evaluate and look for trends in your audience's Q&A.


Clickstream your audience's use of second screen meeting technology. You can see how each person has interacted with the application by tracking their clicks. What content did they view? What parts of the application did they use the most? What call-to-action buttons were the most impactful? This can not only help you track engagement, but will provide insights into what prompted them to engage. 

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Chapter 6: What's Next?

12You've created a measurement plan and collected data with your second screen event technology. Now what? 

It's time to analyze that data and get insights for ROI and improvements. The best interactive event technology will have built in analytics. It should seamlessly tie your audience data from multiple events into one central hub and provide insights. Once you have insights, you can determine what improvements are needed to meet your goals.


Here's the Next Step

Now I turn it over to you. 

What do you want to measure and improve at your next medical meeting?

I hope this guide was useful and we'd love to hear from you. 

Please reach out with questions or comments. 

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