While all conferences require a lot of work to plan, medical conferences can be unique events to plan. You want your attendees to feel that the event was well-worth attending and ensure they receive the continuing medical education credit they deserve. Luckily, SweetPea™ Meetings & Events excels in planning medical conferences. We have deep experience working with medical and dental conferences, ensuring successful events for our clients!
Medical conferences often involve general sessions and breakouts that attendees move back and forth between. How the attendees determine which sessions they will be in can vary, though. Sometimes, attendees must choose a track – a set “pathway” for their conference that indicates which breakout sessions they will attend. Another method for determining who goes where is by having attendees sign up for their desired breakouts when they register for the conference initially. This way they are not forced to choose a track that sets their conference in stone, but can instead customize their schedule by essentially choosing their sessions a la carte.
CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION (CE)
Medical conferences often involve continuing medical education (CME) credits attendees can earn from sitting in on certain speakers and sessions. CME credits are needed to meet yearly requirements and maintain knowledge and certifications, so they can be very important for attendees and the participation in the conference. Offering CE credit to attendees can be a big draw, especially if you can combine an awesome location with CE credits. Your attendees feel like they can have a vacation like escape, while also fulfilling requirements for yearly training.
One difficulty of CME on the planner / organization side, is keeping track and managing the credits each attendee should earn. One suggestion for tracking credits is to use scanners that allow attendees to scan in as they arrive at various sessions. However, if you miss an attendee and don’t scan them in, they will not get their credit for attending that session. Another method is to have a registration type table at all entrances to sessions and require that attendees sign in as they arrive. Again, there are flaws: missing an attendee or holding up entrance to the session as the line to sign in backs up. A better option may be to send out a CE survey following the event on which attendees can indicate the sessions they attended and those surveys can be sent to the appropriate CE governing bodies.
Recently SweetPea™ has started recommending continuing education company, CE Zoom to our clients. The CE management, combined with their customizable registration platform can make it a no brainer for companies offering CE to their attendees. While there are many methods to collecting information to give attendees their earned credits, it is always helpful to have a team that is knowledgeable in continuing education to help you capture every attendee!
SPEAKERS AND PRESENTERS
Speakers and presenters can make or break a medical conference. Whether or not attendees receive speakers as boring or exciting will make a difference in how they remember their conference experience as a whole. For this reason, it is important to invite speakers that will be both entertaining and educational. Although every education session does not involve the most enticing material, it is great to invite speakers that you know can add some pizzazz to their session. Presenters are typically decided upon during the beginning stages of the conference planning and are one of your most important decisions as they are the “bread and butter” of your event.
Planning medical conferences that incorporate CE credit can be stressful and frustrating. Thankfully, The SweetPea™ Meetings and Events team has deep experience in planning, coordinating, and executing multiple medical conferences each year. So if you need some help handling any aspect whether it is session scheduling, continuing education, or speaker management, SweetPea™ is here to help!