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Medical Meetings: The Supply Chain Needs to “Get It”

Do the hoteliers, destination partners, and third-parties you work with understand what's unique about HCP meetings?

When planning medical meetings, all parties need to be mindful (read: careful, sensible, thoughtful)—especially if there will be healthcare professionals in attendance.

In the healthcare sector, there are both regulated and non-regulated meetings. Regulated meetings have HCPs in attendance: advisory boards, investigator meetings, symposia, and association/congress events. Non-regulated meetings don’t; they can be incentive trips, sales meetings, research and development meetings, and teambuilding events, among others. Some hotels and destinations might be suitable for both types of meetings, while others may be better suited to one type or the other. Hotels, destinations, and independent planning agencies all need to understand how to work with this market.

Hoteliers and other venues need to sell effectively to the healthcare sector by developing proposals and conducting site inspections that demonstrate their understanding of the nuances of these regulated meetings. Additionally, venues need to properly operate HCP meetings by educating various departments on requirements for regulated meetings. For example, the chef will need to create menus that adhere to corporate meal caps; the accounting department will need to develop invoices that provide line-item costs per person, and service staff should not change meeting rooms or upgrade meals or breaks.

Destinations should approach their medical meetings marketing with thoughtful, purpose-built collateral materials that demonstrates their understanding of the appropriate language, imagery, and knowledge (LIK) necessary to successfully attract healthcare meetings. This means avoiding terms such as "lavish," "extravagant," and "exclusive" and using terms such as "business," "contemporary," and "unique."

Agencies need to be a seamless extension of their client. It is vital that the agency have a visceral understanding of their client's compliance guidelines, as each corporation will interpret regulations differently. Best-in-class agencies will provide the most current information to their clients on global regulations that may affect their medical meetings.

If you are part of the mindful medical meetings supply chain, you can become a trusted advisor to your corporate planners by being part of the solution in a few ways:
• Adhere to their corporate compliance guidelines
• Provide accurate "transfer of value" (TOV) reporting
• Help protect their corporate intellectual property

Those of you who are corporate planners, be sure to select partners who truly understand how to plan mindful medical meetings, especially those with HCPs in attendance.

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