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Our sponsors and our volunteers made GST23 a big success.
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New normal or next normal, healthcare convention marketing is at yet another inflection point. From our delegates' travel patterns to the supply chain to public health advisories to the effects of the "great resignation," everything is changing, and HCEA’s corporate, association, and supplier members – like HCEA itself - are reinventing themselves at a furious pace, and often with thin resources.

HCEA's mission to convene the best minds in our industry, provide insights, and arm our delegates with actionable tools has never been more important and has inspired our most ambitious educational program ever. 

Click above to hear Carla's welcome message.



Executives and clients are demanding more innovative work and creative ideas. But in the pressures of daily demands and looming deadlines, who has the time? And even if we did, how do we turn brainstorms, strategy sessions, and whiteboard dumps into rich, productive rather than dreaded obligations? Instead of accepting struggle and frustration, of settling for the safe bet, what if you had a proven framework for consistently coming up with great ideas that drive measurable results?

In this captivating keynote, international speaker and best-selling author Carla Johnson shows why you need to rethink everything you believe about innovation. She’ll demystify how iconic innovators deliver brilliant work time and time again. You’ll learn the five-step process that successful creative thinkers use to come up with great ideas when the stakes are high. You’ll walk away feeling confident to introduce new ideas, make good ideas better, and how to create powerful impact through your work.



At GST 2023, our keynote speakers, general sessions, educational programs, and ongoing corporate, association, and supplier-only forums will build on the provocative topics introduced at HCEA’s most recent virtual event, Fall Forward and Grow Stronger Together. Industry veterans and subject matter experts, many new to HCEA, will arm attendees with the latest data, fresh perspectives, and new skills designed to inspire immediate action.

Back from COVID: Corporate Members Speak
At our 2022 meeting, we explored how industry suppliers were reinventing, adapting, and insulating themselves and their clients from an unstable supply chain. Now our corporate members are in the hot seat, offering perspectives justifying spend to skeptical leadership, budgeting without guardrails, addressing staffing issues, and avoiding exhaustion while on the noble quest for work-life balance. Panelists will include senior convention marketers from pharma, biotech, and device manufacturers. 

High Stakes Global Whack-a-Mole: Data Privacy and the Data Journey
Data privacy laws are sprawling and complex, and the fear of retribution can torpedo the most successful engagement strategy. In this session, two industry experts will explain one of the most complicated, vexing issues facing healthcare marketers today, tracing the data's journey, and offering tips for staying compliant, regardless of locale. Presented by Edye Edens, Senior Research Compliance Consultant from First Class Solutions, Inc., and Sean Feehan, President, GWF Associates.   

How to Stand Out from Your Competition and Recapture Your True Value: Advice from a Procurement Insider
In this closed-door suppliers-only session, a corporate procurement veteran will pull back the curtain on what procurement is really looking for, reveal the costly mistake that 99% of suppliers make, and identify the areas where suppliers have more power than you think. Presented by John Gleason, President, A Better View Strategic Consulting.


Selling the Science: Building a High-Performance Medical Exhibit in 2023
As MSLs and other medical professionals take a larger role in HCP engagement, medical exhibits are becoming strategically more important. In this session, industry experts will explain why medical teams are creating senior-level congress strategy positions, and offer tips for planning content, navigating compliance, orienting staff, and measuring return in medical exhibits.  Presenters include Dr. Samuel Dyer, CEO, The Medical Science Liaison Society, and Maria Fermin, Director, Scientific Exchange, Bristol Myers Squibb

Puppies, Pastries, and Panic Rooms: Compliant Engagement in 2023

Savvy marketers are using more and more unorthodox approaches to reaching their targets on the show floor. In this panel discussion, we'll look at some of the best engagement strategies, creative sponsorships, brand partnerships, and off-the-floor activations that create a positive, compliant brand experience. Panelists include Kent Riffert, Director, Expo and Exhibits Logistics Strategy, American College of Cardiology; Song Heo, SVP Media Strategy & Client Partnerships, EMC Outdoor; and James Morris, VP, Client Service, Impact XM. 

Flip the Switch: DE+I, Healthcare Conventions, and You
In this interactive session, we'll explain why diversity, equity, and inclusion aren't passing fads, shed light on their less obvious manifestations, and explain why addressing them is well worth the effort.  Panelists include Ryan Brown, Vice President, Diversity Solutions, Circuit Clinical; Lisa Houck, CTSM Gold, Director, Trade Shows, Vizient, Inc; Cindy McCormick, CTSM, Associate Director, Convention Marketing, Novo Nordisk; Jeannie Wert, Director, Exhibit Management, Siemens Healthineers; and Michael W. Young, Principal & Founder, BiomedworRx: Life Science Consulting.

Sustainability: Why It Matters and What To Do About It
Convinced that sustainability is just "green exhibits" all over again? Nope. Our panelists will bring multiple perspectives on what it's really about, why it matters, and how embracing it can give smart exhibitors a competitive edge. Panelists include Cathy Breden,CMP, CAE, CEM, Executive Vice President & COO, IAEE; Samantha Krich Bourque, MBA, HMCC, Head of Global Congress Excellence, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Amy Calvert, CEO, Events Industry Council; and Amy Sondrup, president, Access TCA, and president, Experiential Designers and Producers Association.

Stop Listening to Procurement! and Other Useful Tips for Getting the Value from Your Suppliers

Our procurement insider is back for another closed-door session, this time for corporate and association members only. John will explain how some well-intentioned policies may be costing you money, and how a more enlightened approach to managing creative services partners can yield much better results.  Presented by John Gleason, President, A Better View Strategic Consulting.

The State of Healthcare Congresses: Paradise by the Dashboard Light – HCEA's Take on Where We Are and Where We're Going
In a fresh reimagining of HCEA's longtime State of the Industry presentation, our resident experts will look back at the year through a wide lens, stitching together data and insights from clients, agencies, and associations in healthcare, retail, technology, and other sources, make bold predictions about the year ahead, and wrap up with a spirited Q&A session. You bring the questions; we'll bring the data. Presented by Ken Holsinger, SVP Strategy, Freeman Company; and Chris Metzger, Vice President Strategy, Czarnowski. 

Just the Right Medicine? Today's HCPs Weigh in on the Value of Conventions 
With the help of its industry partners, HCEA reinvents the traditional HCP panel! In this intriguing hybrid session, a diverse roster of healthcare providers will share their opinion of healthcare conventions, what appeals and what doesn't, and what steps exhibitors and associations should take to up their game. Hosted by Steve Mapes, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Impact XM. Panelists to be announced. 




Edye T. Edens, JD, MA, CIP, CCRP
Consultant, Human Subject Research Compliance, First Class Solutions, Inc.

Edye T. Edens is a Certified IRB Professional and licensed attorney with an international human rights background. She has worked for a large academic center in Indiana and has been involved in numerous human rights-focused, non-governmental organizations both in the U.S. and abroad. Her career includes working in IRB Offices, Grant/Contract Services, Clinical Research Compliance and Research Integrity roles. Additionally, she held the first Quality and Compliance Manager position at a large Midwest, university-based cancer center.

Edye completed her Masters of Arts in Philosophy with a concentration in International Research Ethics in 2012. She was the program manager for a National Institute of Health one-year grant to aid in creating a joint, international, institutional review board (IRB) in conjunction with Indiana University’s existing Moi University medical school partnership in Kenya and the Indiana University Center for Bioethics.

Dr. Samuel Dyer
CEO and Chairman of the Board, 
The MSL Society
Dr. Samuel Dyer has over 21 years of experience within the International MSL community. Throughout his career, Dr. Dyer has worked on MSL and Medical Affairs strategy and has extensive experience in creating strategic MSL utilization and medical communication plans. Dr. Dyer has successfully launched both pharmaceutical and medical device MSL teams both in the U.S. and internationally and has written extensively on the Medical Science Liaison role, including numerous published articles, benchmark studies, and reports.

Dr. Dyer has a Ph.D. in Health Sciences and did his medical training in Chicago. He has a Master’s Degree in Tropical Biology (where he studied in the Amazon) and has a B.S. in Biology. Dr. Dyer is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller “The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break into Your First Role," the first book published on how to break into the MSL role.

John Gleason
President, A Better View Consulting
After 20+ years at Procter & Gamble, John launched A Better View Strategic Consulting, LLC to help create healthier client/agency relationships… and a healthier industry. John’s global responsibilities in customer services, operations, international trade, strategic sourcing, and design and innovation touched every business unit and every region of P&G’s global operations. In his final P&G role, John was a part of P&G’s initial, formative journey to elevate and leverage design more strategically in its businesses, in its DNA, and in its culture.

John became the architect and gatekeeper for the processes used to identify, assess, invite, inspire, and engage prospective and incumbent agency partners, during which time he interfaced with hundreds of agencies spanning design, innovation, production, shopper/in-store, digital, consumer activation, and promotion.


January 11th
10:00am-5:00pm Registration Desk Open
1:00pm-1:15pm Welcome to GST23!Sean Feehan, President HCEA
1:15pm-1:30pm Welcome to Charlotte, Hosted by Visit Charlotte
1:30pm-2:30pm Education Session: Hurdling Back from COVID:
Corporate Members Speak!
2:30pm-2:45pm  Sponsor Spotlight Session - Derse 
2:45pm-3:00pm Sponsor Spotlight Session - Czarnowski
 3:00pm-4:00pm Keynote Address: How the World's Most Prolific innovators
ome Up with Great Ideas that Deliver Extraordinary Outcomes
Carla Johnson, Innovation Architect, RE:Think Innovation
4:00pm-5:00pm Education Session: High-Stakes Global Whack-a-Mole:
Connecting the Dots between Health Equity and Data Privacy
5:30pm-8:30pm Rooftop Rendezvous Reception at Farenheit Charlotte
January 12th                 
8:30am-4:00pm Registration Desk Open
8:30am-9:00am Buffet Breakfast
9:00am-10:00am Corporate and Association Member Roundtables
9:00am-10:00am Industry Partners Only: How to Stand Out from Your Competition
and Recapture Your True Value: Advice from a Procurement Insider
10:10am-10:25am Sponsor Spotlight Session - Jifflenow
10:30am-11:30am Education Session: Selling the Science: 
Building a High-Performance Medical Exhibit
11:30am-11:45am Sponsor Spotlight Session - Spiro
11:45am-12:45pm General Session: The State of Healthcare Congresses:
Paradise by the Dashboard Light – 
HCEA’s Take on Where We Are
and Where We're Going
12:45pm-1:30pm Networking Lunch and Sponsor Spotlight Session - Access TCA, Impact XM
1:45pm-2:45pm Education Session: Flip the Switch: DE+I, Healthcare Conventions, and You
2:45pm-3:45pm Education Session: Sustainability: Why It Matters and What To Do About It
 3:45pm-4:15pm  Refreshment Break and Sponsor Expo
4:15pm-5:15pm Corporate and Association Members Only: Stop Listening to Procurement!
and Other Useful Tips for Getting the Most Value from Your Suppliers:
Advice from a Procurement Insider
4:15pm-5:15pm Roundtables: Industry Suppliers
Evening Free Evening
January 13th    
8:45am-9:15am Networking Breakfast + Awards
9:15am-10:15am Education Session: Puppies, Pastries, and Panic Rooms:
Driving HCP Engagement at Congresses in 2023
10:30am-11:30am General Session: Just the Right Medicine?
Today’s HCPs Weigh In on the Value of Conventions
11:30am-11:45am Closing Remarks - Sean Feehan, President, HCEA;
Laine Mann, Vice President, HCEA

Registration is now Closed. See you in Charlotte!


Grow Stronger Together 2023 offers industry suppliers who are active members of HCEA a series of unique, cost-effective opportunities to share their perspectives and engage potential new clients. Download our prospectus for more information. 


The boutique luxury of the Grand Bohemian, An Autograph Collection Hotel by Marriott will serve as an inspiring backdrop for three days of in-person networking and idea exchange for over 200 corporate marketers, association executives,

and industry suppliers – event professionals who are on the front lines, shaping this most critical segment of our $100B industry.

Drawing on Charlotte’s diverse population and its vibrant healthcare community, our keynote speaker and diverse panel of HCPs will bring fresh perspectives on the issues of the day and offer advice on how to build clinical advocacy and change mindsets among life sciences professionals at healthcare conventions today.

After hours, guests will unwind amidst the rich cultural offerings of The Queen City, from Uptown’s live music and arts scene to Charlotte’s legendary sports franchises.