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[ Member Engagement ] February 24, 2022

Your Community’s Research Can’t Exist in a Vacuum

With more and more research produced every year, it can be harder for research in your organization’s journals or by your organization’s members to stand out. Imagine being a biotech company trying to find the right research to influence their applications, or a journalist trying to understand what the biggest trends are in your field. Information overload!

But as hard as it is, we’ve got some ideas to help you advocate for your community and build connections with those other industries that will help put your research into practice. It all starts with early stage research and your annual conference.

Build Connections Early on at Conferences

Corporations know the value of your research, they just need ways to access it. Focusing those partnerships on early-stage research can give those organizations the tantalizing opportunity to know the latest breakthroughs before they are published, and well ahead of the competition.

 

Industry and Corporate Partnerships:

The possibilities are endless with strategic partnerships. Many of your organizations probably already have corporations who attend your events to see what’s the latest and greatest in your discipline. Maybe there are corporations who want access to your member list to advertise job opportunities in their research departments. Whatever the need, it all starts with a relationship. Have a conversation with corporate groups in related fields to your discipline, and explore whether your conference, and the biggest, freshest ideas from your members, are an interesting opportunity.

 

Conference Sponsorship

If your conference has gone virtual over the past two years, you may have experienced some challenges finding industry sponsors. Most sponsors and exhibitors attend your conference for access to your members, and finding ways to connect virtually is hard. Sponsors want a clear return for their investment. Some of our partners have had success by creating dedicated opportunities for exhibitors and attendees to interact. Branding  may not be enough, so explore customizable exhibitor pages on your conference platform, or sponsored sessions that give exhibitors time to speak to your community.

 

Improve How Your Community Communicates

With corporate partnerships, you can fast-track how the research in your discipline is applied and used in your space. But beyond application, there’s a whole world of people who would benefit from the insights shared at your conference, and it all starts with how you communicate.

 

Lay Summaries:

We all know that one of the biggest challenges to public understanding of science is how it's communicated. That’s why we’re seeing more and more funders, journals, and institutions require plain language abstracts or lay summaries of research findings. Let’s think about that in the context of early-stage research. Of course, we need to put this research into context, and make sure readers or viewers understand what this stage of the research process is all about. But the public has gotten more and more comfortable and interested in pre-published work, especially in light of COVID-19. If we’re sharing preprints more widely, is early-stage or conference research next?

 

Media Access to Your Conference

Many journalists would probably be thrilled to have the opportunity to make connections with your members and talk about their research. But cost can be a barrier for media attendance, so many organizations offer media passes to make it easier. If you do welcome journalists to your conference, think about having dedicated networking sessions or spaces for them to engage so they can make the most of their time with your community. Their presence could improve their reporting and by extension the general public’s understanding of your discipline’s research.‍

Sometimes it can be hard enough to facilitate collaboration within your discipline, let alone think about outside organizations or stakeholders in the research you publish. But there can be real value to these partnerships, both in terms of financial security for your organization and in terms of accelerating the pace of scientific discovery.

For insights on how Morressier’s tools and services can facilitate collaboration, check out our recent eBook.