Whether you want to launch a new product in the market, increase your brand awareness, or present yourself as the industry leader, conducting pharmaceutical events can prove to be extremely valuable for you as a pharmaceutical company.

But before throwing tremendous sums on your event, having a clear roadmap of the why’s and how’s of pharmaceutical event management is crucial.

So if you’re planning your next pharmaceutical event, the following tips will help you plan, execute, and manage your event for maximum returns.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is paramount for any event to be successful. If you’re unsure of the “why” of your pharmaceutical event, there’s little chance you’ll get anything out of it.

Therefore, before starting to plan and strategize, a clear goal needs to be determined. It can be anything from promotion or brand awareness to sale.

Once you have set a clear goal (or set of goals), you can plan towards achieving it. While there are many different opinions about how to set goals, we’ll use SMART goals to help illustrate clear goal-setting.

Here are some common goal types, and some possible SMART points that you might use:

Goal: Share information with professionals industry-wide. 

  • S: Communicate new industry standards with professionals in the research field.
  • M: Attract attendees from all top industry associations. 
  • A: Choose a meeting platform that can accommodate our needs, and promote through a multi-faceted event marketing campaign. 
  • R: At minimum, one representative per organization should be in attendance.
  • T: Start marketing four months prior to the event to maximize reach.

Goal: Increase brand awareness.

  • S: Attract customers from new markets to attend the event.
  • M: Collect a minimum of 200 new contacts through registrations.
  • A: Provide value through pre-event promotion and co-promotion activities with industry leaders.
  • R: Based on contact creation rate of 200 from events in existing markets, new markets should yield similar results.
  • T: Schedule daily content for six weeks prior to event.

Planning

After goal setting, comes planning.

Pharmaceutical event management requires rigorous organizational skills and adherence to deadlines. Such attributes are helpful when the event lead times are shorter with nothing more than a few weeks. There’s a lot to do in such little time e.g. setting up landing pages and registration portals, marketing, logistics, etc.

Since the tasks are distributed among various individuals (or teams), sticking to a timeline ensures maximum coordination.

Going with a virtual event platform reduces the event costs tremendously and lifts a great chunk of responsibility off the event planning committee’s shoulders. The project manager will prove to be a great resource during the planning phase. S/he will provide effective event management tips and features to attain the event goals.

You can also schedule in-house meetings to track, record progress, and increase coordination and accountability in terms of resource and time management.

Pro tip: When coming up with the event schedule, make sure your event is not coinciding with any other major event that might interfere with yours in any way.

Budgeting

We tend to idealize and imagine the best possible scenario. However, during the manifestation of our ideas, a lot of compensation is required to meet the limitations of reality.

Same is the case with pharmaceutical industry events. While we may tend to have planned a lot, our resources and budget might not be enough to account for our extravagant ideas for our event.

To avoid such discrepancies, event budgeting is crucial. It allows us to make realistic expectations and aids in better pharmaceutical event management.

You should prioritize the bare necessities. And having a set goal in mind helps in deciding what is important and what can be let go in case of budget constraints.

Additionally, the event format you choose to go with will be a huge role. While in-person events see the smallest ROI, virtual events are the least expensive option. However, with hybrid events you can accommodate both in-person and virtual attendees on a budget that’s between the other two formats.

Deciding the Event Agenda

sample agenda from a vfairs event

Again, knowing what you want to achieve through the pharmaceutical event will help in coming up with a clear agenda for it. Drafting an agenda will, subsequently, help in scheduling the event. Your agenda should engage the prevalent problems of your target demographic and try to solve them through your product/s.

For maximum traction and engagement at the event, it’s best to invite industry experts based on your event agenda and availability of the presenters. Having meaningful talks with the audience and providing value is a great way to create long-term relationships with potential leads.

Marketing the Event

The success of an event is based on the quality (relevancy) and quantity of it’s attendees. And the better the marketing strategy, the more people you’ll have at your event.

But it’s not just about the strategy, the marketing budget is also a huge factor for event promotion.

So it’s always wise to know where to spend your marketing budget. For that, it’s important to know what demographic you want to target and what’s the most effective medium. You need to answer questions like ‘Will social media be a better marketing tool than conventional media?’

sample event landing page from a vFairs event

Event landing pages and email marketing are two of the most effective marketing strategies you can go with that come at minimal costs.

You can also partner up with other local companies that may have shared interest. For example, if your event agenda is based on nutrition, partnering up with a nutritionist or a local gym is a good idea. Not only can they share the expenses but can also attract an audience (potential leads) through their influence.

Engaging the Audience

Audience engagement is one of the key responsibilities of pharmaceutical event management.

You need to keep the audience engaged throughout the event. Various activities can be conducted to ensure audience engagement; for example, you can have participants play games, answer questionnaires, or take surveys.

You can also have Q&A sessions for a bi-lateral communication.

Having active moderators for different segments of the events is also crucial for engaging the audience. Moderators should be there to ensure that the event activities are running smoothly, the audience is invested in the event, and that the activities are directed towards the decided agenda. It’s not unusual for meetings and discussions to steer away from the initial point and, therefore, the importance of a dynamic and focused moderator cannot be stressed enough.

Networking

Pharmaceutical events provide a platform for effective networking. For most people, networking is, at least, the second most important reason for attending such events. Therefore, you should provide networking opportunities for the attendees.

This can be done in various ways, such as having scheduled time slots and dedicated venues for networking or conducting interactive sessions such as games or discussions. Additionally, hosting a live chat room where attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, and hosts can all connect is highly beneficial.

Post-Event Reporting

product mockup of our virtual event reporting dashboard

Your job does not end once the event is over. It is time to review your event’s success by analyzing event data regarding attendee behaviour, event engagement, resources viewed/downloaded, etc. (relevant in virtual settings).

Analyzing event data will help in measuring your event’s success, generating post-event reports, and coming up with more effective follow-up strategies.

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