In an increasingly digital world, conferences and trade shows are one of the last remaining reasons to hop on a plane instead of a video chat. Whether it’s that people like the occasional excuse to visit a new city, or that you just can’t beat the power of a true face to face conversation – conferences and trade shows, for the time being, are here to stay.

In the healthcare industry – specifically for pharmacies and durable medical equipment providers, conferences and trade shows can be an important part of your businesses success. This is where industry leaders gather, and where potential partners and customers come to learn more about available products. There are absolutely advantages to attending, but you have to be strategic to get the most out of your conference budget!

Today, we’re going to review the 5 W’s to consider when deciding which conferences (if any!) are right for your business.


While it seems obvious, trade shows are massive in scope and having a clear purpose is imperative when deciding whether or not to participate. Is your purpose to meet with doctors, buyers, distributors, or potential customers? Each of these will require a different approach, a different set-up, and different pitch.

There’s absolutely no problem with preparing for each of these situations – but your overall approach should favour that which best fits your business needs. Perhaps more importantly, you need to ensure that your primary need is well aligned with the nature of the conference. For example, if you need to work with doctors to get feedback or endorsements for your DME, a trade show filled with prospective customers may not be the best fit for you.


 To understand the question of “what” is to know what you are going to need to bring with you in order to best appeal to your target audience at the trade show. There is truly so much noise – both literal and figurative – to compete with when you set up your booth.

Take some time to consider what materials will work best for your booth. Is it video content playing, printed materials, an amazing giveaway contest, or maybe having demonstrations of your product or service? Find the thing that will appeal most to your target demographic, and make that the focal point of your trade booth experience.


 This one can be tricky – everyone loves the opportunity to travel to a fun new city, but it is so crucially important that you are choosing the best people not only to represent your business, but to engage with the people at the trade show. It’s far too often that people choose their trade show reps based on seniority or who hasn’t had an opportunity to travel.

Your trade show reps are the face of your brand, and it doesn’t matter how much time and effort you sink into your booth and materials if they aren’t up for the job. The who is easily the most important of the W’s and you need to select individuals that are personable, engaging, and know your products and offerings inside and out. There is tremendous networking potential at these types of events, and your attendees should be expected to be “on” at all times!

Where and Which

 Our last two W’s come down to location – where should you be looking for conferences, and which ones should you say yes to? Of course, there are a number of factors to consider when looking at location – what markets are you in, what markets do you want to break into, and where do you have a network that will help you succeed at your trade show or conference?

With respect to trade show to choose – it ultimately does come down to which ones best meet the criteria outlined above: why – does it make sense to go, what – do I have to bring that will fit with the conference theme/attendees, who – do I have available that will be able to best represent my brand, and where does it make the most sense to look for a trade show or conference opportunity? By answering these simple questions, you will be well on your way to becoming a real showstopper at your next conference or trade show.

Do you need help developing a marketing strategy around attending conferences and trade shows? Do you want to learn how your existing marketing program can help boost your success levels at these types of events? The Prizm Media team is here to help, so contact us today at or by phone at (604) 326-0096.