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:
— Matt McKinney (@MattMcKNC) April 25, 2013
Clients also received a healthy dose of Iowa hospitality, which consists of overwhelming friendliness, and over-the-top food:
Taking a lot of inspiration, ideas and knowledge back from #geolive. With all the great food, probably also bringing back 5 lbs.
— karamoran (@karamoran) April 24, 2013
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:
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.
Our clients are such good sports – they volunteered to help whip up a deep fried Caesar salad on TV in front of everyone.
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.
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.
Ben Dillon presented on emerging trends in our industry, and how they affect clients.
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.
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.
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:
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.
— JoAnna Brogdon (@HW_JoAnna) April 24, 2013
To add a little serendipitous fun, we hid Amazon gift certificates and gave out clues:
— Geonetric (@Geonetric) April 24, 2013
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.
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.