Create a Healthcare Marketing Strategy That Reaches HCPs at Medical Conferences

Create a Healthcare Marketing Strategy That Reaches HCPs at Medical Conferences

HCPs want to learn how they can elevate the quality of healthcare at medical conferences. As in-person medical conferences return from a pandemic-induced hiatus, standing out at them can make a huge difference in your overall healthcare marketing strategy.

Conferences are great at fostering highly valuable engagement. But with so much competition, many marketers miss the most direct and effective way to reach HCPs: digital media. By digitally reaching your audience before, during, and after the event, you can optimize the time and other investments that you’ve put into this conference.

On average, physicians attend three conferences per year to learn about new clinical information, keep up with current trends, and obtain continuing medical education credits (CMEs)¹.  And 2023 is one of the biggest years yet for HCP medical conferences, with hundreds occurring monthly. The most important question to ask while preparing for one is whether the healthcare conference marketing strategy you’ll utilize includes a comprehensive plan to reach HCPs that incorporates all the digital marketing tools at your disposal.

Let’s explore how to create a digital strategy that helps organizations effectively reach HCPs at medical conferences.

Why have you invested in medical conferences? Likely, your goal is to connect with as many HCPs as possible to increase sales for a new healthcare product or service. Traditional healthcare conference marketing strategies – such as renting a booth, investing in signage, and developing promotional materials – are all necessary steps. However, driving traffic to that booth and attaining visibility beyond the conference provides an even greater return on investment.

Incorporating targeted digital ad tactics is the best way to drive traffic to your booth at medical conferences and stay top of mind afterwards. Digital advertising in the healthcare industry continues to grow rapidly. eMarketer expects health and pharma digital advertising spending to reach $15.84 billion in 2023. That figure is expected to rise to nearly $20 billion in 2024.²

Given the time and expense involved in attending a trade show, take every step possible to assure your booth is a top attraction.

Here’s how to get started.

Develop a Pre-Conference Marketing Strategy for HCPs

The most powerful healthcare marketing strategies extend beyond a single day or event. Stay ahead of other sponsors and exhibitors by starting a conversation with HCPs before the medical conference begins.

But how? Handpick HCPs to connect with at the conference and serve them ads in the weeks leading up to it. Pair offline attendee lists with online identities by working with a digital media agency with a proprietary HCP database, like Adfire Health.

Think of this step as a necessary introduction. It’s crucial in a cross-channel world where it can take 6-8 marketing touches to close a sale.³ It’s also an opportunity to discover how to optimize the rest of a conference marketing strategy and create personalized experiences proven to sway audiences. According to one survey, 44% of people said they would switch to brands that did personalization better

Geofencing During Medical Conference

Once the conference is underway, start geofencing. Geofencing, also known as location-based advertising, establishes a virtual boundary or “fence” around a specific geographic area. This technique leverages a device’s location services to determine when a user crosses predefined virtual boundaries. Once a user enters the geofenced area, they are served with relevant ads, notifications, or other marketing content based on their proximity to the targeted location.

For a location-based conference advertising strategy, set boundaries around the conference and areas in a 5-10 mile radius. Build awareness by delivering ads to HCPs at the conference, their hotels, or neighboring restaurants and venues.

Don’t Forget a Post-Conference Strategy

After the medical conference, be ultra-selective about who to target in your post-conference engagement strategy. Refine a target list of HCPs to add another level of personalization. Eliminate media waste by only focusing on those who demonstrated interest in your offerings.

This step is what helps ensure your marketing efforts lead to tangible results. It’s also a vital part of protecting assets. In a survey of 1,000 marketers worldwide by Rakuten Marketing, respondents estimated they waste an average of 26% of their budgets on ineffective channels and strategies.⁴

See It In Action: An Ophthalmic Solutions Company Pulls Ahead 

To understand the value of developing a comprehensive healthcare marketing strategy for connecting to HCPs at medical conferences, consider this example.

In one Adfire Health case study, an ophthalmic solutions company began a campaign with the following objectives:

  • Reaching HCPs at critical medical conferences and on social media, and
  • Promoting its product as a cost-saving option to specific target HCPs.

To make these goals a reality, Adfire Health harnessed the power of data to develop a targeted media strategy. Adfire Health successfully reached HCPs via a 1:1 campaign before, during, and after the conference with cross-device advertising and geofencing.

Adfire Health’s multi-pronged approach helped this company pull ahead of the competition. The campaign delivered an impressive 0.30% CTR and a 0.47% CTR. The targeted digital advertising and cross-platform reach helped the company reach HCPs at medical conferences successfully, so much so that the client extended the campaign and its budget.

Conclusion: Include Digital Ads In Your Medical Conference Marketing Strategy

Every part of a strong conference marketing strategy needs to provide value. The marketing tactics you invest in should increase HCPs’ awareness of your offering.

Traditional medical conference marketing strategies may have been enough to increase reach and awareness a few years ago. However, a clear-cut strategy utilizing multiple mediums to reach HCPs is invaluable in today’s increasingly tech-based environment.

A three-phase conference ad strategy is a way to jump to the front of the line and introduce yourself to HCPs while the competition lags. With the resources and data Adfire Health provides, you can connect with HCPs at medical conferences through the mediums they use the most.

Adfire Health crafts targeted, specific conference marketing strategies to meet client goals. Reach out today to learn how we can help your company do the same.


  1. Pharma Voice. Medical Conference Presence: Is It Worth It For Your Brand? Published September 1, 2017. Accessed June 23, 2023.
  2. eMarketer. US Healthcare and Pharma Digital Ad Spending 2023. Published May 2023. Accessed June 8, 2023.
  3. eMarketer Editors. Podcast: Why Everyone Wants Personalization, but Nobody’s Getting It. eMarketer. Published June 15, 2019. Accessed June 15, 2021.
  4. Benes R. Marketers Waste About One-Fourth of Their Budgets. eMarketer. Published March 23, 2018. Accessed June 15, 2021.

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