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It’s no secret that the pharmaceutical industry has seen unprecedented change over the past year. A recent report by Deloitte notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced pharmaceutical companies to accelerate research, manufacturing and marketing of drugs, and increase investment in digital technologies. Now, more than ever, pharmaceutical professionals need to stay connected. And up-to-date on the latest breakthroughs and trends in the industry.
Like others, pharmaceutical industry events have also seen a shift from in-person to virtual, especially after the pandemic hit.
Be it sales events, conferences, or expos, ‘virtual’ has a lot to offer in terms of convenience, profitability, and, most of all, reach due to it being delocalized.
And if you’re someone that hasn’t jumped the bandwagon yet, you’d be surprised how much you’re missing out on. To give you an idea, here some of the benefits of hosting virtual pharmaceutical industry events.
In-person conference logistics are a headache. So is managing (and arranging) all the equipment, technical (and support) staff, and everything else required for a conference – all at one place.
Going virtual saves you from all the hassle, allowing you more time for important matters such as the actual content of the conference and the required planning.
You can’t be at all places at once. But going virtual offers a comprehensive view of all the activities going on, on a single screen. Not only does it make the event management a lot easier, it allows for faster response rates (since everything’s right in front of you) in case any problem arises.
Since virtual events aren’t bound by spatial restrictions, companies don’t need to worry over deciding an appropriate venue that should not only be enough to cater a certain number of people but should also be accessible to the target audience. It’s rare to meet both these requirements. And, therefore, we see a significant number of dropouts only because they couldn’t reach the venue.
It becomes easier to reach a larger number of people. So does collaboration with industry experts that, otherwise, might not have made it.
Even though in-person events have certain strong points, the accessibility and convenience of a virtual event can’t be competed with.
Medical experts, especially practicing physicians and surgeons, find it hard to leave for a conference. And with the travelling restrictions COVID-19 has brought, it becomes even more of an issue.
Such issues are avoided by conducting pharmaceutical industry events virtually.
Participants can participate in presentations on developments in medicine or research in the field of pharmacy without having to leave their homes, let alone countries.
Researchers and presenters that would otherwise not make it to the conference will be able to present their research virtually, making it easier for conferences to collaborate with industry experts.
One of the perks of in-person conferences are the fun conversations people have over the refreshments counter.
In-person conferences, without a shred of doubt, provide numerous networking opportunities. And even though you won’t be able to talk to other participants while having a cup of coffee, technological advancements have enabled us to connect with amazing people virtually in ways that aren’t possible at physical events.
At physical events, you’re not sure who you’re going to bump into. But during virtual events, participants have the option to filter through profiles of other attendees based on their field of expertise, job title, company name, etc. This increases your chances of meeting interesting people that you could collaborate with in the future.
When it comes to providing valuable data and detailed insights, virtual pharmaceutical industry events beat in-person events by a considerable margin.
Event data in the form of navigational trends of participants and other activities such as content most viewed/downloaded and performance of various webinars/presentations provides valuable insight that would be tedious, if not impossible, to gather were it an in-person event.
Pharmaceutical companies can leverage this data and make important decisions regarding future goals, sales/marketing strategies, and branding. Studying these trends can also guide pharma companies to form strategies that would ensure a greater influx of attendees. And a better, more productive, event overall.
In-person pharmaceutical industry events demand considerable investment in the form of costs for marketing, sound systems, catering, stalls, exhibition booths, and whatnot.
Needless to say, the time required to plan an in-person conference can take up to 12 months.
Virtual events do not come with such costs. Online marketing doesn’t weigh down pockets. And the operational costs of virtual events is also reasonable compared to that of physical events. Going digital not only saves money, it also saves a lot of time. Planning a virtual event should not take more than 6 weeks of planning.
Another distinguishing feature of virtual events is the availability of on-demand content.
Most of the content from presentations to live webinars (and Q&A sessions) are recorded to be downloaded and viewed later on.
The pharma industry can use on-demand content to bring more people to attend their virtual conferences. Since recordings of all the webinars/presentations will be available, potential leads could enjoy the event (apart from networking) even after it has ended. This allows pharmaceutical companies to enhance their lead-generation.
In-person conferences usually hand-out documents, as a follow-up tactic. Most of these documents are either lost or thrown in the bin.
Virtual conferences, with their on-demand content and digital documents, have a better chance of increasing conversions.
The pharmaceutical industry has witnessed an increasing incline towards virtual events. The current global pandemic pushed the trend further. But the shift towards virtual is here to stay. One of them being the growing digital trends and expectations of the consumers.
The sooner you adapt to the shift, the easier it would be to cash the market in the coming digital future.
But, we realize that such a shift can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never arranged pharmaceutical industry events. But we have. And we can help you in overcoming potential challenges that come with virtual events such as technical faults, attendee engagement, etc.
Feel free to check out our guide on how to make the shift to virtual events.
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