Using Technology for Smarter Speaker Programs Part 3 – Meeting Execution

Continuing our blog series “Using Technology for Smarter Speaker Programs”, now we have part 3 – Smarter Speaker Meeting Execution.

Part 1 – Budgeting

Part 2 – Selecting the Right Speaker

While much of the work of Speaker Meeting Programs goes on in the background prior to the actual event taking place, no one in attendance ever sees this side of the process. For all of the days and weeks of work, the event itself is a make or break affair in the 3 or 4 hours on the actual day. On top of this a poorly attended meeting is a Sales Rep’s worst nightmare; being the only person in the room alongside the speakers is an embarrassing scenario, but with the right preparation you can ensure perfect meeting execution.

Traditional Invitations
Simply being able to attract HCP’s to an event is a difficult task. Historically this has relied upon hand delivered paper invitations, returned by post or possibly a phone call. This system had several downsides … firstly the invitation actually arriving in the hand of the HCP, then not getting lost in a pile of papers, and then the lack of reliability of it being returned and actually registering it into the diary. With the advent of e-mail and electronic diaries, closely followed by smart phones which interface with both, this process has improved and the ability to electronically register for events has moved on leaps and bounds. Newer cloud based platform now to take this process to the next level.

Take it Online
New technological capabilities mean that attracting and capturing registration can be radically improved. Systems such as the Pharmagin platform, which interface with a broader CRM system, mean a target HCP can be selected and electronically invited to a meeting at the tap of a button. For larger meetings, it is perfectly feasible to streamline invitations as larger mailings and link these to an on-line registration site which would enable delegates to self-register. For smaller meetings, a simple response means that the Sales Rep may register the delegate to the meeting directly. This also means that each delegate can easily be allocated a required unique identifier and this data then synchronized to the CRM. The ability to manage this process electronically rather than through a paper trail has a positive carbon footprint implication as well as simplifying and reducing wasted time and effort from the employee. It also reduces the likelihood of data loss and human error in registering information. Improving the communication processes and digital advertising has the impact of increasing awareness, simplifying the procedure and should guarantee an improved response rate alongside a greater registration hit rate. All great elements to drive smarter speaker meeting execution.

Registration & Signature Capture
Given modern compliance laws, delegates are expected to register attendance on a paper based system on arrival at the event. This attendee list is often manually processed later. Although this is still considered the norm, it is no longer the only option for this process and certainly isn’t the most reliable mechanism for recording and storing information. Recent advanced include iPad apps for attendee tracking and on-site registration.

In line with Sunshine Act reporting requirements, signature capture is a necessity to prove attendance at a meeting. Having to obtain and then manually scan these signatures is a process open to errors and loss of information. Capturing signatures electronically not only negates the job of collating and scanning paper information, it also means that the information may be stored permanently at the point of contact. Furthermore, due to the fact that all personal information is confirmed in the electronic system prior to the start of the meeting at the same time as the signature is recorded, this drastically reduces room for errors from identification of the signatory or legibility of writing.

Dealing with IT Outages
In reality, we often experience IT issues, especially at hotels and other meeting venues. If the internet goes down at an inopportune moment it can cause a technological nightmare which all sales reps dread and create a real issue with regards to compliance adherence. A system which can operate and store signature capture data off-line has a particular advantage, and this is one of the unique selling points of new cloud based platforms. It is entirely possible to negate connectivity issues, capture and store all relevant information and then synchronize at a later, more convenient date. Not only does this save face, it has the opposite effect of creating a proactive impression and enhancing perceived professional image.

Ensuring Compliance
With regards to professionalism and corporate image, the ability to collate personal information and attendance evidence at source is gold-standard with regards to the Sunshine Act. It ensures that the HCP recognizes and confirms their understanding of Transfer of Value (ToV) and financial compensation as well as creating/matching the unique identifier – a requirement for activities which are open to disclosure. Simply being able to clarify and verify the implications of the receipt of items such as food and beverages ensures complete visibility for compliance purposes. The use of technology in these activities has rapidly become a fundamental requirement in meeting organization, ensuring best practice, compliance adherence and should be embraced within the ethical Pharma industry.

The Pharmagin cloud based meeting organization platform facilitates all aspects of attracting, registering and recording attendance at promotional events, enabling smarter speaker meeting execution. The ability to generate electronic invitations, detect response and then register and capture attendance via streamlined online systems and iPad app is a new concept which has the ability to transform meeting logistics from an arduous administrative nightmare to one which flows seamlessly through all stages. This fully interfaces with all other aspects of Speaker Program organization to supply a full service offering. For a no obligation demo and quote please contact