Here is another story reflecting the value of cultivating strong local partners in the business of delivering value within a region. In this case the region is Latin America.
A US-based health care society cultivated a strong relationship with its Brazilian counterpart focusing on science, education and development of its field. This relationship offered a strong basis to form a partnership and embark on a joint effort to organize a showcase that would feature leading experts presenting unbiased analysis of the society’s annual meeting abstracts and sessions, evolving therapies, and the latest treatment options and their clinical applications.
Known in the US as “Highlights” this successful domestic event is offered in several location annually, but until recently was not run outside the USA. The program format allows practitioners, fellows, academicians, and allied health professionals discuss rapidly evolving developments in the field with experts and colleagues. The smaller sized event provides numerous opportunities for attendees to discuss real patient cases with leaders in the field, network with colleagues, and gain knowledge that can impact practice strategies.
Taking the “Highlights” abroad was seen as an opportunity to capitalize on the society’s program content quality and brand value and its annual meeting and to expose this highly valued scientific content to a wider global audience who might not otherwise be able to benefit from the experience.
Most importantly, the success of this project was due to the efforts to adapt the society’s content to the Brazilian market to create a “Highlights in Latin America” while safeguarding the high quality standards the society requires for all its programs.
Making the content “locally relevant” included:
- Content designed to emphasize more on clinical practice as this better reflected local need
- An expanded program from 1,5 to 2 days to allow for additional topics to be included
- Regional Latin American co-chairs asked to co-moderate sessions sharing local cases relevant to the topics
- Expanding the attendance permitted from 150 to a maximum of 550 participants to make the program more accessible to attendance from throughout the region (in the US this event is capped at 150)
To ensure that the event would have a Latin America region focus and appeal beyond Brazil, the society cultivated additional strategic alliances with related organizations from Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Uruguay.
Over 550 professionals from Latin America, the United States, Europe and Thailand attended this first edition of the Highlights of Latin America in Sao Paulo, Brazil in May 2009.
Success surpassed all expectations:
- The scientific quality of the event was maintained
- The society deepened partnerships among all participating partner organization as well as other partners
- The event became a platform for more integration between Latin American societies
- Audience expectations were satisfied
- US co-chairs and speakers identified improvements that could be implemented in the domestic editions
- Revenue exceeded budget goals based on the positive interest and support of attendees, sponsors and exhibitors, as well as local government support
- Exhibitors and sponsors expressed support for future Latin America editions.
MCI Offices in Buenos Aires & Rio de Janeiro partnered with the society on various aspects including:
- Overall strategic guidance, suggestions for successful Highlights of Latin America
- Orient development of partnership and nurture partnership relations with local host society
- Identify, develop and strengthen alliances with other Latin American Societies in line with society’s Global strategy
- Oversee logistics handled by the local host society for brand and quality conformity
- Budget safe keeper
- Marketing (including review and adoption of material and coordination of translation of materials)
- Continuity of Highlights in Latin America
The positive results and feedback from all stakeholders involved in Highlights in Latin America 2009 has encouraged the society to consider continuing this endeavor in the region.