Don’t Forget the Social – Conferences You Should be Attending

ConferencesBy DJ Edgerton

In many ways, conventions seem like a bit of a throwback. Companies have less money, and we all have less time, to go on junkets. Right?

But on the other hand, work is all vastly more portable than they ever were. With a laptop and WiFi, you can continue your work seamlessly from anywhere in the world – even, now, in-flight airplanes themselves.

Moreover, using your laptop to take notes – or, better yet, livetweet the conference – you can keep up with your work while getting the conference experience of new ideas, new people, and a brand new perspective.

And, if you are involved in social media to the point where you have a sizeable audience for your blogging or tweeting, talk to the convention organizers – who are even harder hit by the recession. They may be able to offer you a discounted admission for your publicity.

Here are some categories of conferences you should check out.

Social Media and Pharma

The e-Pharma Summit is probably one of the best, but many organizations are beginning to put them on: the Business Development Institute’s Social Communications & Healthcare conference being one. Keep looking for ones in your area – they will probably start small. And if there isn’t one – start one yourself! Get in the unconference spirit and see what can be done.

Social Media, not Pharma

Get out and see what creative work is being done in less restricted industries. It will be a nice change of pace, but more importantly, it will give you ideas. Here’s a great list for the rest of 2009 from

Pharma, not Social Media

Keeping up with the industry you’re in – however, many of these industry-wide conferences can be broad to the point where they’re more about vendor advertising than informative. ExL Pharma, however, is one of the better sorts.

Condition-Specific Medical

This is a much better option. Whether it’s the massive American Society of Clinical Oncology with over 30,000 attendees, a tiny conference with only a couple hundred participants, or one in between, you need to be go to where the science is happening. As we’ve alluded before, <<<>>> you need to stay in touch with the purpose of the pharma industry: improving health. Find which professional societies exist in the specialties and conditions you work on, and when and where their congresses are. Also, check out the Medical Conference Blog for humorous thoughts on them by an anonymous medical journalist.

What’s the best conference you’ve been to in the last year? Why?



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