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Ready or Not, Here Comes Virtual J.P. Morgan ’21

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Author: Matthew Briggs, Senior Vice President, Healthcare at PAN Communications, headshot
Matthew BriggsSenior Vice President, Healthcare
JPM '21 healthcare trends

The scene might look a little different this year, but as the saying goes, “the show must go on.” The virtual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference 2021 starts Jan. 11-14 kicking off “JPM Week” at a time when virtual events are the new normal and the spotlight on healthcare couldn’t be brighter.

The move to virtual is but the latest example in a string of recent events and conventions that have gone remote given the continued prevalence of COVID-19, limited gatherings, social-distancing requirements and travel restrictions. Forget hotel lobby meetings and back-corner sidebars – vying for virtual “elbow room” can be even more of a challenge.

Here’s what to look for this year and how to get the most out of JPM 2021.

Healthcare Trends to Monitor

The annual JPM conference typically rakes in north of 20K attendees. As discussed in years past, it’s one of the biggest deal-making events in biotech, often setting the tone for capital raises, partnerships and M&A activity for the first part of the year and beyond. We expect even more to be on the invite list this year precisely because the travel factor is removed.

A few key themes for this year’s conference:

  • Digital Health & Remote Care: As we discussed in a recent post, it’s difficult to talk healthcare without mentioning the rise and adoption of telehealth and remote care. However, healthcare marketers must be aware of the responsibility they hold in educating their audience about these new technologies, be it wearables or virtual visits with a physician.
  • Telehealth Meets Biotech: We can expect the rise in telehealth to penetrate the world of biotech as diagnostics companies continue to double down on scaling COVID-19 testing and improving accuracy. What’s more, care delivery has never been more taxed and constrained, especially for more vulnerable and high-risk populations for contracting the virus.
  • Healthcare Funding: Investors will be looking for innovations that stand to streamline management and coordination of care at a time when the need has never been greater. And in many ways it all comes down to a single element: data.

Early-stage investments in data-driven healthcare models mark an interesting moment in time, setting the stage for industry-wide change born out of necessity to combat a virus that has changed life as we know it. Biotechs have always been in the game of betting on data and science, but the stakes have never been higher.

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Starting with JPM, 2021 is likely to see continued demand and growth in the health data market given pressure from all corners of healthcare to track, treat and cure, from insurers to providers, and from sponsors to patients. Return-to-normal is the common denominator. We’ve never seen such a collective interest in faster access to care and frictionless service models that preserve safety as the highest order of business.

Getting the Most out of a Virtual Event

Virtual events bring with them an entire new bag of tricks. Standing out has always been a challenge, but how to create those moments in a remote setting becomes all the more challenging when you remove the chance possibilities for run-ins and impromptu meetings.

One thing that hasn’t changed is what makes good storytelling. In the spirit of helping our healthcare partners provide value to media, reporters will continue to be interested in research that brings to life different perspectives on what is working (and what isn’t) as we turn the corner of one year since initial outbreaks of the coronavirus were confirmed. Second only to data is insight into the latest trends impacting healthcare, which cannot deny the impact of the vaccine race as we are less than a month into initial waves of distribution. Finally, be sure to make yourself a cheat sheet in your calendar to tune into keynotes and breakout sessions, and sharing your perspectives on the biggest industry trends that you’re seeing and hearing.

Takeaway #1: Come armed with unique and credible research when you attend events – the media will take notice.

Takeaway #2: Position your brand alongside the latest insights and trends impacting the industry. Show how you are making a difference.

Takeaway #3: Be smart about scheduling your time during the event & be sure to join in on important conversations and sessions.

Leveraging Integrated Marketing & PR Strategy for Virtual Events

Using opportunities such as JPM to be seen, found and heard by decision makers, influencers and target audiences takes proper strategy and execution – especially in our virtual world. We count engaging with the media and pushing unique and compelling content as two of the top ways to be effective, particularly as it can help you get time on investors’ calendars.

For many, JPM marks a significant “moment that matters.” Ready your content engines and refine your approach to make your content discoverable, relevant and engaging. To support your content, consider implementing speaking or networking opportunities for your brand’s key executives. Even the smallest of thought leadership efforts can go a long way when trying to reach the right audience at these larger events.

Don’t forget to follow along on social & join the conversation: #JPM2021 and #JPM21

Check out the main JPM conference site and a great companion JPM Guide for getting the most out of the experience this year. And don’t forget to use the social scene to network and participate in conversations around the biotech scene by following #JPM2021 and #JPM21.

Coordinating a virtual event of your own around JPM? Download PAN’s recommendations and virtual event guide for managing a virtual event to help maximize your investment. While you’re there, check out some of PAN’s work in our healthcare practice and learn more about our approach.

Otherwise, get your WiFi ready and we’ll see you in the virtual corridors of JPM this week!

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