Despite a gradual return to in-person educational meetings, many healthcare executives indicate a preference for a mixed model of learning, incorporating both digital as well as in-person learning, reducing the overall time and expenditure of traveling for both practical and budgetary reasons. Regardless of the format, executives recognize the value in continuous learning and professional development and welcome the opportunity to engage with peers to better understand the dynamic industry trends impacting the healthcare industry. A 2021 survey conducted by Markletic of nearly 4,000 executives indicated that the primary reason for attending a digital event was for educational purposes, which underscores not only the driver for attending but the importance of effective digital education.
DIGITAL EVENT VS. WEBINAR
Digital events and webinars often find themselves in a similar category, in that they are conducted online, leverage video, and can most often also be accessed on-demand following the scheduled broadcast time. However, there are a variety of important factors to consider when considering how to allocate time and budgets to online meetings. Digital event platforms have evolved dramatically over the past two years and now allow for considerable engagement and connection between participants, something which is lacking wholesale in the webinar format. Another core differentiator is that digital events are typically hosted live, broadcast live, and incorporate interactive features to help maintain attention from the audience, while webinars are frequently pre-recorded and then broadcast at the set time, limiting opportunities for interaction.
COLLABORATIVE VS. DIDACTIC
Executives today express a strong preference for interactive presentations where learning is conducted in a more collaborative, group environment compared with traditional formats which have relied heavily on PowerPoint presentations from a singular voice. Integrating audience member perspectives, experiences, and stories into the learning environment deepens the learning, increases retention of information, and establishes a common ground connecting participants.
ENGAGING WITH PEERS
Learning through interaction with industry peers is a unique benefit in the digital setting, particularly as attendance is vastly increased across geographies, broadening the scale of attendee perspectives. Through benchmarking with peers in surveys and connecting with like-minded executives in breakout sessions, digital program attendees have an opportunity to not only learn from industry leaders facilitating the discussions but to be part of the discussion themselves, asking questions and sharing perspectives with each other. This type of interaction not only increases the dynamic and engagement with the material but is also shown to heighten the impact and retention of knowledge.
NETWORKING IS LEARNING
While participants report that educational gains are the primary driver of attending an online event, networking is still an important aspect of event attendance and is something that can’t be achieved readily through the webinar format. Leveraging the video-first nature of our platform partner, Hopin, attendees are able to engage in brief networking sessions with each other, as well as connect with industry colleagues directly via invitations to connect on video, chat, or through exchanging LinkedIn details.
Moving away from a pitch-centric approach, healthXchange partners understand the need to focus on content and information share in a way that will not only connect with potential users but also offer a learning opportunity. Industry partner case studies that highlight the benefits of using new software or service, with a focus on return on investment, well-researched white papers with educational value, and product trials are just some of the ways that partners can engage effectively in supporting industry education.