August 9, 2018

By Guest Writer, Sandra Graham-Mason, Eisai New research shows that investment in a venue-based promotional speaker program, particularly one featuring speakers at the national level, can pay off in terms of increasing audience size...

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By Guest Writer, Sandra Graham-Mason, Eisai

New research shows that investment in a venue-based promotional speaker program, particularly one featuring speakers at the national level, can pay off in terms of increasing audience size and economies of scale. But that’s not all: There also are new augmented-communication tools that will help you extend a program’s influence beyond the event itself, via mobile location-based targeting.

The concept of geofencing — that is, targeting prospects via the location-based functions on their mobile devices — has been around for a while, but new advances in technology as well as new methods of targeting, that enhance privacy and security, make it easier to target HCPs both on-site as well as after an event, creating a continuous chain of communication between promotional education programs and sales rep interactions.

Pioneering companies that are partnering with Life Sciences companies have the ability to break down this digital “geo-fence” into a grid of hundreds or even thousands of “cells” smaller than an average office elevator (think just 2’x6’, in some cases). Using KPIs determined by the program organizer, these partners can then turn these cells on or off based on whether or not the users within them are responding to the messaging. This both extends the impressions your program can deliver and focuses your resources only on communications that perform well.

To assuage any privacy concerns, this targeting is anonymized in a very sophisticated manner: Attendees can be targeted by business name or category, audience segment, demographic, IP address and other traits that make sure your messaging is delivered only to the intended group without compromising their anonymity.

This method of segmenting attendees gives a program organizer the ability to send enhanced messages to participating HCPs, KOLs or other conference attendees, so that both during and after the program, you can encourage deeper engagement with ads like branded banners. The granularity of using IP addresses gives you a great conduit for post-event communication.

A program of ad delivery managed with augmented communication can keep your brand literally in the palm of their hand, helping it remain top of mind even after they return to their offices and resume patient interactions.

 

Contributed by:


Sandra Graham- Mason, Associate Director, Marketing, Eisai

Sandra Graham-Mason joined Eisai, Inc. in 2013, and is responsible for overall HALAVEN® HCP Strategy. Previously, Sandra helped lead the evolution of the FYCOMPA® Speakers’ Bureau, KOL engagement and Direct-To-Patient promotional strategy. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Sandra began her pharmaceutical career in sales, and has held roles with increasing responsibility in Sales, Sales Training and Product Marketing at several companies including Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Sunovion Pharmaceutical.

July 27, 2018

Are You Taking Your KOLs for Granted? A Life Sciences promotional education program is only as good as the insights and energy its speakers can deliver. The industry depends on those knowledgeable to educate...

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Are You Taking Your KOLs for Granted?

A Life Sciences promotional education program is only as good as the insights and energy its speakers can deliver. The industry depends on those knowledgeable to educate its audience of Health Care Professionals (HCPs) through promotional speaker programs and related events.

Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are physicians with a professional reputation for far-reaching and high-quality expertise. They are on the cutting edge and, as such, their opinions are highly regarded and their knowledge sought-after by their peers in the healthcare industry. They participate in every stage of the therapeutic product life cycle, from the critical early research and development phase—during which Life Sciences companies consult with them to design clinical trials—to the market access portion, where KOLs can articulate and inform the broader HCP community of the value proposition a new therapy brings to today’s patient-centric care model.

New data analysis of promotional speaker program research, to be featured in an upcoming AHM white paper, shows that the highest level of KOLs, those whose expertise is sought not just among members of a local or regional community but across the country, can deliver powerful benefits and significant cost savings to Life Sciences companies managing these programs.

This new data details how these most sought-after KOLs— even those with fees that are nominally higher—bring to the table larger spheres of influence, and therefore can command larger audiences. The high demand for the knowledge these top-tier KOLs confer in educational programs, means the organizer can benefit from economies of scale that deliver measurable cost savings.

It stands to reason, then, that Life Sciences companies have a vested interest in nurturing their KOL relationships and making sure these pivotal figures are motivated to work with them. There are a few key tactics experts recommend for cultivating positive KOL relationships:

  • These busy medical professionals need access to an efficient data portal that will let them manage their program participation in a seamless and compliance-centric manner.
  • KOLs are eager to be on the cutting edge of research and industry developments. Life Sciences companies can provide this education via participation in clinical trials and scientific discussions, as well as access to the newest unpublished research that will make them a more valuable resource to their fellow HCPs.
  • Sponsorship opportunities allow these busy professionals to continue making meaningful contributions to HCP education, and industry research, and provide “fair market value” compensation for the time this takes away from their work with patients.
  • Peer-to-peer recognition programs give KOLs the opportunity to be recognized for their contributions to industry innovations, and development, by both other physicians as well as the industry at large. A robust HCP portal can include opportunities for feedback and analytics that KOLs value.

Utilizing a mutual and compliance-centric platform of support for KOLs, will go a long way in improving the effectiveness and return on investment that Life Sciences companies make in their therapeutic product life cycles.

Contributed by:


Melissa Bobal, Director, Global Solutions Management, AHM

Melissa joined AHM in 2001 and has more than 15 years of experience in providing services and solutions to the Life Sciences industry.  In her tenure, Melissa has held a number of different operational roles with subject matter expertise in business process design/improvement, event compliance, customer implementations, and designing creative and strategic solutions.  Melissa currently supports AHM’s Global Solutions product management team with a focus on event management service technology and solutions.

July 16, 2018

The meeting might be over, but as the organizer, your job isn’t: A post-event debriefing can be one of the most valuable tools in your toolbox when it comes to building and refining best...

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The meeting might be over, but as the organizer, your job isn’t: A post-event debriefing can be one of the most valuable tools in your toolbox when it comes to building and refining best practices. As part of a broader Strategic Meetings Management Plan, the steps you take after a conference or other education series will put you on the right foot for starting out next time.


What to Ask, Who to Ask

Determining which key stakeholders you will need to report to is a key first step in any process that defines and measures performance, according to Betsey Bondurant, who will be moderating a panel at the CBI Pharma Forum 2018 next month about how to streamline SMMP to build and demonstrate value.

After you’ve determined who, you’ll need to list the top goals, KPIs or other metrics each group needs. There may be some overlap in what your sponsors, executive leaders and managers want to see, but some of the information they need is likely to be unique to that particular stakeholder cohort, and you don’t want to overlook it.

There are two main groups of people from whom you’ll need to gather and evaluate feedback, says Bethany Smith at Event Manager blog: The ones who helped make it happen, and the ones who experienced the end result. In the first bucket should be the venue, their in-house suppliers, your own vendors partners, and of course, your own team. The second group consists of your attendees or any other target audience groups (say, sponsors or exhibitors).

 

The Team Huddle

Meeting with your team, the venue and other parties in that first category should take place as soon after the event as possible. An in-person sit-down before departing the property is the most effective way to conduct this, since having all parties in the room at once eliminates any communication glitches that might have presented a challenge.

Once you reconcile the master folio and other associated costs, you can circle back with the benefits of your notes from that first meeting and identify any areas where management or spending can be streamlined for the next time.

 

Asking Your Audience

Ideally, gathering feedback from your HCP attendees can begin during the event itself via app-based live polling and surveys. Follow up with a post-event survey that includes the opportunity for them to write in answers — a task that will be easier when they’re in front of a desktop computer in their office. Collecting this quantitative information is more labor-intensive, but it’s valuable as a window into what your target audience really thinks — and it also provides potential material for testimonials you can share with your management or board to augment more quantitative ROI data.

 

Other Information Sources

Don’t forget to review your on-site notes and incorporate those observations, says Allison Magyar, CEO of event management software firm Hubb. This will give you some qualitative context that will be helpful interpreting any data pertaining to your key performance indicators collected during the event.

It’s highly likely that your eventual ROI determination will include metrics that won’t be available right away. For results such as sales conversions, contracts signed or prescriber behavior, scheduling a quarterly or year-end check-in should be a part of your debriefing process.

 

Address Compliance

Bondurant recommends that life sciences meeting planners add an additional step to this evaluation process: Build compliance metrics into your SMMP, and use your post-event debriefing to determine how well you achieved those metrics. This is an especially important priority as planners, HCPs and life sciences all adjust to the practical impact of the new GDPR regulation out of the E.U.

It’s understandable that after completing a big program, the prospect of more work is probably daunting. But building a comprehensive debriefing practice will go a long way towards achieving your goals and proving your value to your higher-ups.

 

Contributed by:

Matthew Derner, Global Director, Strategic Meetings Management, AHM

Matthew joined AHM in 2016 and has 18 years of Life Sciences experience. He leads AHM’s Stragetic Meetings Management (SMM) Department and is responsible for engaging current and prospective clients about our SMM compliant meeting solutions across their organizations. Matthew also leads a team of Event Managers & Coordinators that are responsible for the planning and execution of any meeting type outside of Speaker Bureau. Prior to joining AHM, Matthew has worked for Pharmaceutical Companies as well meeting planning agencies in various roles.

March 21, 2018

When HCPs attend your events, they aren’t just coming for the education, although that is of course a key component. They are also there to seek knowledge from their fellow industry professionals in the...

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When HCPs attend your events, they aren’t just coming for the education, although that is of course a key component. They are also there to seek knowledge from their fellow industry professionals in the audience. To that end, a strategic meetings management plan also should facilitate interactivity among participants.
For today’s multi-tasking attendees, this isn’t just a nicety; rather, peer-to-peer networking is a critical value-add that will attract professionally engaged HCPs who prioritize communication — which also just so happens to be the ideal audience for a life sciences client.
Recent studies make it clear: HCPs crave a higher level of participation in programs, so give them the opportunity to build value by connecting with their peers. Do so by incorporating pre-planned icebreaker, team-building or other collaborative activities — whether led by participating HCPs, speakers or professional facilitators — to foster the sharing of professional insights and personal experience. Engaging attendees will both make them feel valued and cultivate an environment where organic interactions can take place.
Peer-to-peer interactions depend on time and space, so make sure you allow for both. Classroom or theater-style seating might be ideal for delivering educational content, but it can make for awkward and limited conversation between participating HCPs. The right setting, though, can encourage professional camaraderie. Set aside a designated space in your venue — break areas can be ideal if they are outfitted with comfortable seating configured in zones so that attendees can face each other and enjoy a modicum of privacy while they chat.
And give them time to connect: Savvy meeting planners actually structure their schedules to allow for longer breaks between sessions specifically so attendees have time to network even after checking email, calling in for messages and taking care of other out-of-office chores.
Another way to encourage peer-to-peer activity is to give attendees tools that will help them identify like-minded participants. Depending on the particulars of your program, you might employ a color-coded system of badges, buttons or stickers that give attendees the option of identifying their skills and interests, or give them the opportunity to share this information during a facilitated icebreaker. Technology can also assist you: If you have a designated mobile app for your event, ask your vendor or developer if they can build in functionality to allow for participating HCPs to connect with one another after the program has completed.
One final note about high-tech tools: They also offer you, the organizer, the ability to track connections made by your attending HCPs. Gathering these metrics will help you establish a benchmark and best practices around this often-overlooked but valuable aspect of life sciences educational programming.
Despite predictions that increased regulation in the form of the Physician Open Payments Program —often referred to as the Sunshine Act — would strike at the heart of face-to-face program activity, the medium continues to grow, even as younger “digital native” HCPs comprise an increasing percentage of participants. This indicates that even young adults are seeking out the peer-to-peer interaction they can only get at in-person meetings.

March 9, 2018

In these hectic times, any event host knows the frustration of trying to get invitees to RSVP in a timely manner — and to actually show up. For organizers of medical education programming, the...

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Disclaimer

In these hectic times, any event host knows the frustration of trying to get invitees to RSVP in a timely manner — and to actually show up. For organizers of medical education programming, the stakes are higher: Planning for a certain number and only have a fraction of the anticipated turnout wastes time and resources, and program costs can look artificially high, which can be a challenge for compliance management.
Managing the HCP invitation and response process is one part art, one part science: Program managers need to be attuned to the preferences and predilections of their target audience and gauge their correspondence accordingly.
The first element is making sure that the timing of your events is set to avoid potential conflicts. While HCP populations vary greatly in terms of their time commitments and schedules, there are a couple rules of thumb that can be useful to guide programming timelines:
The beginning and the end of the week tends to bring more unforeseen circumstances that can force cancellations, so aim for midweek — Tuesday through Thursday — to minimize potential conflicts.
When sending an invitation, you need to hit what we refer to as a “Goldilocks” moment — not so early as to get buried in the recipient’s schedule and subsequently forgotten, not so late that your attendee pool will already have plans.
By paying attention to the response patterns — an event-management tool that can consolidate and present attendee responses for programming over time is an invaluable tool here — you can find the pattern that best suits your target audience. As a general rule of thumb, the “just right” moment is around five to six weeks before you plan to hold your educational event.
When and how you follow up that initial invitation is equally important; schedule reminders into your preparation schedule to make sure you remain on your HCPs’ radar. After the invitation is extended, best practice is to follow up in person with those who respond “yes.”
The gold standard is to have this touchpoint occur within a day or two of the event itself. This keeps the reminder at top-of-mind for HCPs, and the personal touch reinforces the commitment. Think of your own social life and how much easier is it to say, “Oh, I won’t be able to make that, after all,” via email instead of to someone’s face. The same principle applies here.
If you use these insights, you’ll set the foundation for well-attended and interactive programming.


Contributed by:


Claire Rizza, VP, Account Management, AHM

Claire joined AHM in 2006 as a Service Delivery, Senior Director. After launching one of AHM’s flagship accounts she was promoted to VP of Account Management where she has been responsible for multiple large accounts. Prior to AHM Claire spent ten years at a Medical Education Company, she also spent 15 years at Parke-Davis. In total Claire has over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and 25 years in speakers bureau.

February 20, 2018

Good communication is an often-overlooked but critical element of professional success. After all, we’ve known how to talk since we were toddlers, and we’ve been supplementing face-to-face conversations with phone, email and messaging platforms...

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Disclaimer


Good communication is an often-overlooked but critical element of professional success. After all, we’ve known how to talk since we were toddlers, and we’ve been supplementing face-to-face conversations with phone, email and messaging platforms for decades — if not our entire lives.
But if communication is effortless, good communication takes an investment of time and discipline to achieve.
At CBI’s PharmaForum 2018 next month, creator and host of the chatty “Talk Stoop” TV show Cat Greenleaf will give a keynote presentation dedicated to honing your communication skills.
One thing to remember in our visually-oriented landscape is the importance of being able to tell a story. In fact, notable thinkers Steve Jobs and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg famously banned PowerPoint presentations, the idea being that visual aids can turn into a crutch that replaces verbal messaging.
“Most productive meetings are a time for discussion and working things out, not simply going through a bunch of slides,” Presentation Zen author Garr Reynolds advises.
Whatever your message, you need to deliver it clearly and concisely — a concept that’s easy to grasp, but sometimes hard to execute. Especially in business communication, it can be all too easy to hide behind buzzwords and industry jargon. If you find it hard to step away from these verbal crutches, imagine that you were explaining the topic at hand to a friend or family member in an entirely different line of work.
“It is indeed a very noisy world, and it’s getting noisier seemingly by the day. It is those… who do the hard work to clarify and simplify that will be the ones who are able to rise above the noise,” Reynolds says.
Along the same lines, experts say the best communication isn’t one-sided; dialogues are more fruitful and forge more meaningful bonds than monologues.
To achieve this, ask questions and solicit your audience’s input. “If you regularly solicit feedback, others will help you to discover areas for improvement that you might have otherwise overlooked,” Deep Patel, author of A Paperboy’s Fable: The 11 Principles of Success, writes in Entrepreneur. In addition, use verbal as well as non-verbal cues (eye contact, leaning forward, not playing with your phone) to convey interest in your audience’s response. “The majority of what you say is communicated not through words, but through physical cues,” Patel writes.
Above all, you have to engage your audience to keep their attention, whether you’re giving a speech to thousands, discussing a tricky work project over coffee with a colleague, or just meeting someone at an industry confab.
“I think good conversation can happen anywhere,” Greenleaf told New York Family magazine in an interview. That’s a good insight to take into the workplace, as well.


Contributed by:


Susan Hill, SVP, Global Products & Solutions, AHM

Susan joined AHM in June of 2013 and is responsible for the oversight and management of AHM’s Global Business Development and Solutions and Marketing team. With over nineteen years of experience in the Life Science industry, Susan brings experience in business development, product marketing, and new technology investment and optimization.

February 8, 2018

On January 16, a New Jersey law titled “Limitations on and Obligations Associated with Acceptance of Compensation from Pharmaceutical Manufacturers by Prescribers” went into effect. It sets a cap of $15 per prescriber, per...

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Disclaimer


On January 16, a New Jersey law titled “Limitations on and Obligations Associated with Acceptance of Compensation from Pharmaceutical Manufacturers by Prescribers” went into effect. It sets a cap of $15 per prescriber, per meal on breakfasts, lunches and dinners served at promotional events, and it bars physicians from earning more than $10,000 per year — in aggregate — from speaking fees, advisory board participation and consulting related to promotional activities, with the prescriber responsible for documentation and reporting.
The new law’s $15 meal cap is problematic as it effectively eliminates physician-led educational events hosted in off-site venues. Although considered promotional, these types of programs have a long track record of positive outcomes. They provide medical value and advance patient care. This kind of industry education has been widely adopted precisely because the medical industry recognizes the unique benefits it provides.
The stated intent of the law is to “minimize the potential for conflicts of interest between prescribers and pharmaceutical manufacturers.” As it is written, though, it upsets the formula — a compliance-centric practice, it should be noted — that has functioned well for many years, and creates an undue burden on medical professionals as they seek to further their and their peers’ education. The constraints are substantially below what has been nationally generally accepted as standards for reasonable meal costs and compensation caps.
The prevalence of such events, as well as increased participation, shows how much healthcare providers value them. These professionals readily travel to offsite venues — on their own time, no less — to confer with peers and acquire knowledge in an appropriate, distraction-free setting appointed with tools and technology conducive to educational instruction. Removing these attributes that allow them to be more productive and learn more, runs counter to both the spirit and practice of improving the health of ordinary Americans.
An even greater challenge is the reporting mechanism for the $10,000 annual cap — which mandates that prescribers themselves document their compliance. The New Jersey law imposes a de facto new regulatory requirement on healthcare professionals by shifting this administrative burden from Life Sciences firms, which are well-equipped to handle this function thanks to decades of observing compliance regulations, to these individuals.
As a result, it is not unlikely that many New Jersey-licensed prescribers who currently act as speakers, advisors, and consultants will limit their participation to a single pharmaceutical firm, or will opt to curtail their engagement with these programs altogether. This would be a great loss to medical progress. This dynamic industry absolutely needs to keep prescribers apprised of the latest discoveries and innovations in pharmaceutical development. The peer-to-peer dialogue that takes place at these well-regarded forums is invaluable in this regard.
By cracking down on “boondoggles” that don’t exist, we fear this new law will impact doctors’ ability and willingness to share their insights, doing a disservice not only to these medical professionals but to the patient populations who depend on them for care.


Written by:


Christine Croft, CEO, AHM

Christine is AHM’s CEO and is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the Company, sales and business development, organizational effectiveness and operational excellence. She was AHM’s SVP & CFO for three years prior to this and was responsible for financial management, human resources, information technology, facilities and contracts. She also has nineteen years of financial management experience within technology and service industries, including twelve years within Life Sciences.

January 18, 2018

As we head into 2018 and take a look at game changers facing the Life Sciences industry, the next inflection point we see is how the industry increasingly uses data to drive business decision-making...

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As we head into 2018 and take a look at game changers facing the Life Sciences industry, the next inflection point we see is how the industry increasingly uses data to drive business decision-making via advanced analytics.
The amount of data we have at our fingertips would be unimaginable as recently as five years ago; while collecting and reporting all kinds of data points remains important, businesses are increasingly realizing that these amassed statistics hold deeper value. The goal now is not to utilize this mass of data to guide the business but rather to specifically direct the business.
In Life Sciences, a big driver for the development of platforms to collect and manage all this data was the evolution of regulatory requirements — a complex and constantly changing landscape that has, at times, challenged the industry.
The welcome silver lining is that these requirements have given firms that work with robust, scalable engagement-management platforms an unprecedented wealth of data that can be turned into actionable strategies. A platform designed to introduce controls and processes in order to manage compliance-centric meetings produces a veritable treasure trove of data on HCPs, KOL’s, and engagement activities.
To date much of the marketing and promotions in Life Sciences remains very subjective, relying on relationships and individuals to direct business tactics — though the industry has access to detailed data about HCPs that Life Sciences companies can access to help them make objective decisions. The data available now offers the tantalizing ability to reveal which of a Life Sciences company’s activities, practices and procedures drive the biggest bang for the promotional buck. They are the code to unlocking a deeper understanding of ROI, and we are on the cusp of the technological advancements that can turn that code into real discoveries.
Ultimately, the promise is that Life Sciences companies will be able to use these insights to predict an HCP’s response to interactions and invitations based on their past habits, creating marketing efficiencies as well as more compliant meetings management — bringing that visibility all the way to the level of prescribing behavior.
The promise is that HCP engagement data becomes more than just a box to check, figuratively speaking, for compliance purposes. Instead, it becomes a valuable organizational tool that supports the goals of multiple stakeholders across business units.


Contributed by:


Susan Hill, SVP, Global Products & Solutions, AHM

Susan joined AHM in June of 2013 and is responsible for the oversight and management of AHM’s Global Business Development and Solutions and Marketing team. With over nineteen years of experience in the Life Science industry, Susan brings experience in business development, product marketing, and new technology investment and optimization.

January 10, 2018

The results are in: The hotel industry is starting 2018 off with a bang. Forecasts from hospitality consultancies STR, PwC and CBRE all predict increases in both average daily room rates, or ADRs, as...

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Disclaimer


The results are in: The hotel industry is starting 2018 off with a bang. Forecasts from hospitality consultancies STR, PwC and CBRE all predict increases in both average daily room rates, or ADRs, as well as revenue per available room, or RevPAR, as demand outstrips the new supply growth coming online throughout the United States. CBRE, the most bullish of the three, predicts that the first quarter of 2018 will see an increase of 3.7% in RevPAR, coupled with a 3.2% increase in ADR over that same time period.
For planners of pharmaceutical meetings and HCP education programs, this is an escalation of the perennial challenge posed by room and meal rate caps. While rising rates make it more difficult to stay within compliance parameters, it is by no means impossible, provided that the planner make use of all their resources.

  • Relationships: In this industry, much is made of the need to forge mutually beneficial relationships with hotel directors of sales and group sales managers. These vendor relationships can go a long way towards success in negotiating for compliance-centric rates. With PwC and CBRE both predicting increases in occupancy, you will need partners willing to work with you.
  • Flexibility: A good Director of Sales will help a planner take advantage of small windows of opportunity, which can offset the rate constraints you bring them. In fact, one bright spot in recent consultancy predictions comes from STR, which projects slightly lower occupancy for the first quarter. If there are gaps in a hotel’s booking calendar, it is likely that they will be amenable to lower rates just to get “heads in beds.” The nature of HCP educational programming is such that shoulder or off-season bookings and shorter lead times give you the flexibility to take advantage of compliance-centric rates.
  • Data analytics: One of the most valuable assets planners of HCP programming have — or should have — at their disposal is a comprehensive view of spend with a particular hotel brand. This data has two uses: It can come in handy if negotiations hit a sticking point by helping the hotel to see a fuller picture of the value your groups bring to them. A big-picture look at spending patterns will also help you identify where your spend is concentrated and if there are opportunities for consolidating spending further in order to enhance the value of your business. Hotel stays are a perishable commodity; an unsold room is lost revenue. If your programs have enough volume, you are likely to find hotels willing to be more flexible in exchange for a guaranteed stream of business.

Trying to meet the needs of both marketing and compliance leadership is undoubtedly a balancing act, but an ambitious program manager armed with robust analytics can find ways to make the numbers work to everyone’s benefit.
Source:
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles/264536/Q1-2018-Forecasting-US-hotel-industry-performance


Contributed by:


Matthew Derner, Director, Strategic Meetings Management, AHM

Matthew joined AHM in 2016 and has 18 years of Life Sciences experience. He leads AHM’s Stragetic Meetings Management (SMM) Department and is responsible for engaging current and prospective clients about our SMM compliant meeting solutions across their organizations. Matthew also leads a team of Event Managers & Coordinators that are responsible for the planning and execution of any meeting type outside of Speaker Bureau. Prior to joining AHM, Matthew has worked for Pharmaceutical Companies as well meeting planning agencies in various roles.

December 20, 2017

If you’re hosting a party this holiday season, you know just how important RSVPs are: Without an accurate headcount, you could run out of punch or end up with way too much leftover food....

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Disclaimer

Why Proactive Management of HCP Engagement Matters Today

If you’re hosting a party this holiday season, you know just how important RSVPs are: Without an accurate headcount, you could run out of punch or end up with way too much leftover food.
The stakes are considerably higher when it comes to in-person life sciences educational programming. Although these kinds of face-to-face interactions have been proven to deliver ROI by numerous metrics of HCP engagement, having a system that doesn’t let you manage invitations in real time — or not having a system at all — is a risk pharmaceutical companies today should take pains to avoid at all costs.
Having a tool that automates this kind of oversight also takes some of the administrative burden off the life sciences rep tasked with coordinating the gathering and provides a vehicle for encouraging and ensuring compliance. If too few HCPs indicate that they plan to attend — and if your system has the capability of alerting you to that prospect — you can be proactive and cancel the event. Absent that, failing to confirm HCP attendance before the event could leave you “underwater” on the company’s internal parameters for per-person expense caps.
As anyone involved in the planning of life sciences educational meetings knows, complying with per-attendee caps on meals and other expenses is challenging enough at the best of times; if you have too few attendees to share those costs equally, even the most rigorous F&B standards won’t be able to keep your numbers where they need to be.
Absent a compliance-centric system for managing HCP responses, poorly-executed HCP attendance management has ramifications that impact speakers as well as attendees. Prosecutors have penalized pharmaceutical companies for bringing in speakers for educational programming — paying honoraria, transportation and other expenses — only to have those speakers presenting to an empty or virtually empty room. The risk is that a life sciences company might, in effect, pay a speaker for not providing a service. Even inadvertently, this is at best a waste of resources and at worst, the kind of occurrence that can make a company vulnerable to regulatory scrutiny.
To avoid the optics of running afoul of anti-kickback laws, some life sciences companies’ internal controls call for proactive monitoring of how frequently speakers present on a topic, as well as how frequently individual HCPs attend education that covers a particular product or therapeutic treatment. In today’s global economy, life sciences companies have to be aware of and comply with what can be a patchwork of state regulations throughout the United States, as well as requirements set by other countries’ regulators for overseas meetings. A truly robust compliance-centric management system should be inclusive of all of these parameters.


Contributed by:


Claire Rizza, VP, Account Management, AHM

Claire joined AHM in 2006 as a Service Delivery, Senior Director. After launching one of AHM’s flagship accounts she was promoted to VP of Account Management where she has been responsible for multiple large accounts. Prior to AHM Claire spent ten years at a Medical Education Company, she also spent 15 years at Parke-Davis. In total Claire has over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and 25 years in speakers bureau.