As conference season approaches, we're gearing up to hit the road running - with our first stop in Miami, Fla., at Cambridge Healthtech Institute's Summit for Clinicial Ops Executives (SCOPE). In an effort to get ourselves and our industry colleagues prepared (and excited!), we thought a Twitter chat with our friends from CHI's SCOPE would be a great way to kick off this exciting time! The Twitter chat is scheduled for Tuesday, 21 Jan at 12 p.m. ET. We'll be talking about using social media for clinical trials, pharma and advocacy groups, and exploring some of the latest new technologies for the clinical R & D industry. Follow #SCOPEchat on Tuesday to join the conversation.
Also today, we're back again with another interview with Micah Lieberman from CHI (click here to see our 2012 interview with Micah)! If you aren’t familiar with Micah, he is the executive director of conferences at Cambridge Healthtech Institute. Micah is a producer, content developer and facilitator of executive forums for thought leaders in the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industries. In our latest blog interview with Micah, we’re talking about the changing landscape of conferences and what he's most excited about for SCOPE 2014. Read on to learn more about this year’s Summit for Clinical Ops Executives (SCOPE) and the Twitter chat.
Tell us more about this year’s SCOPE. How is this year’s event different than past SCOPEs?
Thanks for asking me to be a part of your blog, first of all, and for always being such an enthusiastic participant of Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s SCOPE Summit. You and BBK are a generous and active member of the clinical research community and I think people appreciate it.
CHI’s SCOPE Summit, the Summit for Clinical Ops Executives, is officially in its 5th year. It is actually a few years older than that but it took a few years to become what it is now. If you look at the February 2014 conference that is coming up you will notice that the three-day event has grown into 11 individual conference tracks. The different conferences cover a wider range of topics than in the past and are focused on issues related to each aspect of clinical trial planning and management: Data Integration, Feasibility, Site Selection and Management, Recruitment and Retention, Social Media and Mobile Tech, Project Management, Forecasting, Aggregate Spend Compliance, Post-Marketing Studies, and Sample Logistics. If you look at the past years’ events you will notice an organic growth, an evolution of the event as it expands its reach each and every year without going too far afield…we hope. For those who attend every year, you will notice extended coverage on recruitment, retention, adherence, data management, data integration, feasibility, site management, study start up and then you will notice new coverage on aggregate spend and transparency reporting in clinical trials, sample-biospecimen management in clinical trials, and post-marketing and real world data research. Also new this year, are the two plenary keynotes that tie into SCOPE’s overall mission and goal.
In your opinion, how is social media changing the landscape of conference attendance?
Good question. I think most of the people in this space (clin ops) are being pulled in a lot of different directions and are short on time. They have important jobs and they are working in a very fast-paced and regulated environment. It is getting harder and harder to reach them and to get messaging and content through. How many emails does each of us have in our inbox on Monday morning? How many meetings per day? How many deadlines? So, how do you reach this community? How do you engage them? I think purely push marketing is a harder sell nowadays and you can see that social media (Twitter and LinkedIn) is becoming a more concise and more engaging form of two-way communication.
Are you seeing any other trends that are changing conferences and conference attendance?
Yes, there are a few interesting trends we are seeing as it relates to SCOPE and some of our other events. I think a lot of the more traditional organizations are going through large and almost constant re-organizations. This leads to a lot of turnover and also to frozen travel budgets in some cases. This is a challenge for our regular attendees who want to attend but are in the midst of some chaos. At the same time you are seeing rapid growth amongst smaller, mid-sized and up-and-coming organizations (sponsor, vendor, service, academic, site). They have smaller departments and groups in attendance but there are more of these companies showing up.
It is always hard to get people to commit to attend a conference. You have to deliver solid content, provide education and networking and real value.
What are you looking forward to most at this year’s conference?
This event is the most exciting three day for the year for me; professionally I am the project lead and conference director of the SCOPE Summit so it’s thrilling to see a year’s worth of planning get executed within three intense days. Besides the huge adrenalin rush and warm Miami air I am really excited to see my SCOPE veterans, the folks who have helped build and shape this event over the years , as well as some of the new people, those who have never been and end up happy in the end.
I’d also like to add that my CHI colleagues and I are thrilled about the opportunity to collaborate with BBK on the Twitter Chat on Tuesday, 21 January at 12 p.m. ET. Thank you for hosting a discussion featuring the SCOPE Summit and broader clinical research community. I am excited to hear what people are working on, what they are struggling with, and the creative approaches they are taking to solve those problems. We can all learn from each other.
We hope to see you at the Twitter chat on Tuesday, 21 January at 12 p.m ET! Not sure how to join the conversation? Click here for a beginner’s guide to Twitter chats.