The “IMTJ summit” organised by Intuition Communication Ltd. from the UK, is one of those conferences I look forward to each year. I’ve decided to share some notes on the summit, in the hope that other “medical conference organizers” in Europe and beyond may take away some practical insights for planning their next event.
Along with well respected thought leaders in the “medical travel” sector such as Keith Pollard, Dr. Claudia Mika, Ilan Geva, Irving Stackpole, Elizabeth Ziemba, Ognjen Bagatin and others, I was once again given the opportunity to share practical insights gained through my work with GCR.org, and was pleased to find that the IMTJ team had once again “raised the bar” of how such medical conferences should happen. I look forward to see what the IMTJ team will come up with for next year!
Pre event communication
Participants are well informed via email & linkedIn in the months and weeks coming up to the event, ensuring that they are aware of all the options available, and that participants are able to “RSVP” or pre book lectures / workshops or meetings that may reach full capacity. Pricing was staggered, with the usual early bird discounts and rose towards the date of the event. Special rates were offered to research teams, local clinics and students.
As with Spaincares in Madrid last year, Kvarnerhealth took the baton to ensure that the event was well supported locally by the various tourism and health boards as well as local medical institutions and private clinics.
An airport shuttle was offered to delegates, and all the events were held surrounding the conference hotel, ensuring that every part of the conference was easy to access.
The presentation topics are well balanced and grouped into themes for each morning and afternoon. Precise timekeeping ensured that everyone could plan for and attend the meetings, workshops and lectures that they wanted to attend.
All speaker presentations are checked beforehand by the team, to ensure that they comply with being “unbranded”. This ensures that the topics presented are not just “look at how great I am / look how great my company is doing” but real, practical insights offered to the delegates.
The fun “oxford style” debate at the end of the conference allowed all participants to be heard and raise their voice which was a welcome change to the typical presentation format.
Complimentary entertainment program
Each conference starts with a “welcome drinks” evening as an informal chance to reacquaint with colleagues and meet new ones over a glass of wine and fine live music. The majority of participants at these events live and breathe medicine. So all of us jump at the chance to poke around local hospitals, health complexes and clinics to learn and see “hands on” how these businesses handle international and local patients. Last year we had the chance to have a private visit of the “Real Madrid football stadium”, and this year the governor’s palace in Rijeka.
These welcoming breaks to the typical conference structure really do make a positive difference for the participants.
Award categories are announced a few months beforehand and for a reasonable fee any clinic can apply. The awards are judged by a 3rd party selection of judges, ensuring transparency and fair decision making in choosing the finalists.
In any industry, celebrating those who have built something to be proud of is a great motivation to those at the event.
IMTJ really do a good job of presenting the “heart” behind their work at the conference, demonstrating time and time again that a transparent, honest voice is appreciated by those who have worked so hard to be more, and achieve more in the industry.
Thanks, requests for feedback and access to the event presentations and photographs were sent out just a week after the event.
For those of us who attend such conferences on an almost twice monthly basis, to speak, to learn, to develop our businesses – the IMTJ offers much inspiration of how such events could be, only if the organizing team put a little more thought and care behind it.
Have you visited a conference that exceeded your expectations? Let us know in the comments below….