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.
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.