How to Have a Successful Pharma Meeting
When it comes to planning a successful pharma meeting or event, the biggest challenge for biosciences and pharmaceutical companies is understanding and implementing the many nuances associated with an ultra-complicated planning process. The meeting planner must be able to balance internal corporate compliance (meeting policy, travel policy, data protection policy, brand requirements, etc.) with country requirements (meal caps, transportation, and venue allowance), and pharmaceutical compliance (ICH transparency requirements).
Knowing what you must adhere to is the first step to setting your meeting up for success!
Understanding Rules and Regulations of Pharma Meetings
Meetings planners must be knowledgeable in the rules and regulations that govern interactions between pharmaceutical, bioscience, a medical device company, and other life sciences company interactions with physicians and other healthcare professionals. This includes information on HCA Compliance, state laws, codes of conduct, Open Payments (aka Sunshine Act), etc.
The rules and regulations governing how pharmaceutical companies and meeting planners interact with healthcare professionals can be amended at any time. Therefore, it is important for planners to be diligent and to stay abreast of the information coming out of the various authorities – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing of America (PhRMA), Advanced Medical Technology Association Code of Ethics, Open Payments, and individual state laws where meetings are taking place.
The best way to keep up with all new regulations is to subscribe to publications, attend seminars, and conduct research before any event.
Know Your Audience
Navigating the challenges, figuring out which requirements take precedence, which mandates apply to domestic attendees, and which apply to international attendees and from which countries is very important in reporting. Also, you must know exactly which requirements you, as a meeting planner, are responsible for policing. Ultimately, your knowledge and how you manage the processes of reporting will surely affect your attendees’ experience.
Pharma Meeting Attendees Want to be Entertained
Following stringent rules and regulations can create a “stuffy” pharma meeting. It is important for meeting planners to keep their sense of creativity and engagement in the planning process! A recent survey of 237 physicians across 11 global markets showed that 95 percent of them expected engaging and impactful meetings, but 39 percent said that they didn’t have a positive experience at the meetings they had attended recently. The bottom line is: medical professionals are not enjoying the time they spend at conferences as much as they should.
The two most important takeaways from this survey are:
- Location is important: Not only is the geographical location of the meeting important, but medical professionals, like any other conference attendee, want to visit unique venues!
- Engagement is the key to success: Being informative is not enough. Your sessions need to be engaging. Consider offering panel discussions and including case studies and patient stories. Social, informal settings are a plus for these formats.
While some pharma companies have meeting and event planning services and travel services within their organizations, these resources may be too stretched to take on a “big” meeting. Likewise, smaller companies are often strapped for resources, too, requiring existing staff to take on additional “special projects” like pharma meetings.
To ensure a successful pharma meeting, let your friends at InfinixGlobal’s RxWorlwide division take the wheel. Our professional staff is well-versed in all things pharma-related.