If you are planning to attend a scientific conference, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information about the abstracts, sessions, and poster presentations. ASCO’s annual meeting (this year’s hashtag is #ASCO21) is one of the biggest conferences for medical affairs and oncology professionals. In order to get the most out of your conference attendance, you will need to have a clear plan in place. Here are some best practices that can help you get ready to attend.
- Have your goals in mind.
Before the conference starts, you’ll need to know what your goals are. What insights are you looking to generate from the conference? Which sessions must you attend? Who are the speakers or other delegates you would like to speak with? Are you supposed to meet with key opinion leaders (KOLs)? Take notes during sessions? Be clear about the specific outcomes you are hoping to achieve.
- Learn about the speakers and KOLs who’ll be attending.
Many top oncologists will be attending #ASCO21, and many of them are also very digitally active. Before the conference starts, following KOLs on Twitter and familiarizing yourself with their Tweets, podcasts, YouTube videos, Clubhouse chats, etc. can help you to be more knowledgeable about their work and to decide whether you will attend their sessions.
- Attend live sessions for the opportunity to participate in the Q&A and get your questions answered.
Even though many virtual conference platforms give access to replays, you will miss out on live interactions with speakers by not attending live. It may not be possible to attend all sessions of interest due to time constraints, so plan to attend the most impactful ones in real-time and get access to speakers via the live sessions’ chat or Q&A function.
- Connect and network with other attendees.
Even though most conferences are currently virtual, don't forget to connect with other attendees and KOLs. If you have been building relationships through social engagement, you may find it easier to get meetings with KOLs after the conference is over.
- Analyze your key takeaways.
Once the conference is over, reflect on what you learned. Who are your new connections? What insights can you share with your colleagues? And how does what you’ve learned impact both your organization’s products and your competitors’ products? Keep up with continuing discussions on social media.
- Follow up after the conference.
Remember to keep up contact and social engagement with the attendees and KOLs you met during the conference. How can you help each other?
If you’re not sure how to get started with your conference preparations, LARVOL can help. Our social listening tool, VIEW, brings you the conversations that top oncologists are having on Twitter. In addition, the VIEW tool provides expert sentiment analysis that can help you in your conference planning needs.
In addition to regular Clubhouse chats, LARVOL hosts live, 30-minute panel interviews immediately following major oncology conferences, including #ASCO21. During the panels, KOLs and experts in the particular cancer type will discuss 2-3 abstracts, moderated by a LARVOL expert in cancer research. Register to attend panels for #ASCO21 here, or contact us for information about upcoming panels.
Our conference planners are spreadsheets compiled by our team of experts that outline all sessions and abstracts, identified diseases, products, and MOAs. You’ll even get follow-up coverage on Twitter discussions after the conference is over. Request your planner for #ASCO21 here and maximize your attendance!