World Congress Pharma Summit

World Congress
ALHI President & CEO Mike Dominguez opened the Summit with a session on Disruption.

If there was one unifying theme at the World Congress 8th Annual Global Pharmaceutical and Medical Meetings Summit in Boston this week, it was how to master an increasingly challenging role as a pharma planner.

The 8th Annual Global Pharmaceutical and Medical  Meetings Summit, held February 10 to 12 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel and produced by World Congress, covered all the topics unique to this segment of the industry, with a heavy emphasis on compliance and the regulatory landscape. A full-room brainstorm on simple meetings explored how to define these small formulaic meetings and incorporate them into an overall strategic meetings management program. A open-agenda session on SMM allowed corporate planners to share best practices with others whose programs were at various stages of maturity.

There were also sessions on overcoming burnout and stress, and dealing with the barriers and bureaucracy inherent in large pharmaceutical companies (all big companies, for that matter)—and repeated references to the meeting planning profession as being one of the most stressful there is. Adding to this generalized state of anxiety is Disruption—the theme of the keynote session presented by ALHI President & CEO Mike Dominguez. He was able to share statistics and predictions about the dizzying pace of change in the global workforce, the hotel industry and the corporations these planners work for, yet somehow leave the audience feeling energized rather than even more stressed out.

World Congress
Educational Measures iPads

The conference itself offered up some cutting-edge tech to enhance the experience: individual iPads provided by Educational Measures that planners could use to access everything from the agenda to live polls to asking the speaker a question. My favorite was a feature where attendees could check off a box and have an exact slide sent to them vs. digging around on a web site post-event to find the entire presentation.

Next year’s Global Pharmaceutical and Medical Meetings Summit will again be held in Boston, with dates and location TBD.

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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 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and 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, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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