JUL 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ J U L Y 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 18 MARKET SEGMENT REPORT: MEDICAL & PHARMACEUTICAL MEETINGS MEDICAL Meetings Planners of medical meetings face a significant challenge before their events even begin: how to draw busy medical professionals away from their practices to attend. The 2018 Global Meetings and Events Forecast from American Express Meetings & Events found that physicians, on average, receive 16 invitations to medical events each year. Of those 16, they attend about half. The study also found that content drives the decision to attend or stay home. "We've always tried to make sure the edu- cation is top-notch at our events," said Nicole Malcom, director of operations for the Ameri- can Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA). "We don't make our presenters conform to a class- room style. Instead, we allow them to choose different room setups that are more conducive to their learning style." Medical professionals must earn a certain number of continuing medical education (CME) credits in order to maintain competence and learn about evolving areas of their fields. As a result, medical meetings that allow health- care professionals to earn CMEs have a leg up over conferences that do not. In the case of programs that serve as CMEs, strict regulations govern the conduct and even the language that presenters may use during the event. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), for example, requires that pre- senters avoid any appearance of self-promotion during continuing-education presentations. "Our presenters cannot even use the words 'You can visit me in the exhibit hall for more information' because the goal is to provide evidence-based facts rather than promote products," Malcom said. "As a result, it can be very difficult to gain sponsorships because the companies that sponsor expect to promote their products." Although every conference is different, it's important for planners to understand the regu- lations that govern medical education events. "We train for a full year to understand what the ANCC requirements are, as well as the things you can and cannot do, and what the requirements are for each industry," Malcom said. "Errors could really be costly and can keep you from getting attendees back each year." The AHNA just finished its six-day annual conference in Niagara Falls, NY., which brought together 500 holistic nurses for con- tinuing-education workshops, networking op- portunities, meeting with vendors and attend- ing keynote speeches, as well as an opportunity to recharge. "Because our industry focuses on holistic practices, we choose destinations that offer our nurses the chance to interact with nature," Mal- com said. "Even if we find a great property that we love, we won't likely return to that location for a number of years because our nurses enjoy the travel that goes with the conference." Tulsa, Okla., will host the 2019 AHNA conference. According to Kristen Vencl, national sales manager for the Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau, the AHNA will host its meeting at the Hyatt Regency Tulsa, which is also the location of the convention. "Tulsa's bike-share system, its vast outdoor Getting the Attention of Busy Professionals By Shannon Rasmussen Sponsored by: Fully-Equipped: The Hyatt Regency Tulsa, which will host the 2019 AHNA Conference, has everything the Holistic nursing group needs for their conference, under one roof.

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