Virtual Meetings: From Short-Term Stopgap to Secular Shift
Staci Hutchinson, Director, Client Services
Lauren Lopez, Client Service Manager
Nayanica Banerjee, Compliance Analyst
Apr 28, 2020

The escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the operations of pharmaceutical and life sciences field teams and will likely do so for some time to come. No one knows how long the coronavirus pandemic will keep the world — under a virtual lockdown, and epidemiological uncertainties mean that the Life Sciences industry will likely be using technology to supplant in-person interactions for some time to come.

Swapping out face-to-face meetings in favor of Zoom video conferences or WebEx online meetings might initially have been done in a rush and without much forethought other than keeping a schedule on some semblance of normalcy, but as resumption of normal activities looks to be months, rather than days or weeks away, it’s time for Life Sciences companies to start thinking strategically about their process for sourcing and managing virtual meetings technology.

Where Are You Now?

Cobbling together HCP meetings and promotional education from a scattering of different video service providers is an inefficient use of resources and poses unique compliance risks and commercial challenges. Without a disciplined and centralized approach for managing virtual meetings, business objectives and compliance requirements, such as transparency reporting, could fall through the cracks.

With the healthcare industry on the front lines of the global COVID-19 fight, the Life Sciences industry faces profound and potentially long-lasting shifts. A piecemeal approach is insufficient to sustain potentially long-term reliance on virtual meetings. Consolidation is a strategic move that can increase your efficiencies and deliver economies of scale while promoting continuity – a benefit to compliance and commercial teams alike.

What’s a Better Alternative?

How will you replace in-person meetings, speaker training and management, inclusive of compliance monitoring and transparency reporting? The gold standard is a turnkey virtual meetings solution that incorporates Strategic Meetings Management. When combined, you can enhance cross-silo visibility into commercial and compliance operations and more effectively deploy resources where they are most needed.

Do Your Current Tools Measure Up?

Benchmark your virtual meetings program against this list of mission-critical priorities:

  • Adequate capacity and proficiency with managing the logistical challenges and technology requirements for varying virtual meeting requirements
  • Sufficient scalability to accommodate webcasts or broadcasts with a larger number of viewers (50 or more) at satellite locations, where audience participation is encouraged and provided through a moderated format
  • A consolidated vendor management strategy that controls for cost and ideally provides end-to-end management of the virtual meeting lifecycle
  • Ability to provide training and preparation for virtual conferences for speakers, moderators, and other stakeholders
  • The flexibility to tailor content for digital formats, whilst ensuring that presentations and communications are approved and compliant
  • Monitoring of virtual interactions to ensure compliance with regulations regarding off-label promotion, anti-bribery and corruption, transparency reporting, etc.
  • A well-designed, intuitive user interface that empowers commercial teams with easy-to-use tools
  • Audience-capture metrics to pull through for compliant reporting and inform future resource allocation

Who Can Meet the Industry’s New Needs?

With a Strategic Meetings Management provider that offers all of these components, Life Science companies can enhance the reach of their educational programming and improve relationship-building with KOLs and HCP engagements.

IQVIA Virtual Meetings services delivers best-in-class digital events management. Deployed and used by 14 of the top 20 Life Sciences companies, this suite of solutions hosts more than 21,000 virtual meetings annually. The industry trusts IQVIA to manage both the logistics and event details as well as provide consultative support and strategic insights that can maximize ROI and achieve a satisfying user experience, every single time. For more information register for our upcoming webinar, “The Key Considerations When Moving Live HCP Engagements to Virtual”, happening on May 7th .

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