Five Traits of Highly Engaging Pharmaceutical Meetings

The latest iteration of our platform introduces a single definitive metric by which our clients can analyse engagement levels at their events - the Glisser Event Engagement Score.

Mike Piddock, July 31, 2018
This is a figure from 1 to 100 that takes into account a vast array of individual delegate interactions (everything from Tweeting about an event to writing notes against a particular slide).We calculate this engagement score for an overall event, for individual sessions (so you can rank them and find the most effective presentations, speakers and panelists), and even down to the individual attendee (so you can understand not just who turned up, but who was genuinely engaged).

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Insights from medical and pharma events in 2017

We’ve retroactively applied our engagement score metric to the thousands of sessions where Glisser was used in 2017, concentrating first on the pharmaceutical and medical sectors (one of our most data-rich verticals, along with the financial services and technology industries). Here are our top five findings:

1. Inclusivity is key

Across the portfolio of events, the average engagement score was 47.3 out of 100. This is as expected, as we target the algorithm at an average score of 50. However, an important finding is that the events with the very highest overall scores saw 100% of attendees asking presenters a question and 100% voting in at least one poll. In other words, the content and format encouraged full participation, meaning very few attendees with low engagement scores.

2. Onboarding sessions are really helpful

Almost universally, the highest performing presentation sessions and speaker panels included a slide to explain the tech. The slides typically included the Wifi code, the Glisser code, and some indication of what audience members could do. The very best slides also explained why the audience should get involved - to be part of the conversation, or simply to get the slides. High performing sessions also tended to include an ice-breaker live poll within a few slides of the start, ensuring audiences were comfortable with the technology and into the spirit of participation early.

3. The number of delegates is irrelevant

Our general rule of thumb is that Glisser is most effective once audience numbers go beyond twenty, as below that the room size still facilitates a fairly open verbal conversation. Across the data set, the average number of participating attendees was 50, and we expected to see stronger engagement scores for larger events. However, when we ran the numbers, the average engagement score for events below 50 attendees was 47.8, while it was 46.4 for events above 50 attendees - hardly any difference. This would suggest even small rooms can benefit from engagement technology.

4. The after-lunch slump is real!

It’s long been spoken about, and provided the ice-breaker joke for many-a-presenter, but now we have conclusive proof that the after-lunch delegate energy slump is real. In or results, sessions running between midday and 2.30pm displayed 10-15% lower interaction levels compared to other times of the day. However, the best event organisers planned for this and designed their programme accordingly. Events that used sessions specifically designed to inject energy showed a 20% increase to average engagement scores. So get your delegates dancing!

5. Don’t blame the slides...

We suspected that there would be a strong correlation between fewer slides and better engagement, but this was not the case. The average number of slides for a one hour session (including Q&A) was 28, yet average engagement levels were higher for presentations with more than 28 slides (52.6) rather than fewer (43.9), and some decks with 100+ slides scored above average engagement. We suspect that the pharmaceutical and medical sectors, and their audiences, are comfortable with a lot of slide content, and appreciate detail around a topic. As we produce  data sets for other industry verticals, we’ll see if this plays out…

Some interesting results, and hopefully useful insights as you plan your events. If you’d like to explore using Glisser and the Glisser Event Engagement Score for your events, or if you’d like us to run a report on another vertical, please get in touch below.

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