I have never been to Pharma Forum and didn’t know what to expect from the event.
When I walked into the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, I was immediately blown away by not only the immensity of the building, but the stunning view of the Potomac, highlighted by an entire wall of windows.
I spent my first day exploring and appreciating the “resort” aspect of it and found my way over to the “convention center” area. The beauty of all aspects of the Gaylord set the stage for an energetic and interesting Pharma Forum for this newbie.
Pre-Day 1 or, Day 0, as I’m calling it, gave those of us who had never been part of this event to get some advice on how to make the most of our time. During Pharma Forum Newcomers’ Orientation, Sonal Humane (Director, Meeting Management, Merck) and Stephanie Russo (Global Account Executive, Marriott International) led a discussion about their previous experience with the event. Their message was clear and simple, “network, network, network,” as Humane said. It became clear that the networking opportunities, regardless of if you were a meeting planner, hotelier, or vendor, at Pharma Forum would equal, if not, outweigh even the value of the sessions themselves.
Russo echoed this by stating, “You’re doing a complete disservice to yourself if you’re here for the next three days and you just leave everything at the door.”
These recommendations were followed by a quick ice breaker and conversation amongst the audience allowing each of us new-comers to know at least a handful of other individuals moving through the next few days.
Day 0 provided new attendees with guidance on pulling every bit of value out of Pharma Forum this year and got all of us ready for the days to come.