Have you ever been to a conference and the most exciting and relevant conversation is one that wasn’t on stage? We’ve all experienced those provocative unplanned discussions at conferences — the kind you can’t stop thinking about, “even after the lights have dimmed and the crowds have cleared.”
The Icons.health video series from AbelsonTaylor recreates and captures those moments, amassing a collection of perspectives from the crossroads of technology, healthcare, and innovation. The format is simple: two chairs, two people, and one thought-provoking conversation, and the results are always captivating. Now anyone can share in those inspiring conference moments, even if they didn’t make the trip themselves. And more importantly, they can continue the conversation.
How One Conversation Led to Another, and Another
The Icons.health video series was a concept that developed organically between a core group of people at AbelsonTaylor. Having attended various healthcare conferences and hack-a-thons together, the team often found themselves reflecting on the conversations they’d had that day.
“Being around that kind of thinking was invigorating and exciting,” explained Mitch Apley, Vice President-Director of Broadcast and Print Production.
On one such occasion, AbelsonTaylor Senior Editor Joel Witmer said to Mitch, “You know what? That would make a great format for a show.” That sparked the idea for Icons.health.
The team began filming content for the series at SXSW 2018. They recruited health-focused executives from large companies like Amazon, Alphabet’s Verily, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and paired them up with entrepreneurs and investors for one-on-one conversations.
“There are some conversations where you witness the synthesis of new ideas as they develop between two individuals, explains Mitch. “And when you see those moments, it’s magical – it’s fascinating.”
Here’s a look at one the videos in the series, a conversation between Mark Liber of Startup Health and Erik Halvorsen of TMC Innovation.
Who Are the Icons?
These leaders tend to fall in one of two camps: those who are obligated to think about a change in healthcare, and those who dare to think about it. The video series embraces both types of leaders, bringing together people with similar and divergent points of view to “capture those moments when a conversation turns into a breeding ground for bigger thoughts.”
We know what you are thinking – “Oh, so this is like TED?” – And it’s not. Rather than a perfectly rehearsed presentation, the Icons are learning and gaining new insights in real time, on stage, right along with the audience.
To showcase the focus of the series, AbelsonTaylor decided to use a .health domain name.
“By using .health, it makes it clear what this emerging brand is about,” explains Noah. Our audience doesn’t know what ‘icons’ means in and of itself, but adding ‘.health’ narrows it down for them right away.”
For Clients, and for the Greater Good
For AbelsonTaylor, this series is very much a “labor of love.” Aside from a few members of the crew, the team is producing the entire series themselves – as much for their clients as for the greater good. And they have big plans for this series going forward. This year, they’ll be setting up a studio and filming live from the conference floor of Cannes Lions Health, bringing the series to an international audience. In time, they hope Icons.health garners a much wider audience, “We want the series to appeal to anyone who finds technology and healthcare interesting.”
However, as a healthcare agency with 30 years of experience working with companies on the front lines of medicine, the team also hopes the series will give their clients more access to an area that’s very important to them.
“By providing this series, we’re also giving pharma marketers and pharmaceutical sales organizations insight into how these products are going to intersect with them in the near future,” said Noah.
Could You Be the Next Icon?
AbelsonTaylor is always looking for the next big conversation that has the power to change an industry. To watch more films in the series, or inquire about participating in their next video session, please visit Icons.health.
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