Tradeshows: Are They Worth the Investment?

Fall is here, which means tradeshow season is upon us! These industry events are valuable educational and networking opportunities. Even so, registration fees, travel, lodging, and meal expenses for employees require financial planning. With so much to consider in terms of dollars spent, are tradeshows really worth it? This article will explore five reasons why, even with all the added costs, it’s worthwhile for research sites to attend tradeshows.

Reason #1: Assess your messaging

Whether you’re exhibiting at a particular tradeshow or attending without a booth in tow, these spaces offer excellent opportunities for learning about how other research sites present themselves in the industry. Take this opportunity to notice their messaging and assess your own. This doesn’t mean you should focus on pointing out flaws or copying the things you like; just take the time to notice what impact others’ collateral, booth, and staff have on your experience of business side of their site, and consider how your look, feel, and presentation may affect the experience of your audience in the same space. Think about your site’s strengths and try to identify ways to make those stand out.  

Depending on the type of show you attend, you may also have the opportunity to see how sponsors and CROs present themselves. Are there themes that they all seem to follow in their advertising, or are there differences that make one stand out over another? Consider these factors and reflect on how your site might align with their messaging or stand out to them. Are you presenting your strengths to the best of your ability?

Reason #2: Potential partnerships

Simply attending a tradeshow will only get you so far; it’s the networking aspect of these events that can really be a game changer. While tradeshows are great places to generate leads on potential studies, casting a wide net that includes partnerships with other sites can be hugely beneficial. You may not walk away from the tradeshow with a new study using only this tip, but it’s likely to help you in the long run. Tradeshows provide a unique opportunity to surround yourself with professionals from across the industry and from various geographic locations.

Consider your strengths in the industry—are there organizations that might benefit from your area of focus that might also be good resources for you? What about sites in other geographic areas that specialize in your area of research? Perhaps you can share suggestions for effective patient recruitment methods, or you may find that you could be good referral sources for your future studies. Success often depends on networking—so get out there and make connections!

 

Reason #3: Educational Opportunities

Tradeshows aren’t just about the exhibit hall; they’re also great spaces to learn more about the advances in our industry from people who are doing the work. Attending sessions is a great way to explore new areas of interest and make connections, learn different ways of doing familiar tasks, and refresh and revive your investment in the importance of your job. Plus, you can earn continuing education credits by attending sessions—particularly workshop-style sessions—at some industry conferences and tradeshows.

Reason #4: Build Your Reputation

As we’ve mentioned, when you are thinking about attending a tradeshow, you should always keep in mind your strengths— the strengths of your site as a whole and the strengths of individual members of your research team. Chances are, your research team is full of experts who could lead an educational session, and might really enjoy doing so. Sharing knowledge and enriching the experiences of other attendees can have positive ripple effects for the reputation of your organization across the industry.

Think about the industry focus of the tradeshows you’d like to attend and check out the themes of each show. How can your team add to the experiences of other attendees? Are there other organizations you work with that might be interested in co-presenting? When it comes to getting a speaking spot, each show is a little bit different and some have deadlines further out than others, so plan ahead!

 

Reason #5: Connect with People You Only Know Via Email

Reach out to current or prospective industry partners to see which tradeshows they might be attending, and let them know which you plan to attend; if you’ll be in the same place at the same time, schedule a time to meet or make an effort to stop by their booth in the exhibit hall. Often, relationships in our industry are built entirely through conversations happening via the internet across time zones; while the internet is a great tool, these communications alone can lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding—things that have a huge impact on study start-up. In a business world dominated by email, the chance to connect face-to-face really is irreplaceable.  In our industry, trade shows and industry events are the easiest way to make this happen.

 

In Summary

Cost of registration, travel, and other expenses may feel like reasons to avoid tradeshows altogether, but even sending one representative from your site can create ripple effects that will have lasting impacts on future success. The wealth of opportunities for education, networking and industry engagement are nearly impossible to find anywhere else, making tradeshows a worthwhile investment.

Reduce Drug Development Costs Through a Protocol Cost Savings Analysis

Pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms, and anyone in the business of developing new therapeutics knows there is significant pressure to reduce the cost of research and development (R&D) while delivering treatments and devices that safely and effectively alleviate symptoms, deliver medications or cure medical conditions—all while maintaining billing compliance. Luckily, utilizing a Protocol Cost Savings Analysis (PCSA) eases some of that pressure, allowing your organization to focus on creating innovative therapeutics that lead to positive patient outcomes.   

Site Selection Tips: How to Make Your Site Stand Out

In today’s clinical research industry, sponsors are under increased pressure to cut waste and tighten their budgets. This has made the site selection process highly competitive, especially given the market’s rapid trend toward globalization. Luckily, there are steps you can take that can help increase your odds of selection, while simultaneously making your site a more efficient conductor of clinical trials. This article will discuss four tips to help your site stand out in the selection process.

Using Social Media for Patient Recruitment: How to Reach Your Ideal Patient  

Social media is an increasingly popular mode of communication. By 2019, it is estimated that around 2.77 billion people worldwide will have active social media accounts.1 This means that patient recruitment must have a space in the social media world, but with so much information competing for users’ attention online, is it enough to simply place an ad or create a post about your study? While we have written about Facebook’s potential for patient recruitment in previous articles, this post will discuss how to let your ideal patient guide your social media recruitment efforts across a variety of social platforms.

Contract Negotiations: What are the Deal-Breakers?

Contract negotiations are just that—negotiations. Some back and forth is to be expected when building an equitable set of contract terms, but at what point do terms become non-negotiable? Here are five examples of some the major deal-breakers in contract negotiations:

Traditional vs. Digital: Diversifying Patient Recruitment Funds Across Media

As we all know, patient recruitment isn’t a straightforward process, and the investment of time and money can be quite large. While digital media can be an efficient and economical advertising realm, investing solely in digital advertisements could result in a failure to reach many potential patients. Perhaps surprisingly, a one-handed advertising approach could affect your site’s credibility. This blog explores how diversifying your advertising dollars across both traditional and digital media can help you reach potential patients.

Using Facebook Ads for Patient Recruitment: How to Select an Audience

Facebook’s vast and diverse user population provides an invaluable resource for patient recruitment, but without the right audience, it will be nearly impossible for patients to find your study. In this blog, we will discuss how to select the right audience for your ads in order to get the most out of your Facebook advertisements.

Using Facebook Ads for Patient Recruitment: How to Create Ads with Strong Visual Imagery and Good Calls to Action

With over 1.15 billion active users, Facebook is becoming an increasingly important way for clinical research sites to recruit patients for their studies. While patient populations certainly exist on Facebook, connecting with them on the world’s largest social network isn’t always easy. In order for patients to find your study in an online space already saturated with ads, creating advertisements with strong visual imagery and good calls to action is vital.

The Pros and Cons of Different PI Compensation Models

A frequent question asked in our industry is: "How much should we pay investigators for their work on a clinical trial, and what methodology should be used?"  While this question seems straightforward, it is quite complex. The amount and method by which you pay investigators can play a big role in the success, or lack thereof, of your site. 

Clinical Research Coordinators: The Glue that Binds a Clinical Research Program

Clinical research coordinators are an incredibly important part of the clinical research process. Their role has continued to evolve in recent years, as clinical trials have continued to grow in complexity. This evolved role has led to better data collection, greater protocol compliance, and overall improved subject safety. Because of their crucial role, many have come to recognize clinical research coordinators as the glue that binds clinical research programs.

Five Reasons Why Every Clinical Research Site Should Consider Joining a Site Network

For many research sites, navigating the clinical trial landscape can be very intimidating. Site networks offer many benefits to research sites, but here are five main reasons why every clinical research site should consider joining a site network:

May News Roundup: What’s New in Research?

Stem Cells Edited to Fight Arthritis – Read More >

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine and Shriners Hospitals for Children have rewired stem cells from mice in an effort to reduce inflammation caused by arthritis and other conditions. These stem cells are developed into cartilage cells that produce a biologic anti-inflammatory drug that may be able to replace arthritic cartilage, protecting joints and other tissues from further damage.

3 Tips for Site Selection

Site selection is a complex process composed of multiple factors on which research sites are evaluated. It may seem as if your success is solely in the hands of sponsors and CROs, but there are several things you can do to help your site get selected on more studies. Here are three tips from the site selection and business development team at PharmaSeek:

3 Tips for Negotiating Advertising Budgets

Advertising plays an important role when it comes to recruiting patients for clinical trials, but it’s often underutilized by sites or not used at all. Whether this is due to a lack of internal staffing or expertise, there is a lot of potential going untapped when sites bypass study advertising.

February News Roundup: What's New in Research?

World’s Smallest Pacemaker Revealed – Read More >

The Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS), a new pacemaker the size of a nickel, can now be implanted in patients with bradycardia to help pump enough blood through the body during physical activity. The tiny device is just 1/10th the size of a traditional pacemaker, and it is currently the only leadless pacemaker approved for use in the United States. The TPS is also unique in that it doesn’t require cardiac wires or a surgical pocket under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy.

Subject Injury Language: What You Need to Know

One of the negative aspects of clinical trials is the possibility that a patient will suffer an injury or illness as a result of their study participation. As such, one of the most important pieces of a contract is the subject injury language. ‘Subject Injury’ is defined as an injury, illness, adverse event/reaction, or death caused by a study subject’s involvement in a clinical research study. Prior to the study, the research site and the study sponsor should come to an agreement on what exactly constitutes a Subject Injury, and who pays in the event of a Subject Injury.

Print Marketing: A Viable Option for Patient Recruitment

As many markers know, the sustainability of print advertisements has been thoroughly questioned in today’s digital age. In June of 2012, Forbes Magazine published an article about this very issue—taking a stance that surprised many at the time. Forbes stated, “While many businesses have completely migrated their advertising efforts to the web because of its cost effectiveness, exposure potential and convenience, print still maintains its stance as a powerful and necessary component of an ad campaign.” 

Benefits of a Clinical Trial Management System

A Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS) is a computer software system that manages data within a clinical trial. The system centralizes the administrative components of each study, including billing, reporting and tracking.  Many research sites, institutions, sponsors, and CROs use these systems to monitor clinical trials. Below are 3 key benefits of implementing a CTMS.