Getting Back to Normal– Observations from ASCRS
By Scott Wright, Healio Strategic Solutions’ VP/Eye Care
Published February 16, 2023
This year has seen a continued return to normalcy; the normal cadence of meetings, starting off the year in January with Hawaiian Eye and ASCRS kicking off the spring. ASCRS 2022 felt even more normal than the meetings preceding it. Gone was the awkwardness of mask or no mask, fist bump, handshake, or hug. At times it was only slightly less awkward than middle school conversations with someone you liked. There was an overall feeling of enthusiasm and excitement to all be together again in Washington, D.C.
Programming started off with a very well attended Eyecelerator that gave attendees a look into the future of the market from the leaders of companies in product development, captains of industry, and the top thought-leaders in the market. In a year where we are celebrating 40 years of Ocular Surgery News and 10 years of Healio, the final talk of the day featured survey results from OSN/Healio highlighting the top innovations of the last 40 years. It is safe to say that there will be no shortage of continued innovation in ophthalmology.
As always, ASCRS provides us with an opportunity to connect with so many friends and clients, all anxious to get caught up on personal lives as well as what’s new with business. Fortunately for us, there is always plenty to talk about, and the timing of the meeting is perfect for planning out the second half of the year. For the three of us who were there, Laura Renna, Molly Phillips and I, it was a fabulous meeting.
One welcomed change since the pandemic is an even greater willingness from clients to commit to set meetings. With many clients no longer in the office full time, the opportunity for in-office meetings remains limited for now, so most clients are more willing than ever to commit to time at conferences, in many instances they were anxious to meet. This is a welcomed trend away from the “just stop by the booth” response to a request for a meeting. For our team, if a meeting wasn’t scheduled, the likelihood of having a chance to talk was minimal. The benefit is high quality engagement. A scheduled meeting offers focused time for meaningful discussion and fewer distractions; whereas the “just stop by the booth” meeting leaves us competing with everything else happening at the booth. For me, I’ll take a day full of scheduled meetings over moving from booth to booth hoping to catch the people you want to meet with any day. Overall, it was a great meeting for the Healio Strategic Solutions team.
Healio Live will run 7 ophthalmology meetings this year so I’ve been curiously watching the return to live meetings wondering what role each will play moving forward. What will the meeting landscape in ophthalmology look like in 2023? What I do expect to see is the meetings that provide the best educational atmosphere along with a high level of engagement between attendees, KOLs and industry will continue to thrive, which is what makes the Healio Live meetings desirable.
Stay tuned for my mid-year wrap up which will focus on what Healio Strategic Solutions has learned about live engagement and a look at what the future of meetings may bring.
For more information on Healio Strategic Solutions‘ products and solutions, email me at [email protected] or DM me on LinkedIn. I look forward to connecting with you!