How To Get More Healthcare Professionals To Your Conference

How do you find, connect and build a community of specialized healthcare professionals?

Need help marketing your next conference or event? Let us know how we can help.

For the past nine years, a coalition of young-adult-focused medical oncology professionals has come together to host an annual conference to learn about best practices in the field of oncology. 

Last year, we partnered with MD Anderson Cancer Center to help attract more than 100 people to the annual event for the third year in a row. 

The challenge

This conference is designed for oncology professionals who focus on the unique adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer population. The target audience is very niche and unlike other healthcare professions, can be difficuilt to pinpoint. 

Our first challenge was to target and deliver ads to people at a national level who work solely with oncology patients. Then, for our ads to be effective, we needed to deliver them to professionals who are interested or work in AYA oncology. 

For years, the committee relied solely on email communications. However, getting past institutional firewalls is a major challenge that leaves most emails in hidden spam folders, if they’re delivered at all. 

We needed to find a way to not only get information about the conference to previous attendees but also create awareness among a new AYA oncology professional audience. 

The strategy

When we’re putting together any strategy, we look for easy wins.  We determined that sticking with an email marketing strategy would help us communicate with previous attendees. But with deliverability issues a reality, we needed a more comprehensive strategy that would make future communication more effective and efficient for all. 

We focused on building a digital community. Here’s how we did it. 

  1. The first step was to build a digital “foundation” as a place to share all conference-related communications. We built
  2. Next, we put together a Facebook and Twitter ad campaign to create conference awareness among the people who were following or connected to the pages we built the year before. This ensured that our content would show up on our audience’s social media news feeds.
  3. We also created a Facebook event page as another means to build connections to the conference. This would give us a leg up in our advertising because it meant that we could deliver an ad to anyone who engaged with our event page, increasing the relevance and effectiveness of our strategy.
  4. Finally, we uploaded an email list of previous attendees to Facebook and leveraged it as a “custom audience.” A custom audience is an owned asset that allowed us to deliver ads to people on the email list. This increased our effectiveness and ad relevance tenfold. 

The outcome

We decided early on to not rely on email deliverability and instead focus on a combination that included email and digital marketing. The campaign resulted in more than 4,000 website views, more than 100 registered conference attendees and a digital community that continues to grow each year. 

Campaign Snapshot

Conference Attendees: 115
Ad Impressions: 132,508
People Reached: 45,318
Website Views: 4,250
Ad Spend: $1,175.87
Facebook Page Likes: 15