October 17, 2018

Technological advances mean that virtual meetings are cheaper than ever to execute, and their sophistication has improved to the point that you can see and hear people half a world away as clearly as...

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Technological advances mean that virtual meetings are cheaper than ever to execute, and their sophistication has improved to the point that you can see and hear people half a world away as clearly as if they were in the room with you. This progress has benefited the Life Sciences industry, giving educational programming managers the freedom to be more flexible in their scheduling and opening up the opportunity to offer a truly omnichannel experience to participating HCPs.

But these advances don’t diminish the importance of face-to-face meetings. On the contrary, creating opportunities for professionals to network without a pair of screens between them is one of the key selling points program organizers can tout today, according to experts.

Although millennials are stereotyped as a tech-obsessed generation, this population also craves real-life interaction and is driving the resurgence of appreciation for real-life interactions. In an increasingly digital world, Life Sciences companies have the opportunity to deliver just that to them. Opportunities for building networks, establishing mentoring relationships and deepening knowledge are enhanced when people are in the same room together, according to a recent article for Meeting Professionals International highlighting the results of a report written by meetings technology consultant Corbin Ball.

“Meetings…take people to a more focused environment with fewer distractions,” Ball’s report says. “The opportunities for networking, brainstorming and relationship building are usually far greater at face-to-face events than online.” In the context of a compliance-centric promotional education protocol, facilitating the development of these deeper bonds enhances the value for the HCPs who are taking time out of their increasingly busy schedules to learn about new therapeutic opportunities.

There are other benefits as well. Ball’s report points out that face-to-face events give organizers “a goldmine of data detailing attendee preferences, interests, movements and interactions.” As more robust analytics tools give organizers more visibility into how that data can be deployed to achieve best practices, the value of that captured information will only increase.

“These data can help meeting planners make mid-course corrections on existing events and improve future ones,” Ball says. “They can provide attendees with a much richer and more personalized experience.”

Providing the best and most relevant information for HCPs to utilize in their practice is the goal of Life Sciences promotional educational programming, and even in an undeniably digital age, it’s those face-to-face connections that form the backbone of the richest educational programs.

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 Strategic 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 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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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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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.

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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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.

November 24, 2017

There’s an app for that: Today, this catchphrase is truer than ever in the meetings and events industry. Mobile apps that participants can download and access right from their phones can be a valuable...

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There’s an app for that: Today, this catchphrase is truer than ever in the meetings and events industry. Mobile apps that participants can download and access right from their phones can be a valuable enhancement for life sciences companies’ educational programming.
Having a dedicated event app will improve attendees’ access to conference materials, critical updates and their fellow HCPs — and it’s likely to save you money, as well, since mobile apps can be customized in an almost infinite number of ways to meet the needs of your group, and provide numerous branding and sponsorship opportunities.
If you handle event planning logistics, you’re likely to find that an investment in iOS and Android apps is a better use of resources because it frees up the labor and expense of developing, printing, shipping and distributing paper programs, booklets and other materials.
All of an HCP attendee’s agenda details can be loaded right into the app, along with speaker handouts, maps and transportation information. Some apps are even sophisticated enough to give people turn-by-turn directions using a mobile device’s location-based functionality.
A mobile app also give attendees more flexibility and control with regards to scheduling, since they can not only access this information right from their phone or tablet, but they have the capability to control, update and change their agenda as needed. App functionality generally includes scheduling and appointment-booking tools, and some give the organizer the option to integrate this information with third-party digital calendar platforms.
Another reason apps are preferable to paper handouts is because they can be easily and more cost-effectively updated — there are no extra printing costs if the program changes at the last minute, for instance — and attendees can be informed of any changes to schedules or locations of breakout sessions in real time via opt-in push notifications. Push notifications also foster engagement if the functionality is deployed to remind attendees of their upcoming educational sessions.
From an organizational perspective, a mobile app-enabled event has an edge over conferences that don’t use this technology. Apps can assist and streamline operations such as check-in and seating assignments — no more entryway bottlenecks, or need to stand at the doorway with a clipboard, “directing traffic.”
Event apps deliver a key value-add by helping facilitate networking between participants, which research shows helps to engage HCPs. Apps also offer organizers the opportunity to build in gamification features, which can be used to encourage networking or promote sponsor engagement — and you’ll be able to deliver real, empirical results of that engagement, rather than the “fuzzy math” used to estimate impressions of traditional sponsor signage.
Although a mobile app might seem less personal than a face-to-face interaction, it can actually make things easier for participants if they have an issue or need to reach someone on your team.
Best of all, you don’t need to be a technological whiz to build an app today. The platforms on the market make building a custom event app easier and more accessible than ever — and offer a bevy of options to suit any kind of event you’re tasked with orchestrating.


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.

November 9, 2017

Life sciences companies rely on speakers to educate HCPs about their products. These presenters — often esteemed KOLs in their respective fields — are an invaluable link between clients and the medical community; as...

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Life sciences companies rely on speakers to educate HCPs about their products. These presenters — often esteemed KOLs in their respective fields — are an invaluable link between clients and the medical community; as such, these relationships come under a higher degree of regulatory scrutiny today than they might have in the past.
Managing speakers is a multifaceted and complex process: They need to be regularly updated and trained on the material they will be presenting for educational as well as compliance purposes, and all expenses and payments associated with those efforts need to be meticulously gathered and documented, even when they cross disciplines, business units or geographic borders.
Training can take place for many reasons: New therapies are introduced all the time, and HCPs need to be kept abreast of these innovations, as well as developments pertaining to the use and applications of existing products. Training can be as simple as a brief update conducted virtually to a weekend-long intensive curriculum covering a wide swath of knowledge.
Speaker messaging is of utmost importance: Speakers need to be trained to know all aspects of approved pharmaceutical uses for the product on which they are educating HCPs, and — more importantly — they need to know the limits of those uses. If a speaker recommends a drug for an “off label” use while acting at the behest of a life sciences client, that client can be open to penalties.
Therefore, it is imperative for companies to know with absolute certainty that their speakers have received the training they need. Verifying this takes different forms, depending on whether the training takes place virtually or in-person. In-person sessions require real-time badge-scanning to verify that trainees are in attendance, while virtual training uses sophisticated tracking technology for both voice and web connectivity to verify participation.
This all sounds — and is — complicated, but government regulations to which life sciences companies must adhere requires them to track and collect all this data, and more.
Since speakers are compensated for their time and services, the “Sunshine Act” mandates that life sciences companies must report on all transfers of value to speakers undergoing training, a requirement that encompasses everything from honoraria to travel expenses and the cost of meals served during face-to-face training sessions.
Creating and executing compliant speaker training isn’t an insurmountable challenge, but it is daunting for a company whose core competency lies in lifesaving medical devices or critical drug therapies — not logistics, analytics or technology — to do so seamlessly and cost-effectively.
As the pace of pharmaceutical advancement continues to accelerate, more firms are electing to partner with experienced providers of technology, communications and event management. The value proposition these firms offer is ensuring that compliance issues don’t ensnare the content delivery apparatus that informs and educates HCPs throughout the industry.


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.

October 27, 2017

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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Casual Catering Discussion Meeting Colleagues Concept
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.
Contributed by:
Matthew
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.

September 28, 2017

Millennials, a.k.a. Generation Y, are moving into a position of prominence in the workforce: According to the Pew Research Center, they became the largest share of the American workforce in 2015 — and the...

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Millennials, a.k.a. Generation Y, are moving into a position of prominence in the workforce: According to the Pew Research Center, they became the largest share of the American workforce in 2015 — and the fields of healthcare and life sciences are no exception to this trend.
If this challenging and dynamic population isn’t already on your radar, it should be. Millennials, which are roughly defined as people born between the late 1970s and around the turn of the century, have some key hallmarks that shape how they acquire and absorb educational content and other information.
For one thing, they’re the first generation of digital natives. As such, millennials have notoriously short attention spans — they’re primed to absorb bombardment from snippets of information coming at them from every direction, but they can “check out” easily if a topic doesn’t hold their interest.
Growing up with Google at their fingertips, millennials have a looser view of authority and hierarchy than previous generations. They are knowledge-hungry and crave resources to acquire knowledge on their own, but they also value the advice of experts — provided that these authority figures first earn their trust.
A study on millennials in the workforce found that credibility and authenticity are incredibly important factors for engaging this generation. These are qualities that Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) need to emphasize if they want millennials to be receptive to their message.
More so than the Baby Boomers who preceded them, millennials want the companies they interact with to have a mission and purpose. They need a narrative that articulates not only the company’s value proposition, but their own unique role to play.
All of these quirks have profound implications for meeting and event organizers.
Despite the fact that AHM data finds virtual and tele-meetings combined made up just 15% of promotional speaker programs targeting healthcare professionals (HCPs) last year, this generation’s propensity for technology — not as a substitute, but a supplement — to in-person learning means organizers should think twice before abandoning the format. Millennials love having options, so the more touch points you can provide them with, the better; this is the generation, after all, that grew up with hundreds of options just for ordering a morning coffee.
The rise of venue-based meetings — up nearly 20 percentage points between 2014 and last year, AHM found — dovetails with another preference near and dear to millennial hearts: Collaboration. This is a population that loves to work in groups and pool knowledge. Surveys of millennial doctors found that these HCPs believe their peers to be a valuable educational resource — something to keep in mind when designing program content and even when targeting KOLs to reach a millennial audience.
The path to engagement with millennial HCPs may not be as straightforward as it was with their parents, but this generation’s eagerness to learn, willingness to embrace new technologies and openness to collaborative knowledge-seeking gives the industry the chance to build a deeper, more direct bond with this rising population of HCPs.
Source:
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/11/millennials-surpass-gen-xers-as-the-largest-generation-in-u-s-labor-force/
AHM Research


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 18, 2017

Global Dilemma: Determining Healthcare Professional (HCP) Eligibility For Life Sciences manufacturers, HCP interactions are a BIG DEAL. It takes many months of researching, planning, scheduling, recruiting, tracking, and corresponding with a variety of stakeholders...

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Global Dilemma: Determining Healthcare Professional (HCP) Eligibility
For Life Sciences manufacturers, HCP interactions are a BIG DEAL. It takes many months of researching, planning, scheduling, recruiting, tracking, and corresponding with a variety of stakeholders to engage the right speakers and participants. HCP interactions are critical to healthcare organizations (HCOs) because of the exchange of scientific and medical information, and candid feedback that is integrated into research and key opinion leader input. One compliance dilemma AHM has assisted their clients with over the past few years centers on participant eligibility. This dilemma is not limited to the United States—increased programming in global markets, such as those in European and Asian-Pacific regions, entails participant recruitment from other countries around the world, different sets of rules on how HCP interactions can occur, country- and/or institution-specific regulations, and variances in transfer-of-value reporting requirements, among other challenges. Coinciding with global HCP interactions are the complexities of complying with global regulations when managing HCP interactions.
Compliance violations due to participant ineligibility trigger retrospective inquiries: Were the right HCPs invited to attend the promotional or nonpromotional event? Were the right speakers invited and qualified to present at the meeting? What are the rules that govern how interactions can occur with each and every HCP? According to Frank Castora, Director, Global Solutions Management at AHM, planning future HCP interactions prompts several questions such as: Is there a way prevent the “accidental attendee” and consequent compliance violations? What can Life Sciences manufacturers do to be proactive and prevent this increasingly prevalent global dilemma?
Global Solutions: CentrisDirect Release 2 and Strategic Alliance
Global dilemmas require global solutions. AHM is a leading global provider of software and service solutions designed to manage compliant interactions with HCPs and Life Sciences industry. To address the pressing compliance requirements and dilemmas when managing global HCP interactions, AHM upgraded CentrisDirect, which is the company’s single end-to-end cloud-based platform suite designed to collect and consolidate all HCP transfer of value interactions across the enterprise. Enhancements to the platform, called “Release 2,” are available now and have generated significant market interest both domestically and internationally. The platform enhancements were specifically designed to prevent and address complex global compliance dilemmas. Some of the enhanced features include:
Product Localization

  • Platform translated into simplified Chinese and Portuguese

Enhanced Compliance Controls

  • Identify participant eligibility issues during closeout
  • Identify and track compliance violations for interactions
  • Exclude ineligible HCPs from participating in an interaction
  • Leverage Compliance Violation Tracking if a violation transpires

Speaker Utilization Caps

  • Select speakers aligned to their territory per specific number of times during a specified interval

Interaction Compliance Audits

  • Flag an interaction for Compliance review

Marketing Initiatives

  • Configure a set of interactions with a common set of parameters and/or business rules (eg, program type, budget, speaker count, and topics)

Interaction Change Requests

  • Modify an approved HCP interaction or cancel an approved interaction

HCO Interactions/Contracting

  • Support institution-based workflow in a mobile platform
  • Contract with an HCO

To complement their global support and solutions, AHM has partnered with Veeva Systems, Inc., for integrated events management and compliance solutions for events management. This strategic alliance provides additional opportunities for customers by integrating CentrisDirect with Veeva CRM Events Management into a single platform to manage HCP/HCO interactions and to ensure global compliance requirements are met.
AHM to Present Global Compliance Solutions at the Speaker Programs 2017 Conference in Philadelphia, PA
Hear AHM’s Frank Castora discuss Strategies/Technologies for Managing Compliant Promotional Programs Globally at the Speaker Programs 2017 — Evolving Considerations for Innovative Promotional Programs, February 8-9, 2017, at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District hotel. Mr. Castora’s presentation, which is scheduled for Wednesday, February 8th at 3:45 PM, will focus on:

  • Solutions for managing organizations’ marketing initiatives and tracking to ensure compliance with international regulations and organizational SOPs;
  • Key process areas to ensure cap utilization and HCP participant eligibility; and
  • How the configuration of compliance rules and systematic prevention can detect, capture, and manage participant compliance violations.

While you’re at Speaker Programs 2017, don’t forget to check out AHM’s booth, which will feature live product demos. Conference registration and additional information are available here. For more information about CentrisDirect Release 2, email info@ahmdirection.com.

Contributed by:


Lisa Keilty, Global VP of Compliance and Strategic Solutions, AHM

Lisa joined AHM after serving as founder of the Compliance Consulting firm PMC2 and spending over 26 years in the life sciences and meeting management industry. Leading such organizations as Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb and Biogen Idec through numerous international projects, financial transparency and reporting requirements, Lisa’s industry expertise has saved Life Sciences and Meeting Management organizations over 30 million dollars. As a member of the Business Development team, Lisa’s primary focus will be Thought Leadership, Demand Generation and Solution Design.

October 18, 2016

Several years ago the idea burst onto the scene that virtual meetings were going to turn the industry on its head. Headlines promised us that virtual and hybrid meetings would all but replace face-to-face...

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Several years ago the idea burst onto the scene that virtual meetings were going to turn the industry on its head. Headlines promised us that virtual and hybrid meetings would all but replace face-to-face meetings. They would be better than conventional meetings and they would be the biggest cost savings idea since free meeting room rental.
In fact, virtual meetings did see a big upsurge, especially when the economy took its downturn starting in 2008. Construction was pretty much halted on new hotel builds and organizations were looking for ways to squeeze more value from their events with the bare minimum of spending. Another contributor to the rise of virtual meetings was global security. Companies were searching for an alternative to traveling to / from meeting venues yet needed to keep their employees and customers engaged.
Virtual meetings promised an answer with reduced cost, reduced risk and maximized efficiency due to elimination of travel. Global organizations with employees located regionally were able to stay connected and collaborate with just a click of a button. For meetings that involved healthcare professionals (HCPs), the interest grew because they too were trying to balance a growing patient workload. Being out of the office for continued learning or education seemed less and less appealing.
HCPs found from experience that traveling to and from a meeting and being out of the office for extended periods of time meant a backlog in patient appointments, a missed opportunity to fill the practice’s schedule, and stress. Ease of use became increasingly important, too, as HCPs’ demand for education and communication with their patients increased. The option of virtual meetings meant that HCPs were now able connect with their colleagues or manufacturers for an hour or two to hear the latest intel on drug approvals or advancements — all without leaving the office. For the life sciences industry, virtual meetings provided an opportunity to engage more HCPs not able to travel due to country compliance regulations, and to disseminate information quickly and or glean feedback. These dialogues saved time and resulted in getting drugs to market more quickly.
So with all of these great benefits and potential savings, why are face-to-face meetings today more important than ever? Why is it that meeting spend, occupancy rates, and travel spend is higher than it has ever been and continues to grow. The hotel economy is booming despite the high costs of food and beverage, labor costs and the global safety and security issues. The time should be ripe for virtual meetings to make a greater impact, yet organizations are slow to adopt and implement virtual meetings.
An idea for discussion here is the generational preference of employees today in this tech-heavy world where every employee under the age of 60-70 has lived with a cell phone and most of them with smart phones. Employees today are flooded with technology at work and at home. Perhaps with all this technology, the craving for human interaction at conferences or meeting is too great and too impactful for them to want to replace that with a virtual program? Even as organizations continue to look for savings, reductions in travel and meeting spend, and focus on global security; will their employees drive the need for face-to-face interaction?
There is more than enough data out there in the world to suggest that face-to-face engagement is still the most effective way to not only convey a message, idea, or encourage interaction, but it is also the preferred method for most people to learn. Organizations are wise to use the face-to-face conference or meeting to engage employees and make the most use of that time to allow them to learn from one another. Information is retained more when employees have a shared and memorable experience.
The quandary shared by many life sciences organizations is how can virtual technology continue to be used to not only advance medicine and thus improve healthcare, but also reduce the spending on meetings and travel and continue to provide value. The opportunities for savings and minimizing the risks with travel are too great to not look at virtual meetings as a viable and effective solution. A three phase approach can help in navigating this puzzle.
Phase 1 — Analyze
Organizations first need to determine their needs, including the demographics of employees and attendees to determine their attention span and familiarity with the technology. What types of meetings will fit best into a virtual meetings program? In the life sciences industry meetings that are part of a series fit nicely into the virtual environment where attendees have already met and know one another. Short, quick feedback sessions work well as do one-way communications to simply disseminate information. The success of Virtual Meeting programs depend on how well an organization understands their needs so they can design accordingly.
Phase 2 — Design and Implementation
Once an organization identifies what their needs are they can begin to design a program, implement a strategy and then communicate that strategy to their employees and attendees. Organizations need to determine their vendor partners or what technologies and support they will need. A critical component of the success of the program is effective communication and understanding of expectations. Attendees should understand the process of virtual meeting engagement, be familiar with the technology, feel comfortable engaging virtually and be expected to participate. The most successful virtual meetings are ones where the attendee feels engaged and learning has occurred.
Phase 3 — Continuous Feedback and Improvement
Once the organization has communicated to the attendees and they have gone live and begun using virtual meetings, they can look for continuous feedback to improve and measure their success. Determine the savings, key learnings that needed to take place, attendee satisfaction and perhaps how you can improve the process.
As the life sciences industry evolves and regulations and compliance continues to increase, virtual meetings technology will need to keep the pace and continue to improve and support the requirements needed for tracking and reporting on interactions with an HCP.
Is there a perfect balance of virtual and live face-to-face meetings? Perhaps there is…
If you have a recommended approach to qualifying when a meeting or program should use a virtual platform or face-to-face interaction, we would like to hear from you. Email us at info@ahmdirect.com.

Contributed by:


Lisa Keilty, Global VP of Compliance and Strategic Solutions, AHM

Lisa joined AHM after serving as founder of the Compliance Consulting firm PMC2 and spending over 26 years in the life sciences and meeting management industry. Leading such organizations as Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb and Biogen Idec through numerous international projects, financial transparency and reporting requirements, Lisa’s industry expertise has saved Life Sciences and Meeting Management organizations over 30 million dollars. As a member of the Business Development team, Lisa’s primary focus will be Thought Leadership, Demand Generation and Solution Design.