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Trends to Watch in Pharmaceutical Corporate Meeting Planning

Meeting planners and suppliers from around the country gathered early February in Boston at the 8th Annual Global Pharmaceutical and Medical Meetings Summit. The event brought together senior meeting management professionals from the life sciences, medical, and health care industries for ROI-driven conversations, shared best practices, and networking.

Our key takeaways from the three-day conference were focused on technology and trends in the meeting planning space, as well as the need for flexibility. Some reflected on the conference meeting landscape and how it is changing quickly and dramatically. Others expressed a concern about the economy and “Black Swan” predictions around a downturn or recession that could impact the event industry and the Pharma industry, in particular. More on that later.

Here are a few of the themes that could help drive your meeting planning going forward:

Keep the energy level high for more effective pharmaceutical corporate meetings

The initial energy created by a well-thought-out event can quickly become stagnant if attendees are herded into the same, unchanged room every day of the conference or sales meeting. Fortunately, modern AV technology allows the production team to change the look and appeal of the room or rooms virtually on demand, so that each day attendees are treated to a new visual experience.

Changing the look and feel of a room from day to day can have an astounding effect as well as help sustain excitement while driving home the intended message.

Also, during the conference there was major emphasis given to the need to deliver the right message in the most effective way to corporate meeting attendees—whether they are in the same ballroom or scattered throughout the venue, or in remote locations across the country. Coincidentally, this is in AVD’s wheelhouse. By creating partnerships between client meeting planners and AVD event production teams, together we are able to deliver effective messaging in an engaging way that is memorable and immediately actionable – no matter where the audience is located.

Concerns about global health are helping drive broadcast

Somewhat related to location, whether due to sheer practicality, budget considerations or corporate travel restrictions, discussions around broadcasting and virtual meetings were common in Boston. Well-equipped AV broadcast providers such as AVD make it possible for virtual meetings to supplement or replace large group gatherings and face-to-face meetings—particularly now when companies are considering global health concerns.

While broadcast certainly has a role for meeting planners when global health concerns arise, the fact remains there’s a significant amount of data that supports face-to-face meetings based on their returns and the increase in revenue that happens right after these meetings.

Reach employees and constituents wherever they are

At any large meeting or conference of several thousand people, broadcast can also play a role in more efficient use of time. For example, in these situations AVD will create a broadcast studio on site where the main presentation and message can be simultaneously broadcast out to breakout rooms and elsewhere, so that the organizer doesn’t have to traffic hundreds of people from breakout rooms to a single ballroom. This helps to keep the flow of the meeting going and greatly reduces travel-time disruption in between rooms and so forth.

Broadcast can also play a role in times when the economy dictates that clients keep tighter budgets and keep reps in the field working rather than traveling to a meeting site. Whether it can supplant large plan-of-action meetings remains to be seen, but now and for the future it’s a ready-to-go smart solution for smaller quarterly-type reviews and regional level meetings.

Risk Mitigation Strategies for Corporate Meetings: Have a Plan B and be ready to act

Risk mitigation strategies to handle so-called “Black Swan” events (i.e., unforeseen calamities) were part of the discussion around concerns about economic challenges as well as the occasional technical dilemma. Essentially, it was recommended that managing risk comes down to not only planning for the unknown but then taking immediate action to circumvent the problem in real time. The handy acronym “RED CAR” models this approach: Rethink, Evaluate, and Draw your conclusion; followed by Circumstances, Action and Response.

For example, some of the discussion around “RED CAR” was why wait until the end of an event to do post-mortems and reflect on lessons learned. Instead do it at each milestone and apply the learned lessons immediately. Don’t wait until the end only to apply them next time. Apply them right away, at each juncture where it makes sense.

By always having a Plan B in reserve and by being present and constantly learning, it becomes more likely that a “Black Swan” event can be mitigated more effectively and re-directed with aplomb.

Facial recognition will emerge as go-to for conference identification

One of the more forward-looking conversations concerned facial recognition and the expectation that, within the next five years, passports and some other forms of I.D. will give way to the new technology. As it becomes more widely used, facial recognition could become the medium for identification in all facets of life, and certainly for the event industry from a registration perspective.

Audiovisual Services for Pharmaceutical Corporate Meetings

Whether your next corporate event or meeting takes place at company headquarters or at a destination where you’re bringing in personnel from all over North America, the variables related to costs and logistics are more readily managed with the flexibility that is enabled by modern audio visual technology solutions designed and engineered by skilled project teams. The best course of action when planning your next event is to engage highly capable and well-tested AV professionals such as those you’ll find at Audio Visual Dynamics (AVD) early in the process.

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