How valuable is a social media presence for a Healthcare Conference?

We’ve recently witnessed a couple of incredible healthcare conferences taking place, #himss12 and #TEDxMaastricht, both ground breaking in their impact of healthcare social media. Today marks the last day of another huge healthcare conference, #tedmed, which of course have inspired us to have a another look at our database to see if putting numbers into context can tell us a story.

For us who live and breath healthcare social media, it’s a given that a social media presence for any conference can be incredible powerful and valuable when done right, but we are often approached by conference organizers who want an anwer to “how valuable?“. They may be a bit new to healthcare social media (hey, who isn’t?), but they have recognized that social media has a part to play in their conference, so the question quickly becomes, “how much resources should we put into this to make it right?” That’s a fair question, and the answer will obvisouly vary widely depending on the nature of the conference and your audience.


A Redefinition of Healthcare Conference Participants

No, your confernece audience is not the people in the room. It’s much larger than that. The knowledge and the stories want be spread around, and today it is – in real-time. So how big can the real-time audience of healthcare conferences be? Putting our data into context shows that the real-time audience can in fact be much larger than the people physically there.
healthcare conference participants

The Social-Physical Conference Participant Ratio

healthcare conference physical vs social ratio
Note that the social participants data is pulled from the actual days of the conference. One should really include a time period after the conference in order to get a more accurate picture of the amplification as information takes time to spread. The ratios will be greater. On the other hand, TEDMED also had live video feeds to select locations increasing their “physical participants” number.

With outcomes like these, how valuable is a social media presence for a healthcare conference?

Audun Utengen

Audun Utengen - @audvin

Job to be done: Connect the dots in healthcare social media. Co-founder of @symplur.

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  1. @lucienengelen

    lucien engelen - @lucienengelen

    Thanks for the heads up on this and great insights.
    There is one aspect that might be of importance as well. On TEDxMaastricht we have chosen NOT to provide WiFi to the audience. Might be a bit controversial, since for all our other conferences we did and do. But due to the format of the conference (TEDx) we wanted everybody to have full attention to our speakers. Only one backrow gave the option to use (cabled) internet. IN comparing conferences that might be relevant.
    Once again thanks for your great work.

    Lucien Engelen
    Founder & Curator “the future of Health” (2011 & 2012 TEDxMaastricht)
    4-2-2013 in Nijmegen

  2. @audvin

    Audun Utengen - @audvin

    It is truly an incredibly achievement to create such a social media impact even without available of WiFi!

    Putting TEDxMaastricht into perspective with another conference with a similar record social media impact, #himss12, can bring additional insights into the magnitude of the value.
    #himss12 had similar record peak tweet volume day of about 6,500 as did #TEDxMaastricht. But they had around 37,000 physical attendees, vs your 900!

    In other words, with 40 times fewer physical participants, you managed to accomplish comparable healthcare social media impact.

    Thanks for you comment Lucien!


  3. @Kinuthia Erick

    Erick Kinuthia - @Kinuthia Erick

    Nice stats Utengen. Social media presence in a conference is a good way to even include those participants who are not physically present in the room.

    Erick Kinuthia
    Team MDwebpro

  4. @peterngrantPro

    Peter Grant - @peterngrantPro

    I am interested in the role of social media in healthcare conference.


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