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Vendors sell hot dogs and other ViVE takeaways for B2B marketers

By March 19, 2024No Comments

ViVE 2024 was nothing short of booming and is quickly turning into THE health tech conference to be at for payors, providers, partners, and health tech/health IT vendors (find out the reason NOT to use that word anymore below) every year.

I could easily sound off on the personal reasons why I loved the show because ours was the only healthcare tech marketing agency that opted to exhibit, but the hum that echoed throughout the exhibit hall and sessions was a sweet sound of collaboration and refinement.

Here is our ViVE 2024 recap covering trends, hot takes, quotes, and a round up of the must-have swag from the show.

Marketing budget trends heard from the floor

“We spent so much to be at this show, and then HIMSS, we desperately need them to produce leads for us.”

“Our facility has cut all unnecessary spending until 2025. If it is not budgeted currently, it is unnecessary.”

“There is no budget this year for anything that is unproven.” (Thanks to Wynn Hansen for the reinforcement on this one.)

It’s obvious that everyone is starting to pull their cards in. Exhibitors, payors and providers alike alluded to cutting spend while needing spent dollars to produce as much ROI as possible.

Here’s our agency’s top five metrics to measure trade show ROI.

When budgets continue to decrease, but the need for higher EOY revenue continues to increase, you’re setting yourself up for turmoil.

At this point with tenured organizations, the name of the game is reallocating spend, not cutting it altogether. After an enlightening conversation with a provider partner, we know there are still unique ways to find the spend for ways we can appropriately advance our brands and solutions.

VIVE 2024 hot takes and quotes

Following the same trend as above, one of the most memorable quotes from the show came from Diana Van Blaricom, Vice President, ERP Sales & Strategy, ROI Healthcare Solutions.

Not only was this a dynamic conversation for our team, but her strategy for “finding funds for useful solutions” was genius.

“Don’t say that you don’t have the money for X (solutions, partnerships, upskilling, advancements, etc.). I promise that we can come in, pull open the curtain on all of your existing spend or processes, and find wasted time or money that can recoup the cost of your investment.”

This holds true for every entity in health tech and health IT. As AI, autonomous solution deployment and upskilling continue to occur across the healthcare globe, we are sure to find antiquated processes that are wasting time first and money second. We shouldn’t say we don’t have the money for investments if we don’t want someone to come in and find where we could refine, save and reallocate.

In the same conversation with Diana, she made a vendor vs. partner reference that was entertaining, but more than that, impactful.

“We are a partner, not a vendor. Vendors sell hot dogs.”

When we buy a hot dog from the vendor with a cart on the street right outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center, there is an exchange and an exit. While such a transactional relationship is common in our space currently, it is not what is needed in most cases. We need partners.

The same way Clarity Quest partners with our clients, clients should partner with solutions or brands that care more about long-term success than an exchange and an exit. When we partner, we are sharing equally all aspects of success and turmoil.

Memorable swag still a big hit

Much to our surprise, socks were still one of the hottest items on the exhibit floor! They were as vibrant, branded and crew length as ever, with more than 20 different varieties to choose from. The fad might run its course eventually, but it certainly isn’t going to be in 2024.

One item that was deliciously genius was offered by Doximity. A perfectly branded candy container sporting heart-shaped peach rings. The container was sleek and well-branded, and the product inside was nothing short of the best peach candy our team had ever tasted. Are you sold yet? Great giveaway. It was such a great giveaway that they ran out on day two.

Another honorable mention was an item that brought stress relief to what could feel like a stressful week for some. We don’t know what to call it, but the best guess is “squishy shark.” At first glance, it looked like a small stuffed shark, which it was, but to our surprise, upon a good squish, a bead ball blasted from its mouth. It was hilarious, fun and stress-relieving. The only miss was its lack of branding. While it was a hot item, once it was taken away from the booth, there was no branding to push attendees back to the brand of the memorable item.

ViVE 2025: It’s a yes for us

YES, we will be at ViVE 2025, and YES, we hope it is more to the East than Los Angeles next year. This year was well attended statistically, and in our opinion, we can anticipate an even stronger showing if next year’s location is even 25% more centralized.

If you missed us at ViVE 2024, you certainly do not have to wait until next year to connect with us.

Contact us to talk through your strategic marketing plan or subscribe to our expert marketing tips and tricks as we traverse this tricky and reserved health tech market.

Dalton Patterson

Author Dalton Patterson

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