5 Things Medcomms Need to Do for Better Speaker Bureaus


There is a growing list of reasons why Medcomm agencies are under more pressure than ever to deliver greater results for their pharma clients.  At the same time, this offers a great opportunity – read on to hear our 5 Things Medcomms Need to Do for Better Speaker Program Management…


An Opportunity for Medcomms to Lead

The operating environment for pharma marketing is more challenging than ever before:

The good news is, this added scrutiny on commercialization creates a tremendous opportunity for Medcomms who can take the lead with their pharma clients and demonstrate added efficiencies.


The Benefits of In-Person Speaker Bureaus

Even in these current days of webinars, video conferences, social networking, and content marketing, there’s no substitute for face-to-face encounters. Live in-person events are more effective, more influential, and provide better results. Just ask pharmaceutical sales reps on the front lines with HCPs (healthcare providers) and they’ll tell you, “speaker events are critical to building awareness of specific products.”

[QUICK TIP:] In recent Pharmagin research, over 90% of HCPs interviewed said they still attend speaker programs regularly as an important part of their ongoing professional education.

In fact, most pharma marketers agree speaker bureaus are:

        • The go-to approach for a product launch.
        • A great scientific way of educating HCPs through clinically relevant information.
        • Excellent at creating credibility by engaging HCPs in a peer-to-peer discussion.


The Challenges of Speaker Programs

There is little doubt that speaker bureaus are still king for campaign launches, but they do come with their set of challenges.

        • Pharmaceutical sales reps are getting shut out of increasingly larger hospital groups and “no see” medical centers making HCP recruitment to attend speaker programs a growing challenge.
        • Live speaker program events can also be expensive. On average, most pharmaceutical companies spend anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 for every KOL (key opinion leader) speaker event.
        • With the added scrutiny of budgetary concerns and the Sunshine Act requirements for disclosure, having real-time detailed data capture across all speaker program spending streams is critical to provide transparency and meet regulatory adherence.
        • Many Medcomm agencies are not in a position to grow their event management and logistics capabilities to sufficiently handle the required volume of speaker events their pharma clients would like to hold.

If your agency is not prepared to handle these challenges, you are likely missing out on a giant piece of potential revenue!


5 Key Areas of Focus for Better Speaker Program Events

While many Medcomm agencies excel at message development and recruiting key opinion leading speakers, the complexities of data and process management are often times beyond their scope. Without the core infrastructure and technologies in place to streamline program processes, they often operate with homegrown databases or excel spreadsheets.

Given these quite common limitations, what do Medcomm agencies need to do to go from managing 200 events to 20,000 events? How do you go beyond mere execution to proactively measure the rate of return for these events, determine how effective they are, ensure compliance, and provide a new form of value to pharma clients?

Besides staffing up to meet the demand for additional events, we believe there are 5 key areas every Medcomm agency should prioritize to optimize speaker program events:

        •     Use the latest data management technology
        •     Standardize operational processes and workflow
        •     Improve transparency, reporting, and client communication
        •     Enable deeper engagement between Pharma and HCPs
        •     Nurture KOL relationships

We’ll explore these 5 Things Medcomms Need to Do for Better Speaker Program Management in deeper detail within upcoming blogs. But at the end of the day, the Medcomm agency that can handle more KOL (key opinion leader) speaker bureau programs, demonstrate greater performance impact, and meet the compliance goals of their pharma clients, will ultimately have an improved chance to grow their business.


Read our “Agency Technology – Build or Buy” blog to learn whether or not outsourcing technology is right for your agency.


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