Translating Your Healthcare Brand into a Meaningful Trade Show Activation

Derse | April 30, 2024

As a trade show manager in the pharmaceutical industry, you face unique challenges:

Your company’s solutions are intangible.
You can’t give swag away.
You don’t have a physical product to demo.

While your audience is hungry for the latest scientific data presented at poster sessions, you’re challenged to attract prescribers to your trade show exhibit. Successful branded experiences need to both satisfy the audience’s intellectual curiosity and reinforce the brand messages that can shift prescribing behavior.

Here are four questions to ask yourself when planning a meaningful brand activation:

1. What Does Success Look Like For Us?

Clarify what metrics will indicate your success at the congress—working with your company's internal stakeholders can reveal complimentary KPIs (for instance, what success means to your brand teams will almost certainly be different from the KPIs of your pipeline team). 

Once you’ve established these KPIs, your agency and exhibit partners can work together to integrate meaningful data capture into the HCP experience as seamlessly as possible. As every brand’s KPIs will vary, the strategies for data collection will likely be developed alongside the attendee experience to ensure that the most meaningful metrics are being captured.

2. What Does Our Audience Care About?

Every healthcare specialty is its own unique audience; what drives a gastroenterologist might be very different from what drives a clinical oncologist. Your brand might have identified key segments within each prescriber audience that could benefit from a different engagement approach. Some of these segments might be driven by the underlying science, others by efficacy data, and others that might be motivated by the human stories behind the data.

Understanding these careabouts can inform a personalized experience that allows your brand to meet prescribers where they are, providing them with experiences and insights tailored to their interests that ultimately lead to more meaningful conversations about your brand’s key messages.

3. What is the Key Message of Our Brand?

The key messages of every pharmaceutical brand will evolve and change over a therapy's lifecycle, and your agency partners work tirelessly to create campaigns aligned with this evolution. In a congress setting, an effective activation finds the intersection of your current messaging with the interests of the audience(s) at the show.

The congress setting also presents a unique opportunity to bring your story to life in a face-to-face setting. A campaign designed for digital or print might need to be interpreted differently to engage audiences on a show floor. Collaboration between your agency and exhibit partners can lead to experiences that take advantage of these face-to-face opportunities while preserving the brand story at the heart of your campaign.

4. Will a Digital or Analog Activation Be More Impactful?

Because your brand story (and the audiences you’re telling it to) are unique to YOU, healthcare experiences are truly a one-size-fits-one proposition. When considering a digital or analog approach, the most impactful format depends on your objectives, audience preferences, and the scale (and budget) of the activation. We’ve covered what you should consider when deciding between analog and digital activations.

Wrote down your answers? Now the real work begins.

Build an experience that connects your messaging with your goals by partnering with your exhibit provider to incorporate a meaningful activation in your space.

Looking for more? Learn about the nuances of healthcare booth design.

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