Large pharmaceutical company, USA

The Challenge:

To transform the current approach of convention marketing to one that effectively coordinates internal and vendor partners to deliver desirable and cohesive brand experiences across an HCP’s convention journey.


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Synthesizing the interviews from various stakeholders in the conventions process, the team outlined these challenges as “how might we” statements:

  • Purpose: Overall sentiment for attending conventions was reported as for the sake of ‘share of voice’ and generating leads; there is a mentality of ‘everyone else is there so we should be too.’
    So, how might demonstrate that there is value in developing a brand strategy that leads to HCP engagement?

  • Continuity: Each convention is planned individually with little continuity or strategy.
    Learnings: Convention learnings are not captured or followed up on to improve future shows.
    So, how might we capture convention learnings to create a feedback loop of continual improvement?

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20 HCP in-depth phone interviews were conducted to better understand their end-to-end experience of attending HCP conventions. This informed the current-state journey map that encompassed their experiences from daily practice and conventions attendance.

Building out the stakeholder core team ideation session, a horizon scan was conducted to better understand global trends around social learning and expert engagement inspired the development of innovative experiential concepts for the internal stakeholder workshop. The intention was to prime them for an out-of-the-box experience by giving them a safe space to experiment.

The case studies and inspiration cards were really helpful in forcing the team to think about experiences that were rooted in end-user needs. We were intentional in choosing analogues that were easily connected to the opportunity areas we shared in the readout. (e.g. humanizing personal invitations—Netflix’s curated suggestions was a feature they resonated with because it crafts recommendations to the viewer’s tastes).

From the brainstorm workshop, initial concepts for validation with HCPs were developed and further detailed out through rapid prototyping.



Refining the lo-fi concept prototypes, the team validated with HCPs to understand which resonated. Synthesizing this information, the insights were consolidated into 4 overarching pillars—with design principles—based on HCP needs to guide future convention experience design.

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With the design principles and user toolkit for a user-centric experience, the co-creation was intended to help stakeholders engineer their strategic framework to implement for 2019. The team developed measurements & evaluation for success (KPIs, benchmarking, and reporting), as well as developing a workback calendar based on the initiatives discussed, and how conventions would fit into their annual timelines.

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As part of the deliverable package, the HCP research & learnings, documentation of the prototypes, and meeting guides were integrated into a final playbook that could be shared internally and socialized with external vendors.