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.