Posts Tagged Medical meetings

Recap of the 15th Annual Pharma Forum 2019

Written by Marie Johnson, CMP | Director, Marketing & Strategy

Last month, six of our medical meeting masters headed to New York City to attend the 15th Annual Pharma Forum 2019 with 700 other industry professionals. The conference is presented by CBI, the health and life sciences industry leader in providing thought leadership, actionable data, benchmarking, case studies and regulatory information through a dynamic conference platform that facilitates innovation, collaboration and elevation across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and healthcare industries. In attendance from M&IW, we had representation from Sales & Marketing, Strategic Account Management, and Global Procurement.

Since healthcare is the largest segment of the meetings industry and a significant volume of business for M&IW, there is a lot to cover with medical and pharmaceutical meetings management as well as enterprise strategy. So, we caught up with our conference-goers to find out what were some of the hottest discussion topics, key learnings, and their personal highlights.

Building Relationships and Driving Business

For our global procurement team, opportunities to attend events are imperative to make new connections and deepen relationships with hoteliers and suppliers who understand the nuances and needs of healthcare meetings. “We were able to connect not only on behalf of ourselves and our accounts; but also the entire M&IW sourcing team. It can be convenient to conduct business behind a screen, but it’s another thing to shake hands and look the person in the eye, especially when you’re negotiating over several years on a large complex program” said Rachel Egan, Buyer, Hotel Procurement.

HMCC Designation and Compliance Issues

A highlight for both Peggy Weil, CMP and Rachel Egan, CMP is that they earned their Healthcare Meetings Compliance Certificate (HMCC) offered in partnership with CBI, MeetingsNet and the MPI Academy. “During our HMCC class we were able to network and discuss current issues with HCP meetings and meal caps which for some have not been raised since 2002,” said Peggy Weil, CMP, Buyer, Hotel Procurement. “We learned some companies are setting a meal cap per day no matter the country attending and during the invitation or RSVP process disclosing the caps with three options to attend without a compliance issue.” See the example below.

Dear Attendee,

Our meal cap is $150 USD inclusive per day. If you cannot meet this cap, you have three options:

  • You may opt out
  • Cover the difference personally between meal cap set and your country’s meal cap
  • Receive a meal voucher for your allotted meal cap to use in the hotel restaurant

Client Connections and Conversations

For our Global Enterprise Services team, it is an excellent opportunity for our account management team to connect with our valued clients. “A few of the hot topics were; 1)  the consequences of not continually improving your strategic meetings management program (SMMP), 2) discussing the data story – many people wanted to know what to do now that everyone has their data, and 3) best practices in contracting medical meetings such as navigating first option holds, how to adjust meal caps for global attendees and collaborating with hotels,” said Naomi Tucker, CMP, HMCC, Account Director, Global Enterprise Services. Additionally, an insight for Michael Garcia, CMP, Director, Strategic Account Management, was the level of turnover on the client side due to mergers and acquisitions and its impact on the industry.

Continuing Education and Content

Laura Coler, Account Lead, said her favorite takeaway was a comment during the presentation by David Wolfe with Merck to “work in collaboration and cooperation NOT competition.” Laura felt that one of the items missing from Pharma Forum is peer-to-peer discussions. When asked about widely discussed topics, she called out eRFPs, GDPR/HCP Compliance, Global Governance/SMMP Implementation and Event Technology.

The Pharma Forum packs a lot of content for newcomers as well as veteran attendees. One of the personal highlights for Dan Tarpey, HMCC, VP of Sales & Marketing was hearing from one of the industry’s most respected leaders on the importance of bringing the needs of the patient to the forefront of the drug development and delivery process presented by Jim Robinson, President and CEO, Alkermes. “M&IW had the privilege of working with Jim when he was with Astellas and it is impressive to see his focus on the need for improved collaboration and ongoing innovation to address real-world issues continue,” said Dan Tarpey.

In every meeting where HCPs are attendance, event management professionals have the daunting task of balancing the needs of the attendees, meeting owner and stakeholders all while remaining in compliance with regulatory standards. Our industry leaders will continue to stay ahead of the curve on the Changing Landscape of Healthcare Meetings and ensure we deliver the best solutions for our clients.

 

Posted in: Pharmaceutical, Medical and HCP Compliance, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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The Changing Landscape of Healthcare Meetings

Blog_HCP_Changing_Landscape_Signs

Written by Anne Zambrano | Sr. Manager, Marketing Communications & Creative Services

I had the pleasure of experiencing one our thought leaders in action at the recent MPI-CAC NEXT ’18 conference in Chicago. Susan Arts, CMP, HMCC, a 30-year healthcare meeting veteran and Project Director, Global Operations at M&IW, delivered an engaging presentation on The Changing Landscape of Healthcare Meetings. Many healthcare planners are aware that the worldwide focus on transparency reporting and greater compliance requirements have altered the landscape of planning and executing meetings in the healthcare sector. During her presentation, Susan shared tips, tricks, and best practices as well as provided an overview on where we are currently in terms of government compliance and reporting and where we are headed in the next 12-18 months.

As I came to find out, there are lots of important changes on the horizon and that this environment is only going to continue to be regulated or scrutinized. And, since healthcare is the biggest segment of the meetings industry with over 1.9 million meetings held in the US for a total of 250 million attendees1, I thought it was a good topic to continue to talk about.

The Changing Landscape

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation: In short, the GDPR is a new law in the European Union that deals with data of EU citizens going in and out of the European Union. Collecting parties will now need to disclose what data is collected, why the data is collected and how the data will be used. This is a hot topic for meeting planners because planners, hoteliers, travel managers, and event suppliers most certainly collect personal data of EU citizens for meetings. Personal data may include financial, contact, medical, travel, IP address and passport information. The law was adopted back in April 2016 and goes into effect on May 25, 2018. Susan recommended that it is a good time for your organization to take a closer look at the regulation, and how you are collecting or using data that is regulated by this law to make sure you have the appropriate practices and disclaimers are in place.

Continuing medical education funding in Europe and Asia: Susan made the excellent point that no longer will manufacturers be able to make direct payments to clinicians to fund attendance at CME events. All the funds must now go through grants to the health systems and accredited CME providers and these institutions will now choose who gets the funds to attend CME meetings. This is and will continue to be a hot topic, learning at a meeting or event is still the number one preferred way healthcare professionals receive their continuing education.

Worldwide Reporting: APAC, LATAM and Canada will soon all be adopting HCP transparency reporting policies and regulations. Susan made the prediction that in the next 18-24 months the transparency reporting regulatory environment that planners experience in the US will be global.

State Regulations: States continue to create and develop their own regulations as it relates to HCP meeting spend and reporting. It is becoming increasingly important to stay on top of and understand not only the changing environment of the federal regulations, but also at the state level. The state level could address meetings being held in that state or address attendee hailing from that state.

Susan concluded with the following important points:

  • Always go into a meeting preparing to be ready for an audit. Planning from the forefront can ease any pain on the backend.
  • Understand the reporting requirements when it comes to transfer of value verses aggregate spend for a meeting.
  • Document, document, document. Look toward new technologies to help streamline and automate documentation.

Finally, how is this going to affect our medical meeting profession? There is a going to likely be a shortage of trained, experienced, medical meeting professionals as well as a potential challenge with sourcing and space, dates and rates in a strong market because of the various interpretations of the regulations and Office of Ethics and Compliance in many organizations putting a cap on room rate allowances for HCPs.

One final, final note: some useful industry resources Susan shared at the end of her presentation:

  • Event Industry Council GDPR Resource Page (www.eventscouncil.org)
  • GDPR Awareness Coalition (gdprcoalition.ie)
  • Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certification (HMCC) – available through MPI (www.mpiweb.org)
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) (www.phrma.org)
  • European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) (www.efpia.eu )
  • My Compliance Wizard (subscription) (www.mycw.info)
  • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) (www.accme.org)

(1) Events Industry Council Survey

In honor of GMID (Global Meetings Industry Day), we are sharing more thought-leading content on HCP transparency reporting. We hosted a webinar on April 12 as part of our Industry Insight Webinar Series entitled, “The Various Approaches to HCP Transparency Reporting and Best Practices for Industry Standardization, presented by Angie Gross, HMCC, Sr. Manager, Reconciliation & Compliance Reporting, Finance. If you missed it, you can catch it on demand. Just click the video below.

 

 

 

Posted in: Company News, Pharmaceutical, Medical and HCP Compliance, Program Management & Event Design

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4 Key Trends in Medical Meetings

Medical_Meetings_Cropped_BlogWritten by Naomi Tucker, CMP, HMCC | Senior Strategic Account Manager

Meeting management professionals have a unique role when it comes to the planning and execution of medical meetings. From ensuring the compliance of the healthcare professionals, to reporting and staying on top of trends, there are many complexities. The world of medical meetings can be hard to absorb, especially when the landscape is continually changing. This years’ Pharma Forum brought forth many differing perspectives and highlighted the trends that are occurring within the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry. Below are a few that I see as particularly important in the world of medical meetings.

Content is King

Yes, content is still king. However, we learned content can get complacent. That is why many pharmaceutical companies have a renewed focus on delivering the right content in the right manner to healthcare professionals. It is also important to note that the way content is being received is changing. Healthcare meetings are now becoming more engaging, encouraging the attendees to be more than spectators at their events. This can be achieved with specific meeting technology that is focused on enhancing attendee participation. For example, Educational Measures and MeetingPlay are both applications that can be used to increase engagement at meetings and make them more lively, inspiring, and interactive. This trend is making the consumption of content more desirable by the attendees through interaction and delivering more value to the organizations.

Is there an App for That?

There is an increase in the usage of mobile applications in medical meetings. No longer are attendees subject to waiting until the day of their event to interact with others attending the meeting. Attendees can have increased interaction with their peers and industry colleagues through mobile applications, and usage is on the rise. Mobile platforms such as Attendify and Crowdcompass help elevate the experience of events. Customized agendas, person-to-person chat forums, speaker bios, and activity pages are all common elements of these apps that are a value add for any medical meeting. If you are a meeting professional that hasn’t used a mobile app, be prepared for this trend coming to your medical meeting soon.

The Expanding World of China

Working on medical meetings in China, in the past, have been few and far between. However, now many pharmaceutical and life sciences companies are expanding within the country of China. This new landscape is creating more opportunities for face-to-face interactions, and in turn, more medical meetings. Not only will the meeting professional have to be well-versed in the compliance restrictions and regulations, they will also have to ensure they are up-to-speed on the cultural phenomena of planning medical meetings in that area of the world, as well.

Mergers and Acquisitions

We are seeing an increase of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for companies within the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. At times, these changes within the structure of organizations can create a gap in which third-party meeting planning agencies can help fill. There are also complexities in how medical meetings come together within the new organization. It is helpful to know about the intended change whether it be a merger or acquisition to ensure the meeting you are planning is taking in to account all types of attendees and collecting the compliance-related information needed for the event or conference to be successful.

Looking Forward

It is important to have a constant flow of knowledge, education and peer support to help balance unprecedented changes, tackle tough regulations, and stay on top of trends. With the changing landscape in this highly-related niche industry, working with professionals who specialize in the nuances of medical meetings can greatly alleviate challenges in the long run and create successful, engaging and effective outcomes.

Posted in: Company News, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Pharmaceutical, Medical and HCP Compliance, Program Management & Event Design

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