© 2019 by Karen Spiro, Eventologist

CASE STUDY:

DERMATOLOGY NURSES' ASSOCIATION

How the Dermatology Nurses' Association doubled its non-dues income
SYNOPSIS

The Dermatology Nurses Association (DNA) is a society that promotes education and certification for NPs, RNs, and other medical professionals working in the dermatology space. Their members work in offices, hospitals and, in some case, their own practices.

 

For nearly 35 years, DNA has held an annual convention. Four days of educational meetings are paired with an exhibit floor offering information and samples (where appropriate) from skincare, pharmaceutical and device companies. The annual convention provides many opportunities for sponsorship, however it was not fully developed.  It was necessary to maximize existing opportunities while developing new revenue streams.

CHALLENGE #1

If success follows success, it was important to first develop the exhibit floor. The show had become a sea of unsophisticated tabletop displays. I had seen many of the participating companies in the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) exhibit hall with huge and exciting booths up to 100,000 square feet. Why couldn’t DNA entice those kind of installations to their convention?

SOLUTION

​One by one, I spoke to brand marketing teams early in the year while budgets were being created. I reserved the best locations on the floor for those who planned to bring a well-designed and constructed booth. Slowly, we were able to persuade more of them to take a risk and build a “respectable” booth. The first year we had more than a half-dozen constructed booths, the next year more than a dozen. Attendees reacted in a very positive way.

CHALLENGE #2

Corporate Membership had decreased over a two-year span. With danger of losing support from that important sector, it was crucial to build it up again.

SOLUTION

​The value proposition had lost its allure. Even a Fortune 500 company needs to see the ROI of their $3,000 investment: an analysis of benefits was essential. Because membership had not been reviewed for some time, some of the benefits were outdated. The new benefits included advantageous placement for exhibit booths, discounts on advertising as well as marketing opportunities that were unique to corporate members. Once the changes were approved, membership doubled with nearly 30% joining as new members.

CHALLENGE #3

More opportunities were needed through out the year to bring the budget into positive territory.

SOLUTION

Most of DNA’s income is from sales for the spring convention creating a need to find income for the rest of the year. I saw an opportunity to raise additional funds by selling DNA’s expertise. One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies needed to train nurses so in dermatology that they could represent the company in doctors’ offices. It would require modifying an existing training module, passing through the company’s rigorous compliance regimen and finding someone to present over the course of two days. I was able to negotiate a five-figure fee which was generous and made a significant contribution to their bottomline. 

CHALLENGE #4

Most of DNA’s income is from sales for the spring convention creating a need to find income for the rest of the year. I saw an opportunity to raise additional funds by selling DNA’s expertise. One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies needed to train nurses so in dermatology that they could represent the company in doctors’ offices. It would require modifying an existing training module, passing through the company’s rigorous compliance regimen and finding someone to present over the course of two days. I was able to negotiate a five-figure fee which was generous and made a significant contribution to their bottomline. 

SOLUTION

Email addresses were not commonly shared with sponsors, even with an “opt-out” provision. So, I began to build email blasts and social media posts into sponsorship proposals with very positive results. Corporate members received a discount so they were even more interested. Advertising and marketing firms working with our sponsors embraced the new ideas. They, of course, needed metrics. Digital advertising provides easy access to better metrics than a printed publication can yield making reporting nearly push-button.