Last week we held our 8th annual eHealth Symposium. Clients from all over the country came to Iowa to work together on pushing the boundaries of healthcare marketing. With a jam-packed agenda of topics ranging from the latest website design trends to agile marketing methods to newsjacking, clients left with brains full of new ideas, knowledge and relationships:
Clients also received a healthy dose of Iowa hospitality, which consists of overwhelming friendliness, and over-the-top food:
It helps that we hold the event at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, which is unlike any hotel you’d expect to find in Iowa:
Is this a Vegas Hotel? No, it’s Iowa. Really. Credit: The Hotel at Kirkwood Center.
The entryway to the Hotel at Kirkwood. Gorgeous, fantastic coffee, friendly staff, and cozy places to hang out between sessions. Credit: The Hotel at Kirkwood Center.
The Hotel also happens to come with a culinary school serving up delicious meals every 2-3 hours. In fact, that’s how we kicked off this year’s event, with Chef Anthony Green, talking about ways to take an ordinarily mundane recipe, Caesar salad, and kick it up a notch or three.
Everything’s better deep fried: Chef Anthony Green kicks a mundane Caesar salad recipe up a notch by making it from scratch, then deep frying it or pureeing it.
Our clients are such good sports – they volunteered to help whip up a deep fried Caesar salad on TV in front of everyone.
Chef Green asks for a volunteer from the audience – did you know you’d have to touch anchovies?
Having pushed culinary boundaries, it was time to move into more serious material. Two days full of speakers and presenters covered topics showcasing the best in eHealth.
Geonetric experts doing what they do best: helping clients get the most from their relationship with us.
John Morgan, author of Brand Against the Machine, was our keynote speaker. He blasted apart conventions about branding. His entertaining and irreverent message was pitch-perfect, as Geonetric and clients work together to shake up the staid industry of healthcare marketing.
Author and brand guru John Morgan, our keynote speaker, discussed building brands in today’s social world. Fun fact that I learned: they have a pharmacy at Disney World. You’ll have to read his book to learn why it matters. *shameless plug*
Ben Dillon presented on emerging trends in our industry, and how they affect clients.
Geonetric’s eHealth Evangelist, Ben Dillon, mesmerizes the room with that same sultry radio voice he uses in webinars. It makes statistics much more exciting!
There’s so much to learn that we used “Date-a-Geek” speed dating to make sure everyone had a chance to discuss critical topics around content, mobile vs. responsive design, and keeping up with the latest technologies and practices.
Relationships have to start somewhere. Why not start by speed dating?
With clients representing hundreds of hospitals, there’s issues that are unique to larger hospitals or rural hospitals. Our peer group roundtables let them focus on those topics, and learn what’s working and what’s not with peers facing the same challenges.
Peer group roundtables let clients with similar market needs and competitive situations discuss areas most important to them.
We’re renowned for our deep relationships with clients. One of the best ways clients get the most out of symposium is to spend some one-on-one time with their client advisors to work through the next year’s plans:
Clients love spending 1:1 time with their client advisors. And our advisors love it too!
We ended the program with a panel featuring Leslie Kelly Hall from Geonetric partner Healthwise and Gabrielle DeTora of DeTora Consulting, who gave us insights on the evolution of marketing’s role in engaging patients more deeply in their health, and how technology and data are fundamentally changing the role of marketing in healthcare.
Panelists Leslie Kelly Hall and Gabrielle DeTora gave an important outside perspective on eHealth.
To add a little serendipitous fun, we hid Amazon gift certificates and gave out clues:
By the end of the day, with brains overflowing, we had switched to beer while playing darts, pool, and laughing at a local pub, followed by a good night’s sleep back at The Hotel.
Sure, we’ll rent out the whole floor of a bar for a party. Of course we brought the deep fried green beans if you’re hungry.
Our post-Symposium surveys reveal that clients loved the event, learned a lot, made new friends, and are excited to come back! We’re already planning for the 2014 eHealth Symposium, to push the boundaries even further! We might even find something else tasty to deep fry.