Health IT Marketing: Pre-Marketing a Trade Show
Sam Stern

Sam is the Founder and Chief Marketing Technologist at Modallic. Modallic specializes in brand development and marketing for Mobile Healthcare Technology (mHealth) firms. As a life-long entrepreneur, Sam directs the mHealth storytelling and mHealth agile marketing process unique to the Modallic approach.

With the HIMSS conference rapidly approaching, a question swirling around in your mind just might be:

“How can I get the most out of going to this conference?”

Attending a trade show or conference takes a big investment of time and money. But attending a conference just might be the boost your business needs.

Before attending any conference or trade show, follow these 10 steps to pre-market your health IT firm.

1. Have a Plan- What are your goals and objectives for the show? Why are you attending? Is it to launch a new product or service? Connect with industry influencers? Find potential marketing partner? Build your brand? 

Regardless of your reason for attending, set goals and develop a strategy.

2. Role at the Show- Will you exhibit, speak, or simply attend? Most likely, at a large conference such as HIMSS, you’ll be an attendee.

3. Reach out to your list- Contact your current list of clients and prospects. Send email or even direct mail. Determine who you want to connect with and what you will offer?

4. Leverage Media- Attempt to find out who is covering the event. Determine if there are stories of products or services that should also mention your business.\

5. Review Show Agenda- Identify topics and events relevant to your business. Have a plan in place on how you can “newsjack” these topics and sessions.  For instance, is there an angle to connect your business with Hillary Clinton as the keynote speaker at HIMSS?

6. Check Vendor/Exhibitor List- Who are the Vendors you want to meet to form potential marketing partner relationships, or even vendors who are possible clients for your business?

7. Schedule Appointments- Set up times to meet potential prospects, Marketing partners, and vendors before the show. Reach out with email. Check the show agenda to determine slots in your schedule. 

Know ahead of time if your goal is to develop basic contact with later follow up, or to go deep and narrow where you will sepnd time with a select few contacts.

8. Connect your attendance with your Content Marketing and Social Media efforts- Plan to write articles on your blog before the show. Write guest posts on relevant industry sites. Promote your attendance in your social media channels.

In addition, plan on how you plan to handle content and social media during the event. Will you live blog at the show? Do you plan to conduct video interviews? Will you share and report on conference events on Twitter?

9. Measure attendance and presence- Before the show, determine how you will evaluate your time and efforts? What metrics- number of leads, number of marketing partners, or depth of connection with key prospects and partners?

10. Have a post-event follow-up plan- Know before the event how you plan to follow-up with contacts. Will you use email, direct mail, phone calls? How will you manage the follow-up?

Attending a large industry conference such as HIMSS can be overwhelming. Follow this 10 step checklist to build a marketing plan to get the most out of attending the event.






photo credit: juhansonin via photopin cc

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