The Evolving Global Meeting Management Strategy (PH111)


  • Improve meeting planning efficiency to win physician attendance

    In today's competitive environment, meeting planners in the life sciences industries are increasingly required to take on greater responsibilities. No longer relegated to spots as marketing support personnel, meeting planners play a strategic role. To bolster this transition, most companies employ centralized structures for their meeting planning departments. More than ever before, meeting planners interact with and serve an entire organization. 

    Becoming a strategic function provides key advantages for meeting management, but the change also brings new challenges on top of complex compliance-related issues. By and large, regulatory pressures have dramatically altered companies' meeting management practices — from selecting meeting sites, to tracking physician spending, and attracting doctors to attend.

    This study is the culmination of a yearlong collaboration between Cutting Edge Information, Medical Meetings magazine and the Center for Business Intelligence. The report reveals critical trends across the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries. Use the report's hard-to-find benchmarking data and in-depth analysis to take meeting management to the next level:

    • Overcome compliance-related roadblocks
    • Coordinate global compliance
    • Balance internal and external customer demands
    • Boost meeting attendance and participation
    • Forge successful relationships with vendors
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  • Companies Included in Meeting Planning Research

    • Abbott Laboratories
    • Amgen
    • BARD Urological Division
    • Biogen Idec
    • Bristol-Myers Squibb
    • Eli Lilly
    • EMD Serono
    • Holland & Knight
    • Hospira
    • Human Genome Sciences
    • Johnson & Johnson
    • Medtronic
    • Merck
    • Merck Serono
    • Pioneer Surgical Technology
    • Roche
    • Schering-Plough
    • Stiefel Labs
    • Stryker Spine
    • Takeda
    • Wyeth
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  • Meeting Planning Metrics

    The Evolving Global Meeting Management Strategy contains more than 250 metrics and over 100 graphs. Although the following does not list every chart, it represents the report's key concepts. Where appropriate, the study's data are broken down further into company type — pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies.

    The report's first two chapters include process and activities data collected from 21 leading life sciences companies. Metrics include the following:

    • Impact of regulations on companies' meeting planning efforts
    • Meeting venues per company type in 2007 and 2008
    • Percentage of domestic meetings versus international meetings
    • Regions where meetings are held, by company
    • Share of companies that have a centralized meeting department
    • Departments involved in strategic decision making
    • Department age
    • Determining ROI on meetings
    • Number of meetings planned in 2007 versus 2008 by company type
    • Breakdowns of internal and external meetings by company type
    • Department leadership levels by company type


    The report's third chapter focuses on budgets, headcounts and outsourcing data. Key metrics include:

    • Meeting planning staffing in 2007 versus 2008
    • Spending changes from 2007 to 2008 (showing an increase or decrease)
    • Meeting spending levels in 2007 and 2008, by individual company and company type
    • Average spend per meeting in 2007 versus 2008
    • Internal and external meeting formats
    • Functions contributing to meeting planning budget
    • Percentage of meeting budgets that are outsourced
    • Outsourced activities for meeting planners
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  • Meeting Planning Report Sample

    The following is excerpted from Chapter 1, "Regulations and Guidelines." For a more detailed explanation of compliance issues and coordinating meeting planning activities, please purchase the full report.

    In recent years, the rate of regulatory change has grown exponentially. Each country adds its own regulations, in addition to EMEA regulations and non-pharma-specific regulations, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. All of these regulations have prompted businesses to establish stringent compliance guidelines to prevent any appearance of impropriety.

    Most surveyed companies agree that most of the regulations are beneficial to the pharmaceutical market, but the overly cautious operating procedures are damaging efficiency. A Company P executive estimates that 75% of his department's time is spent combing through legal language to ensure that the team remains compliant. The other 25% is the actual meeting planning work. The executive says that, three years ago, almost 100% of the meeting planners' time was devoted to actually planning meetings. His job duties were to schedule a meeting and invite the doctors. "They would all meet and hopefully patients would benefit from better educated physicians."

    Today, differing regulations have made it nearly impossible for...


    The following is excerpted from Chapter 2, "Structure and Strategic Positioning, Activities, Timelines and Processes."

    The trend toward centralization of meeting planning departments has influenced every aspect of meeting planning, including planning processes and timelines. To manage the high volume of meetings that have become common to the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries, many companies have given their meeting planners more strategic roles. With many customers, both internal and external, to satisfy, many meeting planners use their new decision-making authority to accomplish tasks through delegation and vigilant interdepartmental communication.

    Number of Meetings Planned Per Year

    Contrary to some meeting planners' beliefs, the number of meetings planned will increase slightly in 2008. Although some companies are scaling back the number of meetings they plan each year, all segments — medical devices, biotechnology and pharmaceutical — of companies will average an increase in 2008.

    Figure 2.28 [Data charts appear in complete report] displays the average number of meetings that were planned in 2007 compared to the number that companies are planning for 2008, assorted by company type. On average, each surveyed company planned an average 419 meetings in 2007 and expects to reach...

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