Seeking Conventional Wisdom
June 8, 2021 8:23 AM   Subscribe

Anyone know anything about convention planning? Specifically medical convention planning?

Okay, so I'm a cartoonist. And it I do a fair amount of doctor- and healthcare-related cartoons. Enough so that I've attracted a fair share of doctor fans on social media. A few have asked if I have a book of just those type of cartoons. I countered by asking them if that's something they'd like to get in, say, a goodie bag they'd get at a medical convention. They went gaga over that thought. So, I'd like to convince some future medical convention to buy a quantity of these books from me and include them as gifts for attendees. I actually thought of this two years back but, yeah, the pandemic. So any idea how I go about making this happen? Who do I contact? Are there major players in this space I can find beyond Googling? Or for that matter, what would I even Google? And any other advice would be helpful; especially about timing? How far out do planners work? Months? Years? The cartoons are all done. I have a publisher who can make the books within days. I just need to make the business side happen. I hope with your help. Thanks.
posted by lpsguy to Work & Money (4 answers total)
Someone I know did this for two different big medical companies. They worked in a dedicated office, all year round. As I recall it, all conventions were planned a year in advance, with the new date being announced at the previous convention.
Through google, I learnt that one company at least has a position called Global Meetings & Events Regional Director. I think that is the type of office you need to look for.
posted by mumimor at 8:32 AM on June 8, 2021

Best answer: In my (relatively limited) experience at medical and medical-adjacent conventions, the goodie bag stuff is generally sponsored by some company, like a medical software company, or a medical device company, or a drug company - something like that. So it might make more sense to reach out to the drug company and then they could co-brand on your books or something (if that would be OK with you). They might even give your books out at their booth.

But probably the people organizing the convention would not be buying your books directly.
posted by mskyle at 8:45 AM on June 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

But probably the people organizing the convention would not be buying your books directly.

One possibility I can see is that the organizers offer their largest sponsor(s) the opportunity to brand/sponsor the giveaway book (in the same way they'd sponsor a happy hour or similar), especially if your book would be something of a premium item in the swag bag. Mumimor has it, though - this is usually a full-time person's job to figure out and next year's meeting nitty-gritty planning starts the day after this year's wraps up. Locations are sometimes negotiated several years in advance.
posted by jquinby at 11:03 AM on June 8, 2021

The conventions are often organized by the "Society of" something or other, if you search "society conference" you will turn lots of them up. Mixed in with the geology society conference and so on. The societies may well employ event organizing teams and you can perhaps dig them up on LinkedIn.
posted by quacks like a duck at 11:23 AM on June 8, 2021

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