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Healthcare Tradeshow Marketing and PR – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

This month’s #HITMC Twitter chat is hosted by Colin Hung.

Can you believe it’s already August? Where has the year gone?

For me, August has always been “prep & planning month”. It is the last month of calm before the craziness of the fall conference season hits. Symplur is already tracking 182 healthcare conferences scheduled between September 1st and October 31st of this year. That’s about 4 conferences for each business day over those two months! (Note: You might find Healthcare Scene’s take on some of the top Healthcare IT Conferences useful)

If you assume that on average there are 20 exhibitors at each conference and that the cost to exhibit is approximately $10,000 (exhibit fee, travel, accommodations, marketing materials, etc) that means $36.4M will be spent conferences this fall. The actual number is likely much higher, especially when you consider that one of the fall conferences is the mega-sized RSNA (with over 2,000 exhibitors filling the entire McCormick Center in Chicago IL) and that Symplur does not track every single healthcare conference that is happening.

With this amount of spending, it is clear that conferences are still an important part of the marketing mix for healthcare vendors. But should they be? It is well documented that email marketing, content marketing and SEO/SEM have much lower cost of acquisition compared with conferences, so should marketers not be investing more in these channels? Is this already happening with fewer and fewer new companies exhibiting?

Over the past couple of years, I have noticed a growing trend of companies attending conferences rather than exhibiting at them. When I ask, it seems there are two primary reasons driving this choice. First, is cost. Attending a conference means no booth costs (shipping, setup, staffing, giveaways) which can be as much as 50% of the cost of a conference. Second is ease of networking. At most conferences, exhibitors get a special colored badge. Unfortunately, when attendees see someone approaching with a badge of that color, they usually run the other way out of fear of getting a sales pitch. Many company representatives find it much easier to have conversations when you are seen as a fellow attendee.

On this month’s #HITMC tweetchat we will be discussing healthcare tradeshows and conferences. Are they still worth it? Is it better to go as an attendee?  When does it make since to sponsor and exhibit? How can marketers get more value from conferences?

Join us Tuesday, August 8th at Noon ET (9AM PT) for the hour-long TweetChat.  These questions will serve as the framework for the chat.

T1. Do you think healthcare conferences still hold value as a marketing investment?

T2. Exhibit Hall? or Attendee only? Which offers the better return for each dollar invested?

T3. What tactics have you used to increase the value of attending/exhibiting at healthcare conferences?

T4. What is the worst mistake you have seen an exhibitor make at a healthcare conference?

T5. As an attendee, what, if anything, would attract you to a vendor’s booth? What would turn you away?

BONUS What is the best and worst giveaway that you have seen at a healthcare conference?

Just hop on Twitter and search for #HITMC on Tuesday, August 8th at Noon ET (9AM PT) and you can join in.  We look forward to connecting with you and hearing your thoughts on this important subject!

Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:

9/5 – TBD
TBD

10/3 – TBD
TBD

Patient Marketing – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT)! To participate, use the #HITMC hashtag to follow along on Twitter and add #HITMC to your tweets to add to the conversation.

While all of our past #HITMC Twitter chats have been around some form of healthcare B2B marketing and PR, we decided for this month’s chat to expand our horizons a bit and talk about patient marketing. Dare we say, healthcare B2C marketing?

We’ve always had a number of members of the community from the healthcare B2C marketing world that were focused on marketing to patients. Many of them came from hospital marketing groups and they provided some amazing perspectives and insights into healthcare marketing. It seemed like time to really welcome the healthcare B2C (patient) marketing crowd to the community by hosting a Twitter chat focused on marketing to patients.

Join us on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT) for the hour long Twitter chat. Here are the topics that will serve as the framework for our discussion:

T1. What are the keys to effective patient marketing? #HITMC

T2. How is marketing to patients (B2C) different than B2B healthcare marketing? #HITMC

T3. What are some examples of amazing patient marketing? #HITMC

T4. What should you never do when marketing to patients? #HITMC

T5. Should we include more B2C patient marketing at the #HITMC 2018 conference?

BONUS. When was the last time you were marketed to as a patient? Did you love it or hate it? #HITMC

We look forward to connecting with you!

Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:

8/8 – Tradeshow Marketing and PR
Hosted by Colin Hung (@Colin_Hung)

9/5 – TBD
TBD

10/3 – TBD
TBD

Summer #HITMC Chat Schedule

Summer is always a busy time for the #HITMC community, so we change up the schedule of our regular Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chats. This summer we’ll be holding the following two Health IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter chats:

6/27 – Noon ET (9 AM PT) – Patient Marketing

8/8 – Noon ET (9 AM PT) – TBD

Check back about a week before the #HITMC Twitter chats to find the detailed questions and topics.  We hope you’ll all put this on your calendar to attend both #HITMC chats this summer.

Until then, be sure to share ideas, ask questions, get advice, etc on the #HITMC hashtag on Twitter and the HITMC Community on LinkedIn.

A Little HITMC Workshop – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT)! To participate, use the #HITMC hashtag to follow along on Twitter and add #HITMC to your tweets to add to the conversation.

On this chat, StudioNorth will lead the discussion on a wide variety of healthcare IT marketing and PR topics.  There’s a little bit for everyone and a number of unique takes on a Twitter chat that we’ve never seen before.  It should be a great time to interact with your fellow HITMC community members and spend time thinking about your own healthcare marketing and PR efforts.

Here are the topics that will serve as the framework for our discussion:

T1. What were your #HITMC-ahas? (Truths that changed you, the way you think or what you do.) #HITMC?

T2. What rising expectations are you seeing from patients/providers in your world? #HITMC

T3. WORKSHOP TIME: What is your company’s offer? Now, tell it from the provider’s point of view. Then the patient’s. #HITMC

T4. No BS. What do we need to eliminate from our marketing strategies? #HITMC

T5. What is valuable about the #HITMC community for you? #HITMC

BONUS. What should be the next #HITMC parody song?

We look forward to connecting with you!

Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:

6/27 – TBD
TBD

8/8 – TBD
TBD

How to Make the Most of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT) – just ahead of the live conference gathering in Las Vegas, Aril 5 – 7! To participate, use the #HITMC hashtag to follow along on Twitter and add #HITMC to your tweets to add to the conversation.

On this chat, Agency Ten22 will lead the discussion on ways to make the most of HITMC – both at the conference and for those following along virtually. HITMC offers health IT marketing and PR professionals an opportunity for immersion in the HIT marketing tribe. Session offerings at the up-coming conference cover everything from storytelling in content to branding and experiential marketing. As you build your HITMC session “must” list, what are you looking to personally gain from the sessions you attend?

Those of you not attending HITMC in the flesh are encouraged to share your thoughts on the chat as well!  Let us know which sessions and topics interest you most so we can try and live tweet those sessions for you.  There’s always a lot of great content from the conference shared on the #HITMC hashtag so you can participate virtually.

Here are the topics that will serve as the framework for our discussion:

T1. What is the #1 takeaway you hope to gain, learn or accomplish by attending or tuning in to #HITMC?

T2. How do you plan to make the most of your #HITMC experience, in person and/or virtually?

T3. What 2-3 #HITMC sessions or topics of conversation hold the most interest for you?

T4. If you’ve participated in person or online, what is one of your most memorable take-aways from past #HITMC events?

T5. If you’ve attended past #HITMC conferences, meetups or Twitter chats, what helpful advice can you offer to newbies?

BONUS. Bragging Rights: What’s been your greatest marketing success in the past year? #HITMC

We look forward to connecting with you!

The #HITMC Twitter chats happen the 1st Tuesday of every month, so put them on your calendar and join us each month. Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:
5/2 – TBD
Hosted by Studio North

6/6 – TBD
TBD

HITMC Sneak Peek: Brand Building in a Time Crunch

The following is a guest post by Kelcie Chambers, Account Director at Dodge Communications.

It takes time to successfully rebrand a company, but in the world of healthcare marketing, time can often be a luxury – not a guarantee. Though many marketers are familiar with the various components that make up a successful rebranding campaign, a short time frame can impact the rules of the game.

Here are 5 ways to ensure a smooth rebranding effort when you are up against the clock.

  1. Discuss business goals and limitations openly. Transparency is crucial during every step of the rebranding process, and this is especially heightened during a tight turnaround. There’s simply no time to go down one road, only to land back at square one because of unspoken legal parameters or business conflicts. Discuss the company’s business goals openly and don’t hold anything back. This drives the purpose of the project, brings people together around a collective goal and helps avoid one-off tactics. When stakeholders are on the same page, you can be sure the end result will resonate with everyone – most importantly, your target audiences.
  2. Make research a priority. When facing an impending deadline, it can be overwhelming to consider the long list of to-dos and be tempting to cut corners. It’s important to know how and what to prioritize before you begin. Often, research and planning get the boot while marketers jump straight into tactical execution. Invest time in competitive research. Conduct focus groups. Engage detractors, not just advocates. If you don’t prioritize market research, you may set yourself up for failure.
  3. Establish milestone markers – down to the hour. If you’re up against a tight timeframe, chances are your final deadline is engrained in your mind. While it’s important to keep this date at the forefront, you must mark milestones along the way to ensure the project stays on track. When the clock is ticking, every minute counts. Set deadlines down to the hour, so deliverables and feedback are in hand when you need them. Take the time to understand how everyone on your team works, so you can cater to different project management styles for maximum efficiency and better results. Try letting go of sticky note murals, and upgrade to a digital project management tool that will allow your entire team to view project activities, deadlines, and updates.
  4. Set expectations with decision makers. Timelines and assignments aren’t just for marketers. Educate the executive team on exactly what you will need from them and when you will need it by. Bring the right decision makers into the conversation mix from the beginning, and set aside ample time to collaborate as a group. It is important to hold everyone accountable and communicate that missed deadlines can derail the entire effort.
  5. Don’t set the finish line prematurely. When thinking about a rebrand, typically a new name, logo, tagline, and look and feel come to mind. Be careful not to declare victory too early. While these components are a critical piece of the overall effort, what follows is as important as establishing the visual elements. Launching the brand is exceptionally important, from internal communications to the external rollout. Make sure that messages are reinforced regularly with PR, email automation, newsletters and other communications support.

Kelcie Chambers, account director at Dodge Communications and Betsy Martinelli, senior manager, corporate marketing at Omnicell learned these lessons firsthand when undergoing an entire rebrand and launch within just 3 months. Be sure to catch the pair’s session coming up at the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC), “Building a Solid Brand When the Clock is Ticking.”

During the presentation, you’ll receive practical advice on how to drive a rebranding initiative on a tight timeline, including what elements need more attention than others, what deadlines are realistic and how to get all members of the team working together toward the same goals. The presenters will also describe the essential components of an effective rebranding strategy, including corporate identity development, advertising, web, social media, and public relations.

After their successful rebranding effort several years ago, these marketers continue to work together today. Hear directly from Kelcie and Betsy as they share their firsthand insights on Thursday, April 6 at 3:15 pm at HITMC.

About Kelcie Chambers
Kelcie Chambers combines years of agency experience with a thorough understanding of the healthcare and technology spaces to strategically oversee a wide variety of Dodge’s public relations and marketing accounts. Committed to helping clients strengthen their market share, she has successfully created and executed powerful integrated campaigns to enable some of the world’s most recognized brands enhance awareness, advance thought leadership and nurture demand. A news junkie at heart, Chambers’ passion for storytelling is the catalyst driving her to help companies discover the unique messaging and communications vehicles that foster relationships with target audiences and set them apart from the competition.

Innovative Tech & Marketing at #HIMSS17 (And Other Events) – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). To participate, follow the #HITMC Twitter stream on your favorite Twitter tool and add #HITMC to all of your tweets.

On this chat we’ll discuss “Innovative Tech & Marketing at HIMSS17”, hosted by Chris Slocumb, CEO of Clarity Quest Marketing. If you did attend, it’s a great way to compare your thoughts and opinions with others in our great community. If you didn’t attend the conference, here’s your chance to catch up, share what you experienced remotely, or communicate best practices from other trade shows.

During the HITMC Twitter Chat, Chris will lead a discussion on what was new in marketing campaigns and health technology, including what attendees see as the future of health IT.

Here are the 5 questions that will serve as the framework for the discussion:

T1. What surprised you most at #HIMSS17? #HITMC

T2. What’s the future of cognitive learning and AI in healthcare? #HITMC

T3. Did you see any vendors with truly differentiated messaging/branding? #HITMC

T4. Some companies hosted a party instead of exhibiting at #HIMSS17. When does it make sense to exhibit vs. offsite? #HITMC

T5. What was most effective campaign/booth draw you saw or ran? #HITMC

Bonus.  Which was the best after party? After party moment? #HITMC

We look forward to learning from your experience and insights.

The #HITMC Twitter chats happen the 1st Tuesday of every month, so put them on your calendar and join us each month. Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:
4/4 – How to make the most of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC)
Hosted by Agency Ten22

5/2 – TBD
Hosted by Studio North

How to Market a Straight-Up Boring Product – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, February 7th at Noon ET (9 AM PT). To participate, follow the #HITMC Twitter stream on your favorite Twitter tool and add #HITMC to all of your tweets.

This chat will focus on “How to Market a Straight-Up Boring Product” and is hosted by Erin Heilman (@ErinHeilman) and Shelby Lewis (@SLewisTweets) from @Medisolv. Lest you think that you don’t need to participate in this chat because your product isn’t boring, let me suggest that most Healthcare IT companies have pretty boring products. Sure, to healthcare IT nerds like me and you, they’re not very boring and they may even save many lives. Just because they’re valuable and achieve amazing things doesn’t mean the product isn’t boring. Here’s the litmus test I’d use. If you can’t talk to your spouse about your products (My wife definitely is bored by it), then it’s pretty boring. Even if your product is Kim Kardashian (or insert your preferred form of entertainment) spectacular, join us anyway, so we can learn from you too.

Now, without further ado, here are the 5 questions that will serve as the framework for the discussion:
T1: What platform have you found to be the most attention grabbing for targeting consumers? I.e. Emails, Direct Mail, Web Ads, Social Media. #HITMC

T2: Where do you draw the line between education and sales in your marketing efforts? #HITMC

T3: Have you experimented with video marketing for your product? Tell us your thoughts! #HITMC

T4: If you had to use only one HIT educational format in your marketing, would you choose an infographic, blog, or whitepaper? Why? #HITMC

T5: What is the silliest thing your team has created to make your product marketing more FUN? #HITMC

Bonus: What predictions do you have for HIT marketing in 2017? #HITMC

We look forward to learning from your experience and insights.

The #HITMC Twitter chats happen the 1st Tuesday of every month, so put them on your calendar and join us each month. Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:
3/7 – Marketing Lessons Learned from HIMSS and other Conferences
Hosted by Healthcare Scene

4/4 – How to make the most of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC)
Hosted by Agency Ten22

5/2 – TBD
Hosted by Studio North

2017 Health Care Marketing Resolutions – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, January 3rd at Noon ET (9 AM PT). To participate, follow the #HITMC Twitter stream on your favorite Twitter tool and add #HITMC to all of your tweets.

This chat will focus on “2017 Health Care Marketing Resolutions” and is hosted by Burt Rosen (@burtrosen) from @HealthSparq. Let’s kick off the New Year in style and share our New Years resolutions. We’ll be sure to hold you accountable and you’ll likely hear some great ideas from other attendees that you may want to steal and make your own. Plus, if you know Burt, you can expect some spicy discussion that you won’t want to miss.

Here’s a look at the 5 questions that will serve as the framework for the discussion:
T1: What was your 2016 health care marketing resolution and was it successful? What did you learn from any failures this year that you can improve on next year? #HITMC

T2: What are your 2017 health care marketing resolutions? #HITMC

T3: Why? What prompted you to make this resolution? #HITMC

T4: How will you hold yourself accountable for your resolutions throughout the year? #HITMC

T5: If you haven’t already made your resolutions, why not?! #HITMC

Bonus: What are your personal new year’s resolutions (if publicly shareable)? Do you find them effective? #HITMC

We look forward to learning from your experience and insights related to content marketing and PR. Be sure to put the full schedule of #HITMC Twitter chats on your calendars.

FINAL CHANCE: Submit Your Nominations – Health IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Awards


As an important part of the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference, we want to recognize the amazing work and individuals that make up the HITMC community.  That’s why we created the HITMC Awards. If you know a campaign, project, person, or company that deserves recognition, tomorrow is the last day to submit your nominations for the 2017 HITMC Awards.

We’re accepting nominations for the following award categories:

  • Best Trade Show Theme or Campaign
  • Best Content Marketing Program
  • Best Social Media Program
  • Best Creative
  • Agency or Marketing Department of the Year
  • Marketing or PR Professional of the Year (an individual)

This is a great chance for you to share your work and get recognized by the greater health IT marketing and PR community.  Plus, it’s a way for you to nominate the great work you see from your colleagues in healthcare as well.

We’ve posted all the details of the awards program and a link to submit nominations in a previous post.  We’ve made the nomination process as simple as possible so we make sure we get the broadest range of submissions.  Plus, we hate long, complicated nomination forms.

The deadline for nominations is Tomorrow, Friday, December 16th.

The winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges and each HITMC Award category winner will be recognized during the 2017 Health IT Marketing and PR Conference in Las Vegas.  You need not be present to win, but it’s definitely more fun that way.

Thanks in advance to all those who take the time to submit a nomination and to those who have already submitted a nomination.

Other Important Dates and Deadlines:
Join us at the HITMC Local meetup in Nashville Thursday, 1/12/17.

Advanced Registration ($200 Savings) for the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference is available until 1/15/17.  Register Now!

Let us know if you have any other questions about the event or the HITMC Awards.

Welcome to HITMC!

We're glad you found the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (or as we affectionately call it...HITMC). This blog is a place for healthcare IT marketing and PR professionals to come together and share their insights, skills, expertise with other people trying to make healthcare better through the use of technology. This blog grew out of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference which is held annually. We look forward to connecting and learning from you. Please feel free to reach out to us on our contact us page if you have any questions.

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