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5 questions: How to evaluate a healthcare speaking opportunity

By February 21, 2022No Comments

One of the most common questions we hear from our healthcare marketing clients is how to evaluate a speaking opportunity to determine its value to the organization.

Like many things, the answer is ‘it depends.’

Speaking engagements are ideal for building thought leadership in the healthcare and biotech industries. However, the key is separating the wheat from the chaff.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to determine the marketing value of a speaking engagement to your organization.

Question 1. Is the organization reputable?

Healthcare speaking opportunities

Always start here.

Reputable organizations include:

  • Industry associations such as HIMSS, MGMA, and ISPE
  • Media outlets such as Modern Healthcare, Forbes, and MM+M
  • Topic-specific industry events such as RISE and Health Evolution
  • Vendor user groups such as ACE, MUSE, and Epic

Reputable organizations typically have a call for speaker submissions that are peer-reviewed.

Less reputable organizations are often pay-to-play, meaning speaker sessions tend toward the promotional instead of the educational and can be purchased outright.

Question 2. How does the engagement fit into your marketing strategy?

Understanding where a speaking engagement fits into your company’s larger marketing strategy can help determine its value.

No matter the company size, time and resources are limited, and committing to a speaking engagement is a tradeoff—you are spending time preparing for and being at an event instead of doing something else.

Suppose your organization is rolling out a new product or service in the next 12-18 months. In that case, speaking engagements at user groups and industry events are a great way to raise awareness and plant the seed with your current customers and target audience. That’s an excellent tradeoff.

However, if your company’s growth and marketing goals depend on heavy lead generation, speaking at a leadership conference of your peers isn’t a good tradeoff.

Question 3. Does the audience align with your organization’s target audience?

This one can be tricky. On the surface, an event may appear to be a good fit, but upon closer examination, the attendees aren’t in your primary target audience.

For example, many healthcare RCM vendors assume they need to speak at the HFMA Annual Conference. Looking at a breakdown of the attendees shows that less than 20% of them are employed at physician practices.

That means if your primary target audience is CFOs from large physician practices, HFMA is not ideal. With limited budget and resources, the MGMA Financial Conference is a more efficient way to reach your audience than HFMA.

Question 4. Will the speaking engagement have a shelf-life or additional promotional opportunities?

One of the most significant benefits of securing a speaking engagement is the potential to gain added visibility from being included in the marketing of the event.

Never be afraid to ask conference organizers to include your headshot, speaking session, and link to your social media accounts in event promotions.

A backlink to your company website from an industry powerhouse or reputable media is great for SEO and you’ll have valuable content to share on your social media channels.

Beyond that, some organizations and media offer recordings or post-event webinars to engage with people unable to attend in person. This additional content extends the shelf-life of your speaking engagement.

Healthcare speaking opportunitiesQuestion 5. Is the speaking engagement personally fulfilling?

The best speaking opportunities are those that align with your organization’s goals as well as your personal passions.

In question 2, I examined the value of speaking at a leadership conference of your peers if lead generation is your primary goal.

Looking at this from another perspective, if one of your marketing OKRs is to build a culture of learning and engagement for employees at your organization, this might be an ideal speaking opportunity.

Identifying valuable health tech speaking opportunities

One of the many benefits of partnering with a healthcare marketing firm is that we know the industry players and can craft a public relations strategy that incorporates speaking opportunities that align with your larger organizational goals and objectives.

Contact us today to get started.

Melanie Hilliard

Author Melanie Hilliard

Melanie is an Account Director and Content Lead at Clarity Quest. Nothing makes her heart sing more than fantastic marketing. To learn more about Melanie's experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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