Social media is one of the best tools clinical researchers can use to stay competitive.
Sure, social media carries challenges for patient recruitment. But even if you have significant concerns about social media in a recruitment context, it is not to be ignored entirely.
That would be a mistake. Or to quote Vivian in Pretty Woman, who chastised a shopkeeper for missing an opportunity due to premature judgement, “Big mistake. Big. Huge!”
Outside of patient recruitment, social media has far fewer challenges. And it can provide great value. I continue to be regularly awestruck by just how powerful it can be. The catch, however, is you only get what you give.
One of my favorite uses of social media is to enhance the conference experience.
As the blog title implies, this post is a social recap of the Disruptive Innovations to Advance Clinical Trials conference. The purpose is twofold.
First, it will illustrate social media’s usefulness in a conference context. Second, it will provide a wealth of perspectives on Disruptive Innovations, in addition to my own thoughts, which were discussed in part 1 of this series.
Why Social Media for Conferences?
Before getting to the social recap itself, let’s discuss 3 big benefits of using social media for conferences.
1. Diversity of Thought
During Disruptive Innovations, Karen Freidt of NASA noted key ingredients for innovation. In particular, she emphasized filling your brain with diversity of perception, information, and experience.
Using social media as part of your conference experience creates additional opportunity for such diversity.
For example, when I listen to a talk, I am exposed to the perception, information, and experience of the presenter. The opportunity to be exposed to diverse presenters is a big reason why many people, including myself, choose to attend conferences. But the way that I comprehend those presentations is highly influenced by my own biases.
By using social media, I see how others perceive and experience the same presentations, exposing myself to an additional layer of diversity. And I think about the conference content in new ways.
2. Connect With Fellow Attendees
Using social media as part of a conference involves you in a community within the conference community.
It makes the experience feel more personal and allows you to better connect with your fellow social media users. Aside from making the conference more enjoyable, such connections can result in tangible business benefits.
This aspect of social media is particularly useful at larger conferences, which can feel a bit overwhelming due to size. But I find this benefit to be valuable no matter the conference size.
3. Attend Virtually
To quote Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.” Unfortunately, the real thing isn’t always possible. In that case, there’s social media.
Attending conferences virtually exposes you to a small sampling of the content. It also allows you to smartly prioritize conference attendance the following year. By witnessing a variety of conferences from afar, you better determine which most merit your time in the future.
The Social Recap
To help you experience Disruptive Innovations through social media, I’ve curated some of the best and most representative posts about the conference. First we’ll start with blog posts and then end with tweets.
Rob Wright, editor of Life Science Leader – Chas Bountra, the chief scientist at the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), gave perhaps the most controversial and thought-provoking talk. It was titled “A New Model to Reduce Waste in Clinical Development: Open Access Collaboration.” Rob wrote a great summary of the talk, and I highly recommend you read it.
Jeri Burtchell, Gilenya and Me – Jeri made a very positive splash at the conference, both in her interview with Craig Lipset and her interaction with attendees. She’s written extensively about her experience, and I’ve highly enjoyed reading her thoughts about it. Jeri’s coverage is divided into 3 parts.
Brendan Kelleher, karmadata – Brendan provided another great recap of Disruptive Innovations.
Craig Lipset, Pfizer – Craig told me he plans to blog about Disruptive Innovations soon. In the meantime, check out his pre-conference thoughts about the event. I’ll post a link to his post-conference blog once it’s published.
Twitter: Conferencing in 140 Characters
Twitter is a great way to experience conferences. Here’s my curation of tweets from people attending.
That’s all, folks! Don’t forget to put your comments below.
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell Photo Credit: Wikipedia