Last month, members of M&IW’s UK team attended Pharma Forum EMEA, the premier conference for life sciences meeting and event professionals from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Ella Darby, Head, Global Event Experience, hosted a meet-and-greet session promoting M&IW’s new book, How to Plan Medical Meetings and Events, and Paulomi Debnath, Team Lead, Global Event Sourcing, co-hosted not one but two engaging sessions.
The first session was co-hosted with Ella and titled Brainstorm Pods: Meeting Types and their Multitude of Unique Challenges. The second session was co-hosted with Glenn Vice President, Global B2B Events and Programs, Marriott International, and titled How to Amplify Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into Your Events.
“The platform provided an excellent opportunity for M&IW to concentrate on a global perspective,” said Paulomi. “It was gratifying to not only attend such an exciting conference but also to be able to share my expertise and learn from others in the process.”
We sat down with Paulomi to hear more about her experience at the event and learn about her role at M&IW.
During Meeting Types and their Multitude of Unique Challenges, I hosted a table on best practices for sourcing life sciences events. I enjoyed this session because it wasn’t just me presenting; it was an interactive discussion with delegates at my table. We had really productive discussions. Some of the key topics were:
- The importance of pre-planning to understand the event objectives and delegate countries.
- The importance of knowing key dates, such as other large events or local holidays, when considering destinations so you can avoid overpricing and unavailability.
- The effectiveness of having go-to hotels, particularly for smaller meetings, that are already familiar with life sciences addendums to save time in sourcing and negotiations.
For How to Amplify Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into Your Events, I presented on cultural intelligence and cultural factors in events. For example, cultural factors to consider in meeting logistics and decision-making include religious requirements for both delegates and the host country. Having cultural intelligence means you’re aware of these requirements and nuances from the start so you can effectively plan for them and aren’t caught off guard.
Some of the key trends discussed included the innovations stemming from the pandemic that revolutionized the industry and are shaping the future of life sciences meetings. These include increasing digitization with the rise of AI and DocuSign and a greater focus on sustainability and inclusivity. There were also discussions around registration fees that I found interesting. In particular, small fees are the most favorable according to behavior science because delegates are more likely to attend when they already have a stake in the event as opposed to cancelling at the last minute for free events. Finally, Tier 1 cities like Paris, Geneva, New York, Chicago, and LA are no longer as popular as they once were. In fact, they’re actively avoided due to a lack of affordable options.
In general, it was wonderful to make valuable connections with corporate meeting planners and supplier partners. Even as relative newcomers to the Pharma Forum scene, M&IW’s presence did not go unnoticed. Industry stalwarts acknowledged our contributions, and many corporate planners noted our expertise. I am confident that our success at Pharma Forum sets the stage for even greater accomplishments in the future.
I am the Team Lead of Global Event Sourcing, and I started in September of 2016. I am proud to be part of M&IW’s global team based in the UK.
I genuinely enjoy global sourcing and connecting with hotel partners, and I also enjoy exploring the latest industry trends.
Hotel work experience can prepare you for all types of jobs in hospitality. Work hard and be ready to learn to discover your true passion.
Hosting meetings in Tier 2 cities.