Healthcare PR – Leverage Trade Shows for Media Meetings

Trade ExhibitionYou’ve organized the booth, sent out invites to your network inviting them to the stand but have you considered media who could be attending? Supplementing your medical marketing, many of the pharma/biotech trade shows, like BIO and Medica, as well as the scientific conferences, such as ASCO have a full contingent of media attending, providing communications opportunities. These reporters are looking for stories and your new innovation may just pique their interest.

Several conference organizers provide a list of reporters attending with contact details. This allows your team to contact them directly to arrange meetings. In addition, using some of the partnering software, meetings can be arranged online following registration.

Depending on the nature of your booth, this could be a great place to meet, especially if there is seating. Alternatively, as sometimes the exhibit halls are noisy, arrange to meet in the onsite pressroom.

Meeting at a booth should be coordinated between your public relations (PR) and marketing teams so that media meetings do not compete with any planned activities or interfere with the flow of visitors seeking information. Look for times in the schedule that may provide a more quiet time to speak. For example, the most crowded times in the exhibit halls are during planned breaks. These might be good times to avoid.

Here are a few issues that need to addressed as part of the PR/marketing coordination process:

  • Press activities require a spokesperson’s time. Has this been coordinated with other booth activities?
  • Is the booth suitable for meetings or does seating need to be arranged?
  • Will the meeting be formal or informal? Do you need to give a presentation? Whose iPad or laptop will be used?
  • What physical elements, not otherwise part of the booth, need to be included? (For example, article reprints, special signage, press materials.)
  • Has all the team been made aware that media meetings have been arranged?
  • What is the protocol for when the reporter arrives, particularly if they are late?
  • Is a press release being issued during the conference? If so, make copies of the release available in the booth.
  • Will photos be taken? Can they be shared with media?
  • Is the booth kept tidy? Make sure coats and bags are stored in the cloakroom. Boxes of spare materials and giveaways should be kept out of sight.

The media at tradeshows offer a great opportunity for you to discuss your company, products and technology. They provide a channel to key audiences, such as investors, potential partners and the medical community, which ultimately benefits your company in the long run.

Takeaways from JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

Apart from the usual commentary about overcrowded venues with shoulder to shoulder hallways and presentation rooms, for the first time, there was a discussion on changing how we all refer to the JPMorgan conference. This is because the week now is no longer just a date for the eponymous investment banking conference. There are now several industry conferences occurring at the same time, Biotech Showcase run by EBD Group probably being the largest. Many people don’t even venture to any of the conference. Instead they are holed up in hotel rooms hosting meeting after meeting with the investment community, potential partners and media.


The mood in San Francisco did seem a little subdued, despite the megamerger Shire/Baxalta news at the start of the week. The markets opened at their lowest since 2001 on Monday only to retreat further by Wednesday. The lack of additional significant news only added to the downcast sentiment.

Read more

JPMorgan Conference – my how it has changed!


For over 30 years, the event in San Francisco now known as the JPMorgan Healthcare conference has triggered the start of each new year with a bang. Although known by everyone as JPMorgan, there is much more to this frenzied week in the city by the Bay. There are several additional conferences, hundreds of receptions and thousands of meetings all squeezed into 4-5 days, depending on when you can take your leave, exhausted, of course. Read more