Medical meeting planners share some of the same challenges as their counterparts in other industry niches, but also have their own specific areas of concern. One thing is certain: The pace of change and the level of pressure have never been greater in this sector
Pharmaceutical companies are questioning every aspect of their business and seeking higher ROI. At Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, James Vachon, associate director, events, meetings and conventions, is responsible for meetings, expositions, congresses and association relations. The company is “constantly questioning the ROI associated with exhibiting. We haven’t necessarily stopped attending, but the footprint of the exhibits themselves might not be as large, or we are evaluating sponsorship choices and levels, as well as who from within the company will attend,” he reports.
Insufficient Meal Caps
Shireen Moore, senior VP at Creative Group, has faced increasing challenges with meal caps as food and beverage costs continue to rise. “Pharmaceutical companies are seeing the need to increase the healthcare professionals’ meal caps. Negative feedback from the HCP’s regarding ‘skimpy portions’ is driving this through compliance.”
Despite predictions that the seller’s market would ease in 2017, Vachon, who plans everything from kickoff meetings to one-on-one engagements with healthcare professionals, has not found that to be the case. In fact, one convention center property in a major Midwest city that he recently approached had jacked up its rates more than double what they were last year.
More Engaging Content
Naomi Tucker, CMP, HMCC, senior strategic account manager at Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, blogs about how to make medical meetings more engaging. “This can be achieved with specific meeting technology that is focused on enhancing attendee participation,” she says. “For example, Educational Measures and MeetingPlay are both applications that can be used to increase engagement at meetings and make them more lively, inspiring and interactive. This trend is making the consumption of content more desirable and delivering more value to the organizations.”