Medical Society Finds Success by Getting Uncomfortable

Source : PCMA

 Author: Jennifer N. Dienst

Convene editors reached out to a handful of organizations to see how they are incorporating lessons learned from the ways the pandemic affected their audiences, stakeholders, and members into their go-forward strategies.

In July 2021, when Convene checked in with the team behind The Aesthetic Meeting — the annual event of The Aesthetic Society and The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation — they had just successfully pulled off their first-ever hybrid program. Held online and in person in Miami Beach over five days, the 2021 meeting attracted 714 attendees on site and 515 online, a mix of plastic surgeons and health-care providers in aesthetics, plus medical students, residents, and fellows. At the time, the Aesthetic Society made the decision to offer both formats at the same registration price to afford attendees more flexibility if they changed their minds about whether to attend in person or virtually, as well as to give themselves enough financial bandwidth to produce a high-quality digital experience.

When Convene contacted The Aesthetic Society again in December 2022, that hybrid format had staying power — equal pricing and all.
Engagement from the online audience has waned, she added, so her team plans to watch closely in 2023 to see what changes they can make to encourage more participation.

Despite the fact that the number of exhibitors participating in The Aesthetic Meeting has stayed strong — topping 1,000 in 2022, up from 972 in 2021 — their physical footprint is shrinking.

McClemmy has found that attendees want to engage more deeply with their content in the past three years. “People need and want more discussion time, more involvement in the actual education as opposed to being just lectured to,” she said.

“We’re allowing things to happen in the booth that maybe we weren’t so flexible on in the past so that the doctors are getting a more visual and interactive experience,” McClemmy said. “I’m all for it if it’s something that’s going to benefit both the surgeons and our exhibitors.

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