4 Top Trends in Medical Meetings

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meetings, medical meetings
Medical meeting planners report an ongoing seller’s market, especially in major convention cities like Chicago.

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.”

Seller’s Market

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.”

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.