Why meeting face to face still holds value

Sometimes I feel old; maybe because I am surrounded by this year’s intake of bright new graduates at Hayward, maybe because I only get to listen to Radio 2 in the office if I’m first in or maybe because this week I picked up my first pair of reading glasses from the optician. I’m making the best of this recent step into middle age – check out my new photo on www.hayward.co.uk/meet-the-team!

I try to embrace the new waves of engagement strategies that come into medical communications. I post and tweet along with everyone else, and I’m starting to venture into the new territory of blog writing.

For my latest blog, I was asked to share my experiences from a couple of conferences I recently attended. I was going to provide you, dear readers (all 152 of you according to our online analytics), with the usual summary of what was presented, who spoke, etc. But will anyone read that? Surely if you were interested you’d have been there, or you can read the highlights on the conference website (see links below). What I can tell you afterwards won’t be nearly as insightful as you having heard it first-hand.

This got me thinking… why is it that I still insist on getting in the car or on the train and making my way (in hot, sticky weather I might add!) to attend meetings and conferences in person?

We do so much online these days, which allows us to engage quickly with a much wider audience than was previously possible, but I still love meeting new people, talking about the industry in which I enjoy working and debating the issues affecting healthcare. Here are the reasons I’ll definitely keep going to conferences for many years to come:

  • I absorb the latest advances in science and healthcare; I’ve always been able to acquire and retain information better if someone presents it to me and explains it well
  • I can ask questions in scientific sessions and satellite symposia that allow me to come back to work and provide new insights to my clients
  • I get introduced to innovative medical interventions: drugs, devices, living aids, maggots(!), and a whole host of other ideas that provide me with a really rounded view of healthcare
  • I have the opportunity to walk around great exhibits, such as Care Home Live!, a fantastic house designed with tools to help people with physical disabilities and mental health problems function better and enjoy life as much as possible
  • I hear, first-hand, the challenges that are facing people at the forefront of providing patient care
  • I meet new people, who have fantastic ideas to engage and support healthcare providers and funders in the NHS, and discuss how Hayward can help them achieve these
  • I reconnect with old colleagues who I haven’t seen for a while, catch up with what they’re doing now and make arrangements to re-engage and discuss mutually beneficial opportunities
  • I’m able to develop new business by presenting Hayward to a wide variety of people

Finally, a nod to the conferences I attended recently, so you can decide for yourself the value of joining me there in 2019:

Primary Care & Public Health: www.primarycareandpublichealth.co.uk

Health+Care: www.healthpluscare.co.uk/

I look forward to meeting you at a conference soon!

Helen Bengtsson, Development Director