Page 1



group publisher

tel [212] 951.6614

Jay Berfas editor-in-chief

tel [212] 951.6735

Patrick Clinton executive editor

tel [212] 951.6644

Joanna Breitstein




managing editor

tel [212] 951.6645

Sarah Wharton senior editor

Walter Armstrong

tel [212] 951.6646

special projects editor

tel [212] 951.6742

Marylyn Donahue associate editor

tel [212] 951.6648

Sara Donnelly news & online editor

tel [212] 951.6738

George Koroneos art director

tel [212] 951.6732

Laurel Petty washington correspondent

Jill Wechsler


global correspondent


Pharma Spoken Here

When it comes to planning pharma meetings, it’s easier to deliver cost containment, compliance, and quality when you’re dealing with people who speak the industry’s language. Puerto Rico couldn’t be more pharma friendly. And you don't need a passport to go there. Marylyn Donahue, Special Projects Editor

tel [301] 656.4634

tel [44] 20.8297.0172

Sarah Houlton

editorial offices 641 Lexington Ave., Eighth Floor New York, NY 10022

tel [212] 951.6600 fax [212] 951.6604

general manager: pharmaceutical & science group David Esola tel [732] 346.3058 regional sales manager

William Campbell regional sales manager

Matthew Kurtz regional sales manager

Justin Iacobucci

tel [847]716.8175 tel [212] 951.6751 tel [617] 969.2326

16 They Do Things

30 Being Pharma Fluent

administrative assistant tel [212] 951.6794 Daisy Roman-Torres

Pharma meetings are different than other meetings. That's why KSL-owned resorts require executives and service staff alike to be versed in the current governing procedures and industry codes that influence pharmaceutical meetings.

production director

Successful global meetings are possible despite the complications of language and cultural differences. Three pharma companies are doing it right. Here is why.


Differently Over There

Bruce Morgan, BCD Meetings & Incentives


Marylyn Donahue, Special Projects Editor SECURITY

26 How Safe Are

Your Meetings?

Off-site meetings are not as secure as they may first appear. Do you know the risks? Test your convergence IQ. Sarah D. Scalet, CSO Magazine

Debi Harmer production manager

Jane Dzuck circulation manager

Madeleine Robins marketing director

Maria Palombini

tel [218] 740.6325 tel [218] 740.6313 tel [218] 740.6479 tel [732] 346.3026

marketing promotions specialist Cecilia Asuncion tel [732] 346.3012


32 How to Lose

The E-Snooze

E-meetings may be convenient and cost-efficient, but to be honest: They often are boring. Here are 8 tips to keep them from being so. Bill Cooney, Medpoint Communications

ADVANSTAR★ COMMUNICATIONS president & ceo Joseph Loggia | vice president: finance, cfo & secretary Ted Alpert | executive vice presidents Steve Morris, Daniel M. Phillips | vice president operations Laura Wagner | executive vice president: corporate development Eric I. Lisman vice president: treasurer & controller Adele D. Hartwick | vice president: publishing operations Francis Heid | vice president & chief technology officer Rick Treese

On the Cover: Puerto Rico Convention Center ©2005 PUERTO RICO CONVENTION CENTER



APRIL 2008


Putting Your Best Face Forward Meetings are the last area of unmanaged spend. In response, Pharma is managing more and spending less f meetings are the face of pharma, then putting on a good face these days means meetings that are compliant, secure, and cost conscious without skimping on quality. Inside this issue of Pharmaceutical Executive Pharma Meetings, we tell you how to pull it off. Compliant Healthcare compliance laws and security standards are changing the shape of meetings. Getting it right is easier when the host site speaks your language—pharma, that is. Few meetings destinations are as pharma fluent as Puerto Rico. Home to 60 pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, the island has a thriving meetings and conventions industry spurred by a spectacular new convention center and a convention bureau that offers free, one-stop shopping to meeting planners (page 8). Pharma is also spoken at a hotel chain owned by KSL, which gives a required course to executives and staff alike on what makes a pharma meeting different (page 30). Secure Off-site meetings involve hidden risks. Do you know what they are? Test your convergence IQ (page 26). Cost conscious A meetings management program can save money, but what happens when it is applied globally? Three big pharma companies have come up with some solutions (page 16). — Marylyn Donahue


Marylyn Donahue is Pharmaceutical Executive’s special projects editor. She can be reached at mdonahue@



APRIL 2008


Pharma Spoken Here

A boom is transforming Puerto Rico’s meetings and conventions industry. What does it mean for pharma meeting planners? by Marylyn Donahue

Puerto Rico Convention Center 8


APRIL 2008

the Caribbean’s premiere event for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Over 350 solutions providers attend. We had five conference tracks— over 25 sessions. It’s huge. We also had Shoppers Drug Mart conference already this year. Shoppers Drug Mart is like the Canadian Wal-Mart or Walgreens—the largest drug store in Canada. They had about 4,000 to 5,000 delegates as well. So that’s another huge convention. So, as you can see, the Convention Center has been extremely successful. We’re very pleased

with all of the results that we’ve had year-to-date. And it doesn’t stop there. The Convention Center is going to be the centerpiece of the Puerto Rico Convention Center District. It is considered to be the largest waterfront development project in the history of the US and its territories. The project is structured as a public/private partnership. It will be a multiuse urban center, combining business and entertainment in a 113-acre complex. It is slated for completion in 2012. And it will include hotels, retail

shops, restaurants, office space, movie theaters, as well as residential units. So you ask Why Puerto Rico? Well, as you can see, the Convention Center has been a drawing force for a new and very exciting era of economic and tourist development for the entire island. We think it all makes for a very dynamic and inviting meeting destination, particularly for pharma. And remember, you don’t need a passport to get here. Marylyn Donahue is Pharmaceutical Executive’s special projects editor. She can be reached at

When You Are Not at a Meeting hat makes Puerto Rico special is that it has all the laid-back attractions of a tropical island (intoxicating air, temperate climate, and gorgeous beaches) and the pulse of a city (nightclubs, casinos, restaurants of all kinds, museums, and, of course, dancing…everywhere). San Juan, the capital, is known as La Ciudad Amurallada (the walled city). Founded in 1521, it is one of the busiest seaports in the Caribbean, and the second-oldest Europeanestablished city in the Americas. The island draws regional and international tourists, who come to enjoy Puerto Rico’s diversity and array of novel offerings, such as: • 272 miles of coastline and hundreds of beaches ideal for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, deep-sea fishing, and windsurfing. • 100 tennis courts and nine championship golf courses. • Shopping: local crafts, international designers, and jewelry. • Historical Old San Juan—the only walled city in the Caribbean, with its cobblestone streets, cafés, and four fortresses from the Spanish colonial empire. • El Yunque Rainforest, the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest system. • Camuy Caves, one of the longest underground river systems in the world. • The Arecibo Observatory, the site of the largest radio/radar telescope in the world.



APRIL 2008




They Do Things Differently Over There:

Meetings Management Without Borders Meetings Management programs applied globally can get lost in translation. But Pfizer, Lilly, and GlaxoSmithKline are making theirs a success. Here’s why. by Bruce Morgan

hen Lilly Corporation began centralizing meeting services more than 10 years ago, the company looked to two major regions: North America and Europe. Consolidation of meetings in the United States progressed at a consistent and steady pace. However, almost every country in Europe had its own meetings management personnel, multiple department codes, and no standardized purchasing.


Further complicating the situation was the absence of a central force driving meetings management across the region. In addition, the department to which meetings reported was inconsistent from country to country, and organizational goals for meetings varied greatly as a result. The situation called for solutions. Stepping up to the plate was Richard Darley, 16

manager, Lilly European Travel and Fleet. While not solely responsible for the strategic meetings management (SMM) program in Europe, Darley ended up playing a big part in identifying and bringing together the various meeting-planning groups from the five major countries across the European region to form a coordinated MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions] team.


GLOBAL FACE OF PHARMA Implementing successful global meetings management is demanding pharma’s attention these days. The challenges of effective sourcing, data management, return on investment, and positioning within the organizational infrastructure are driving the search for innovative solutions to meet a multinational, multicultural business environment. A new report, “The View from the Other Side of the Pond” by Advito, an independent consulting unit of BCD Travel, in interviews with key stakeholders with successful European SMM programs, provides a roadmap for achieving success across diverse markets. “These results are possible despite the complications of languages and cultural differences in meetings consolidation,” says George Odom, Advito senior director Business Development. “Travel department decision makers at Pfizer, APRIL 2008

Lilly, and GlaxoSmithKline cite key best practices at the heart of their companies’ successful global meetings programs.” While the primary components of meetings management (hotel, air, and ground transport) appear to follow transient travel practices, the unique nature of the meetings sector can—when acknowledged within the organization—lead to overall cost savings and the successful coordination of a SMM program. Key business differences exist between Europe and North America, specifically in hotel negotiations and meeting-space restrictions. Proven success models, however, demonstrate that meetings management consolidation and alignment within the global organization is a reality outside of the North American market. BARRIERS AND SOLUTIONS Stakeholder interviews in the report show that users’ interest, management support, and intercompany communications rank as the number-one challenge in global SMM. Differences in culture and language, legal and regulatory issues, and technology adoption tie for number two. User buy-in Engaging the support of the appropriate individuals, particularly senior management with meetings responsibility, often poses the most difficult barrier to overcome. Hurdling this critical barrier will determine the level of overall success of the SMM program. Cultural and language differences Consolidating and coordinating programs across multicultural groups presents unique challenges. Language differences, as well as disparities from region to region in meetings practices and terminologies, pose clear obstacles to successful meetings

ORGANIZATION AND MARKET BARRIERS TO MEETINGS CONSOLIDATION AND ALIGNMENT Key stakeholders in the European region provided a ranking of the top industry challenges to consolidation and alignment of meetings within the organization outside of the North American market. 1 = most significant challenge / 5 = least significant challenge Challenges






Cultural and language differences Legal and regulatory User interest, management support, intercompany communications Technology—acceptance, adoption, availability Finances and funding—consolidated spend SOURCE: ADVITO 2007

management. Effectively crossing boundaries of language, nationality, or geography requires a basic awareness of any unfamiliar cultures that are likely to be encountered—before starting the process. Legal and regulatory issues Another significant barrier to the successful implementation of a global SMM program centers upon corporate operational accountability and regulations. Pharmaceutical regulations outside of the United States vary by country, says Advito’s Odom. In Europe, the regulations are especially stringent. As a result, some companies have experts within each country who must be contacted by the meeting planner. This is particularly true when attendees come from several different countries and all regulations have to be reviewed to ensure compliance with the strictest regulations.

Technology acceptance, adoption, availability Technology simultaneously represents one of the greatest challenges to and one of the highest potential gains in cost savings and baseline success tracking. Most critical to success is the technology tool’s data-capture component. Establishing a baseline for the scope of the organization’s global meetings spend and vendor usage is imperative to the determination of savings and successes gained year over year. Finances and funding In many global organizations, meetings costs and processes are not within the focus of finance and senior management. Gaining the collective awareness of finance, procurement, and senior management requires extensive fact-finding and data collection to present a preliminary meeting-cost overview.




Every employee is a meeting buyer Organization contracts are negotiated across all departments with diverse terms and conditions and pricing. Often have internal competition for same venue.

Create a centralized procurement group Procurement and financial services are able to leverage policies to capture and harness buying power and risk mitigation across the organization.

Consistent, intelligent purchasing, with savings estimates of 20% to 30%.

Cross-border venue shopping by phone Lots of discussions, many hours.

Implement online technology Offer meeting planners specialized listing of venues, pre-negotiated packages, organizational meeting history, and coordination.

Data capture, information sharing, meeting coordination across regions and local markets. Consistent quality.

Multiple payment methods Lack of centralized accounting methods prohibit effective spend picture.

Involve finance and accounting Create standardized accounting codes and line items for meetings management.

Data consolidation for leveraged purchasing and spend accountability. Established baseline for year-over-year budget planning.




APRIL 2008

CONVERGENCE OF MEETINGS AND PROCUREMENT The rising need for cost containment in the meetings management arena is leading to more procurement department involvement in the buying of meeting services and contract negotiations. Procurement is always looking for additional areas where the organization may save money, and meeting spend is one of the last areas of unmanaged spend within organizations. Shifting the negotiation and hotel-contract process to procurement often begins data consolidation initiatives as well. Double-digit savings have been

reported by organizations involving procurement in meeting negotiations. ROI FOR MEETINGS Demonstrating the return on investment (ROI) for meetings is increasingly becoming the measure of meeting value. ROI is defined as the measure or accountability that answers the question: Is there a financial return for investing in a meeting? The answer involves capturing the fully loaded meeting costs, converting data into monetary values, and determining the outcome of the meeting on the value. “Our clients are looking to measure

ROI against their overall investment in resources,” says Mary MacGregor, vice president, BCD Meetings & Incentives. “They are looking for a positive return based on measuring the savings in actual meeting spend as well as negotiated savings with vendors. We have also been able to offer a solution that measures the ROE (return on the event) their meetings. In these cases, we survey attendee attitudes and knowledge pre- and post-event to evaluate the impact of the meeting on key business initiatives. Both measurements provide important data to support meeting and event programs.” SUMMING UP A number of consistent trends and best practices are at the heart of successful meetings programs in Europe: Create collaborative event groups or a global event council Develop a working community of individuals that is empowered to align processes and best practices across the organization. Ensure that the global SMM program includes representation by meeting-coordination members from cross-functional and multicountry business units. Ensure group efforts involve overarching strategies of the organization Collective buy-in among the meetings professionals of the organization will better drive senior management buy-in of proposed meetings policies and procedures. The involvement of the procurement and finance departments ensures visibility within the organization for the cost effectiveness and savings of the centralized meetings management program. Balance local success with global strategy Local meetings management ensures awareness of market idiosyncrasies by stakeholders from local MICE teams. It also increases the buy-in with the global initiatives for capturing data in centralized spend categories. The contributions of all markets are represented in the big picture. Share information The speed of change in today’s economy—and in the meetings industry itself—requires the effective sharing of organizational information. Communication is key to the cohesive behavior of the meetings management teams. MAKING IT WORK Such best practices are what drives Pfizer, Lilly, and GlaxoSmithKline’s successful global meetings programs, as seen in the case studies on the following pages:



APRIL 2008

Mandating the capture of meeting spend Pfizer’s 39-Country Solution


fizer chose to implement a data-consolidation tool as one of the first steps in the centralization of meeting spend,” says Sue Shillam, Pfizer’s director of Global Travel, EMEA. Pfizer enlisted the organization’s global finance group to mandate centralized cost-center usage to ensure that all meeting spend was captured. As the technology was implemented, Pfizer discovered that some individual markets had as many as 20 meeting agencies, adding to the complexity of centralized data capture. Unlike many SMM programs that start in North America and spread to Europe, Pfizer’s meetings management strategy began from within the United Kingdom, Shillam says. Thirty-nine countries are now included in the SMM program, with special focus on 24 of the larger European markets. Both global guidelines and regional policies have been implemented across the company. In recognition of individual-market considerations, the SMM program is centrally coordinated but

1/2 Horizontal Ad

regionally managed, as Pfizer finds it unnecessary to make it “one size fits all.” Prior to consolidation, Pfizer recognized that meeting expenses were incurred from attrition and cancellations. Moreover, competition for the same venue space among internal meetings groups often increased overall meeting costs. Other big challenges centered upon the identification of meeting responsibility and data capture at the local level. The company was able to identify 90 percent of their meeting spend; however, they were not able to identify the source. Pfizer formed a global meeting council with four regional councils made up of individuals who are responsible for both consolidated travel and meetings. Through the consolidation of responsibility and data, Pfizer identified that meeting spend is five times greater than transient travel spend. As a result, the stakeholders, with assistance from Pfizer’s global finance services, are working to change behaviors and drive program changes.

Involving procurement can be key Lilly’s Lessons Learned


ajor pharmaceutical companies may find opportunities for significant savings by involving the procurement department in meetings negotiations,” said Richard Darley, manager, Lilly European Travel and Fleet. As the Lilly MICE teams were brought together to discuss processes and opportunities, they quickly identified several common initiatives that supported a centralized meetings program: • Improve communication – Developing a central voice to communicate the concerns of MICE leaders to senior management is key – Overall success hinges upon communicating meetings processes and activities • Apply consistent sourcing strategy to ensure supplier-performance management • Develop group air transport for consistency, quality, and value

• Establish a metric for measurement and development of best practices • Optimize repeat programs with suppliers, concentrating on earlier bookings to secure space • Deploy a centralized software platform (single hotel database for quality control) – Spreading meeting costs throughout multiple budgets under separate financial accounts prohibits consolidation of the organization’s meeting spend – Centralized data capture raises awareness for senior management of meeting spend and opportunities for savings The Six Sigma project that Darley is currently leading might hold the key to bringing the Lilly MICE teams’ initiatives to light. Six Sigma has strong senior management support, and its focus on driving consistency and consolidation lend additional support for consolidating the strategic meetings management program.

Finding 30 percent savings on meetings GlaxoSmithKline’s ROI


hrough intensive internal change management and intelligently negotiated external agreements, the centralized venue-sourcing group at GlaxoSmithKline has been able to achieve between 20 and 30 percent savings on meetings costs, according to Virginia Harris, the company’s sourcing group manager, Transient & Group Travel, Europe. GlaxoSmithKline’s venue-sourcing group does not own the meeting budget, but rather seeks to influence costs by getting the best savings for the organization. GSK has been actively consolidating meetings in both Europe and the United States for approximately three years. The internal GSK meetings management group focuses primarily on group air and venue sourcing, while actual event management is handled by internal individuals or

outsourced to meeting suppliers. By applying GSK procurement resources, venue sourcing has been able to establish guidelines and break through market barriers, achieving significant cost savings in the meeting sector. In the European meetings management-consolidation process, one of the greatest challenges has been the acceptance of meeting-planning quality levels by meeting organizers and senior management. Expectations for event quality are driven by individuals, not corporate standards, and vary greatly from meeting planner to meeting planner— resulting in variances in cost-per-delegate levels. However, meeting spend is now getting senior management attention, and the venue-sourcing group has noticed more planning around meeting budgets, cost savings, season, location, and costs for meetings.

Bruce Morgan is SVP of BCD Meetings & Incentives. He can be reached at 24


APRIL 2008


How Safe are Your Meetings?

Security consultant Richard Heffernan worked with artist Maria Rabinky to illustrate the risks at a typical off-site meeting.



APRIL 2008

Can you spot 12 risks—some physical, some digital—in the room? (Find the answers on the next page.)

t an off-site meeting, convergence is not a theory. It’s a real-world necessity. Gathered in a room thousands of miles away from headquarters may be every imaginable risk to a company’s intellectual property—from looselipped catering staff to hacked Internet connections to surreptitious recording devices. No matter how sumptuous the site, the risks are real, especially when the meeting involves the company’s long-term strategy or other sensitive information. And these days, the stakes for pharma couldn’t be higher. Securing the meeting requires a broad spectrum of both digital and physical defensive measures. Businesspeople may well ask, “‘These are fine hotels that we’re going to-what could possibly happen there?’” Plenty, according to Dave Kent, CSO of biotech company Genzyme. “People will come in and try to get into the meetings,” he says. “It could be independent financial analysts who are trying to get some advance bits of information for the mosaic they need to project where the company is headed. It could be competitors. It could be people who just want to eat the food. If you’re not careful, the opportunity could be there for someone to do something they wouldn’t normally do—so why make it easy?” In fact, why not make it as hard as possible? The following are the risks illustrated in the accompanying graphic. And what you can do to fix them. Even better, you can give yourself bonus points for going the extra distance to make your ship as tight as possible:


by Sarah D. Scalet



RISK 1 Signs outside draw attention to the nature of the meeting. Fix: Signs should say Private Meeting. Bonus points: For especially sensitive meetings, book the whole affair under a fictitious company name. Also consider setting up a white-noise machine outside the conference room to prevent anyone from standing outside the door and eavesdropping.

RISK 2 Participant is checking her e-mail using the hotel’s high-speed network. Fix: Set up a secure support room with a computer and docking station that are connected to headquarters via a virtual private network, where your company’s employees can check their e-mail or do other tasks. Bonus points: Encourage attendees to leave their laptops at home and use BlackBerrys instead. Not only do they

contain less sensitive information than a laptop, they’re small enough that individuals are more likely to keep them on their persons.

RISK 3 An employee has left his laptop unattended. Fix: Provide an area where participants who need to bring their laptops can securely check them. Bonus points: Before the meeting, send out a letter reminding attendees to leave their laptops in the designated area rather than in their hotel rooms, if they need to bring their laptops at all. This letter should be signed by the senior-most person attending the event.

RISK 4 Reports from the printer or copy center have not been secured. Fix: Have the printer sign a confidentiality agreement and agree not to tape the original copy to the outside of the box, where it can be easily perused. Provide secure transportation to and storage at the meeting location. Bonus points: Give attendees a secure way to get the materials they need back to headquarters, perhaps by providing self-addressed FedEx envelopes.

RISK 5 A second, more-subtle risk associated with local copy centers or shipping stores: An offsite attendee may have received a sensitive fax. Fix: In the secure support room, include a fax machine, photocopier, high-quality printer, and paper shredder so that people won’t have to use local copy shops or the hotel business center. Bonus points: Consider securing another extra room to be used as a lounge. Keep it stocked with snacks and drinks, and encourage people to take breaks there rather than in public areas.

RISK 6 The room could have been wired for sound and video before your company arrived. Fix: Before the meeting, sweep the room for bugs using professional countersurveillance equipment. Then make sure the room is locked or supervised at all times. Bonus points: Don’t forget that surveil10


APRIL 2008

lance devices can be planted in drop ceilings or adjacent rooms, or hidden in plain sight— disguised as smoke detectors, clocks, or even pens.

RISK 7 Catering staff could be hired or paid off by corporate spies. Fix: Make sure the hotel’s general manager or meeting planner has signed a confidentiality agreement on behalf of the hotel and staff. Bonus points: Pick the conference site carefully. Even a reputable chain hotel is only as good as the general manager of a particular site.

Fix: Make sure the audio-visual company has signed a confidentiality agreement. At the end of the day, erase all the presentations from the technician’s laptop. This should be done using a small program that the security staff has on a diskette, which will wipe and rewrite the information on the hard drive. Bonus points: If the room has windows, make sure projection equipment faces away from them so that no one outside can see what’s on the screen.

RISK 12 An uninvited guest has wandered into the room. Fix: A security officer should be stationed outside of the room at all times, checking those who enter against a list of those who are invited. Bonus points: Include photographs of the participants on this list. Sarah D.Scalet is managing editor at CSO Magazine. She can be reached at (Used with permission of CSO magazine. © 2008 All Rights Reserved)

RISK 8 Coffee urns could contain hidden surveillance devices. Fix: Be wary of anything brought into the room after it has been swept for bugs. Bonus points: Keep the amount of foodservice equipment in the room to a minimum to decrease the number of places a surveillance device could be hidden.


1/2 Page Ad

The service door is unprotected. Fix: Make sure that all service doors are locked whenever security is not present. Monitor back corridors during the event if necessary. Bonus points: The locks on all the doors to the room should be re-cored, and only the hotel manager and the company’s security staff should have the key. If the room can’t be locked for some reason, a security officer should be stationed in the room starting after the bug sweep.

RISK 10 Wireless microphones are transmitting meeting content outside the room. Fix: Make sure that all unencrypted wireless microphones have been removed from the room and replaced with encrypted ones. Bonus points: Bring your own wireless microphones in case the conference center doesn’t have them.

RISK 11 The audio-visual technician who is running the projection equipment has stored all of the presentations on her laptop. APRIL 2008 A SUPPLEMENT TO PHARMACEUTICAL EXECUTIVE




Pharma meetings aren’t like other meetings. Executives and staff at KSL properties are trained to find out what makes them different and how to comply.

PHARMA By Marylyn Donahue


he eye-catching KSL-owned resorts shown here may look like other high-end meeting destinations—gorgeous locations, golf courses, and vistas to die for. But they offer something different, something not immediately apparent: They are all pharma fluent. Nothing indicates this is a widespread meeting trend, but the more you know about KSL’s initative, the more you’ll wish it were.


So what, exactly, does pharma fluent mean? It means executives and service staffs at all KSL-owned properties are trained in the current governing procedures and industry codes that influence pharmaceutical meetings. And how does anyone become fluent in a foreign language? They take a course. “The pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest-growing in the meetings arena, but it is also probably the least understood,” says Michael Erickson, senior vice president of sales at KSL Resorts. “So we created a standard training program that teaches our sales and operations teams to be fluent in the pharmaceutical industry. This expertise clearly differentiates us from our competition.” The training program, PEP (Pharmaceutical Expertise Program), was conceived and implemented in conjunction with Master Connection Associates, a third-party sales training company. It is administered to KSL’s staff, including those in sales and marketing, catering and conference services, accounting, and group reservations, as well as the front-office managers, executive committee, and audio-visual teams. The course informs participants about regulations affectingpharmaceutical companies, the most important being the PhRMA Code of Interactions with Healthcare Professionals. 26


APRIL 2008


In a recent interview with Pharmaceutical Executive, Erickson described at length what PEP entails and how it is implemented: How did the course come about? Pharmaceutical meetings are very nice to have. So we talked to some senior pharmaceutical executives to see what they were looking for in a meeting destination. It turns out they weren’t so interested in things like special rates. What they wanted was to be understood. They said: “If your people know what is important to us and why, and that makes it easier for us to just come in and not have to worry about the basic elements, we’ll come back more often, because we know you guys can do it right.”

generally have unique needs that we are cognizant of—having locked meeting rooms, having paper shredders available so they don’t have to throw out sensitive material in the general trash. Storage needs are attended to and are secure. Any materials left over are considered intellectual property and are always returned to the planner. Pharma is in the spotlight so much these days. Do you find obser ving the rules has become all the more impor tant? Very much so. I think the industry wants to make sure it’s regulating itself versus having some government agency do it. Pharma companies would rather err on the side

What is taught in the course, and how do you implement it? We’ve devoted the last few years to making sure our management and key meetings people understand what makes a pharmaceutical meeting different. It’s not just about putting on an event. The two days of intensive training encompass everything: the difference between an internal and external meeting, the history of the pharmaceutical industry, the structure and divisions of pharmaceutical companies, the unique terms and vocabulary of the industry, the trends in meeting consolidation, and the differences between pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare and biotech companies. Has the staff been receptive to the course? Actually, they’ve been quite intrigued. Healthcare is such a big topic in the country nowadays that they are very interested to find out more about it personally as well as from a work standpoint. Can you give me an example of something a pharma meeting planner might view as special? We make sure everyone understands the importance of confidentiality. Sometimes meetings involve a new product launch, so confidentiality is very important, as well as security. We also understand what can go on a pharmaceutical company’s master bill and what the individual attendees, such as doctors, haveto pay for themselves. Pharma meeting planners

of caution. We understand that. Since the program, have your pharma meeting bookings increased? Oh, definitely. We are seeing a continued resurgence into the latter part of 2008 and into 2009 for sure. How much of KSL’s business comes from the industry? About 25 percent of our group meetings. What kinds of meetings do you frequently host? We do a little bit of everything, which is why everyone needs to understand the nuances of each. We do quite a bit of sales conferences for a particular product line, that’s one type of meeting. Those are typically larger. We’ll do investigator meetings, which can be smaller. We’ve done some sales incentives for some of these companies. Each one is different and has its own unique qualities. Do you see your pharma meeting training as ongoing? It’s a continued focus of ours. Managers get refresher courses every six months, for instance. We don’t want to lose sight of what we’re doing. We’ve invested time, effort, and our resources. It is very much a part of the way we see ourselves. There are a lot of general practitioners out there when it comes to meetings. We’d like to be seen as the specialists.

APRIL 2008

Marylyn Donahue is Pharmaceutical Executive’s special projects editor. She can be reached at A SUPPLEMENT TO PHARMACEUTICAL EXECUTIVE



How to Lose the

E-Snooze E-meetings may be costeffective, but let’s face it, they’re often dull. Here are 8 ways to wake them up by Bill Cooney Don’t be boring The most scintillating speaker in a live setting can come off as a total bore in an e-meeting. Part of the problem is there’s no eye-contact or audience to provide a reaction. How, then, to generate the energy and group dynamic of face-to-face meetings so a speaker can feed off of it? >> Train and prepare differently. Speakers need the confidence and particular skills to facilitate a virtual meeting.


-meetings are suffering. And suffering the most are the people who have to endure them. Once a novel, cost-efficient, and savvy alternative to off-site meetings, e-meetings or web-conferencing (which supports a significant meeting event, as opposed to a conference call) has become, in far too many cases, a ho-hum experience—or worse. The mistake is confusing convenience with ease. Planning an e-meeting may not involve complicated travel logistics, but, in truth, it is no less complicated to launch. And in many ways, it might even be more challenging. Meeting planners may well agree that e-meetings need to be organized differently to hold the attention of remote participants. They might even agree there’s a need to add interest by using multimedia more effectively and to foster interaction by using advanced web-conference features. But what exactly does it entail? And how do you go about making it part of your best meeting practices? Here are eight things to do that will make a difference: APRIL 2008

>> Include some mix of slideeffects, mark-up tools, live video, and group interaction.

Edit PowerPoint slide sets The only thing worse than a long PowerPoint presentation is a long remote PowerPoint presentation. >> Give presenters 33 percent less time than they typically might take.

>> Employ the 6-by-6 rule (no more than six bullet points per slide and six words per bullet).

>> Have a professional convert all slide sets into e-meetingfriendly versions. A SUPPLEMENT TO PHARMACEUTICAL EXECUTIVE



Slow down and talk clearly When presenting to a group, most people tend to speed up their speech. Voice clarity tends to degrade over phone lines and/or the Internet. >> Vary tone. Emphasize important points by talking louder.

>> Use a remote-controlled “slow down” light on the podium.

Get everyone involved Audience engagement is key. Avoid long lectures (especially important for medical professionals). >> Use web-conference platforms with features that foster audience involvement, i.e. audience polling.

>> Consider an interactive chat feature, which is an easy way for participants to say what they think without having to step up to a microphone.

Dazzle with brilliance No need for your audience to stare at a screen while the presenter drones on as one static slide after another appears. >> Employ live video, using desktop video cameras.

>> Have presenters train on mark-up tools, such as arrow pointers and underliners. >> Create a per-slide storyboard. A web-conference specialist can apply the multimedia effects for the presenters.

Set the stage Use well-crafted introductory remarks. Remember, the audience can’t see a meeting room. >> Introduce presenters or panel members and supply clear transitions to polling or question-andanswer sessions.

>> Script introductions, transitions, and all planned comments, and rehearse.

Kill the glitches Minor technical problems can disrupt an event or cascade into a major problem. >> Research the different services offered—low-cost self-service models, as opposed to a richer and more-extensive mix. >> Fail-over systems and contingency plans should be explained by your provider.

Work your plan The golden rule is to have an e-meeting plan, and work the plan. >> Provide e-meeting presenters and hosts with a clear set of best practices. >> Insist they follow through with your plan.

None of the above rules guarantee a memorable, engaging e-meeting. As anyone who plans meetings—virtual or offsite—knows, there are too many variables to be able to make promises. Still, by employing them, you are doing your attendees a favor. You are helping them feel connected and stimulated while achieving your communications goals. Bill Cooney is founder and CEO of MedPoint Communications. He can be reached at 34


APRIL 2008

Pmfd 2008 non ad pages  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you