The energy was high on day two of the 2017 Global Pharmaceutical and Medical Meetings Summit. Those who weren’t present for the workshops had arrived by morning. World Congress even had to add extra chairs to seat all the attendees!
Courtney Richman (SVP, World Congress) greeted everyone with a warm welcome. John Santaferraro (Chief Analytics Officer, Educational Measures, LLC) motioned to the iPads in front of each attendee, and introduced EM ARRAY, an interactive meeting engagement and analytics product. He explained that through this second screen, the presenters and attendees could have an ongoing “conversation” with one another. Participants were enabled to take notes, save slides, fill out breakout session and meeting evaluations, ask questions, and take polls.
Co-Chairs Anna Kershaw (Senior Sourcing Specialist and North America Travel, Fleet & Meeting Strategy Lead, UCB, Inc.) and Pat Schaumann (Senior Director, Healthcare Compliance, Maritz Travel – A Maritz Global Events Company) took a moment to introduce themselves and speak to their excitement about the rest of the event.
The first keynote, Gary Cupit (Senior Advisor, Frontcourt Group), discussed some of the trials the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are currently facing in The Live Sciences and Healthcare Markets – Hear Challenges and Opportunities Facing the Industry. Among other topics, Cupit spoke about:
- Resultant changes in healthcare delivery and medication costs as a result of ObamaCare and how the recent election may change delivery going forward
- How Brexit influences global pharma development and approval rates of drugs
- Changes in regulations and patents enabling biologic medications to enter the “biosimilar” marketplace
- The evolution of pricing and reimbursement for therapeutics and their impact on State’s responses
- How 3rd party payers are shaping drug utilization through formulary positioning and reimbursement
- How congressional oversight is impacting changes in regulatory drug reviews and health policy
One of the most prevalent issues Cupit highlighted was the seemingly never ending balance between the expense of creating a drug, the markup placed on it, and the need to have cost-effective options for those in need of it.
Cupit was gracious enough to share a few words on his session in the video below.
Michael Dominguez (Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts International) was the second keynote. Dominguez talked about Demand, Drones & Disruption – Driving Forces in Meetings & Events where he discussed the following:
- Understanding Pricing demands in today’s meeting market
- An industry forecast for major North American Markets
- Understanding the need for change and rapidly changing technology
- Understanding behavior changes in audiences of the future
- The future of Meeting Room design and the influences behind the trends
With his extensive experience in the hotel and hospitality industry, Dominguez highlighted the relevant but easily overlooked issue of the increase in demand for boarding without an increase in build out. “The top 25 hotel markets are running at 73% occupancy,” he remarked. This presents incredible challenges for meeting planners looking to host large events, regardless of the event itself is at a hotel or resort, attendees require lodging.
I was able to talk to Dominguez and get an overview of his keynote and closing sessions. You can see the interview below.
Global HCP Interactions
I then went to my first full panel. Agnès Canonica (Global Director, Strategic Meetings Management, AHM) was the moderator for Technology, Infrastructure and Support for Tracking Global HCP Interactions. The panelists included Hara Hawthorne (Senior Manager, Global Clinical Meeting Planning, Corporate Operations, Eisai Inc.), Erika Kain (Implementation Director, Maritz Travel – A Maritz Global Events Company), and Kimberly Myer (Founder, Meeting Analytics).
Canonica opened the session talking about proactive compliance and the need for a single repository of data. Hawthorne added that she utilizes several different tools and systems for compliance purposes and that getting the data all in one place is a struggle for many organizations. HCP interactions are becoming more complex. Many groups are trying to play catchup while still falling behind.
Myer adds that, though it might seem difficult, “the companies who are forward thinking […] are having planners, from invitation through the lifecycle of the meeting, enter data at the time of and validating the data at the time it’s entered.” Only with a mindful attempt, at least, to get the cleanest, most accurate data, will meeting planners reach their desired goal of engaging in interactions that move the industry forward. Kain introduced platforms that encourage this and that have been useful to both herself and her peers in the meeting space.
The overarching theme of the panel was the need for companies to upgrade from spreadsheets to one of the multitude of tools available for data storage, streamlined interaction, and organized strategies.
Meeting Event Technology Uses and Benefits
Betsy Bondurant (President, Bondurant Consulting) moderated the next panel I covered which was, Case Examples: Utilize Techonology to Enhance Adult Learning, Boost Attendee Interaction and Improve Meeting Data Collection. The panel was made up of John Santaferraro (Chief Analytics Officer, Educational Measures, LLC),Heidi Cocca (Meeting Manager, Merck & Co), Frank Zink (Vice President, Sales, Dyventive, Inc.), and Brian Gordon (Mobility Business Analyst, Medtronic).
Santaferraro encouraged the audience to look at the iPad technology not just as an engagement tool, but as a “portal to the heart, soul, and core of [the] meeting organization and of [the] business.” He outlined the process for determining data collection methods based on what the organization or individual would like to measure. Santaferraro cites that, with EM ARRAY, clients achieve 60-99% response rates, resulting in much more accurate data than what can be delivered through paper surveys and polls.
“The more engaged an audience is, the more knowledge you are going to transfer,” said Santaferraro on the importance of meeting engagement and having meeting technology to measure this metric. Utilizing this technology allows meeting planners to pinpoint data they could’ve never hoped for half a decade ago, including individual-level information on demographics and psychographics. He notes that the use of this technology enables event professionals to turn a meeting into a “profit center.”
Cocca tagged on and discussed her experience with event technology and stated that she realized she needed a solution because, “[they] were not maximizing attendees’ time or their output” resulting in a “loss of learning opportunities.” Cocca talked about her ultimately successful search to find a technology that would support her organizations’ meeting improvement program.
Zink took the stage from there, talking about the high-level benefits and ramifications of knowledge retention or lack thereof. He stated, “remember this, everyone forgets.” Zink continued with surprising metrics regarding attention span and retention. He also offered several examples of engagement tools.
Gordon wrapped up before Q&A’s talking about his experience with HCP meetings and the technology interaction, you can watch the highlights below.
We closed out the day with Meet the Speakers coverage and some well-earned Newport Beach martinis.
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