September 15th, 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on Speaker Programs Post Pandemic

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John Cusmina

President, TL Health

In our last paper, we looked at what types of speaker programs providers were attending before the pandemic. Now we will discover how COVID-19 has impacted physicians’ desire to attend a speaker program and what that may mean moving forward.       

Wear a Mask, Social Distance, Stay Home

COVID-19 is having a dramatic impact on our daily lives.  Wearing a mask, social distancing and staying at home are just some of the new norms for society now. 

The impact to our healthcare system has been dramatic as well. From trying to take care of patients with COVID-19 to restrictions on who can or cannot enter a medical facility, healthcare professionals are facing new and difficult challenges.

But now that restrictions are starting to ease, will physicians return to attending speaker programs?

Will Physicians Attend Speaker Programs?

We recently surveyed 50 healthcare providers and asked them on a scale of 1-10, how likely they were/are to attend different types of speaker programs before and after COVID-19 (Where 1 – Will not attend and 10 – Definitely will attend). The results can be seen in the chart below.

As you can see from the chart above, the likelihood to attend a speaker program has declined across the six types of programs. 

The biggest decreases, with statistical significance, are the events at their office, hospital, or clinic.  This is probably due to the new restrictions that have been put into place regarding visitations.

Although restaurant events have not seen as great a drop as in-office events, providers are still less likely to attend these programs in comparison. This could be due to some of the advantages of in-office events such as convenience, smaller group sizes and better engagement.

Are There Any Silver Linings?

It is interesting to note that web programs at home and on-demand programs have seen almost no decline in providers’ likelihood to attend. In fact, these program types have now become the preferred programs of choice for providers.

For providers, the convenience of watching a web presentation at home lessens the time they would be away from their family and on-demand allows them to receive the information when it is most convenient for them.

For healthcare companies, the benefits of at home web and on-demand programs include less logistical issues, cost reductions, decreased travel for the speakers and the ability to reach a much broader audience.

So, although COVID-19 has eliminated much of the person-to-person contact once enjoyed from speaker programs, we know our healthcare providers are strong, resilient and adaptable. Healthcare companies have recognized this and together, they will find a way to overcome these new challenges!

john work photo- white backgorund

John Cusmina

John has over 34 years of pharmaceutical industry experience working in Product Management, Market Research, Sales and Sales Operations for companies such as GSK, AstraZeneca, Shire, Medeva Pharmaceuticals, and IMS Health. His specialties include: Market Strategy Planning & Development, Launch and Operational Planning, Market Research, Multi-Channel Promotions and Business Development.

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