Over 125 people showed up at the 11th Pharmaceutical Meeting Professionals' Summit at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia, PA on 4 and 5 November to share best practices and discuss some of the key topics affecting the pharmaceutical meeting planning industry.

Among the thought leaders who spoke at the conference was our very own CEO, Gavin Houston, who participated in an expert panel, sharing best practices in which the audience could learn from industry leaders.

Familiar faces were in attendance at the conference along with a lot of new faces who were attending the summit for their first time. Representation at the conference included large pharma, small pharma, medical device companies, hoteliers and third party meeting agencies.

The level of interaction was the highest I have seen at this conference.  The audience was engaged due in large part to the excellent speakers on the program. Day one started off with the keynote speaker Kai Kight, who is an innovator, speaker and violinist. He challenged the audience to remember three key things, not only while at the conference but throughout their personal and professional lives on a daily basis:

1.       Put purpose over perfection
2.       Be your own conductor
3.       Watch your red pen – it’s contagious

The level of engagement and excitement continued throughout the two day conference. Topics included compliance and HCP reporting which have inundated our industry and become one of the most important discussion topics across pharmaceutical organizations. The agenda also included sessions on fresh thinking and the importance of being innovative in order to ensure that the pharmaceutical meetings industry continues to be recognized as a leader. The key take-home messages were that we need to be driving innovation in our respective organisations, working collaboratively through the supply chains and utilizing technology to ensure we achieve better results together.

Day two continued with discussions around the types of technologies available. One of the best take-aways from these discussions was the fact that the use of technology is not what is most important, but using technology where it is relevant is the key to success – a philosophy that we have followed for some time.

The conference ended with a panel of experts discussing the importance of leadership and how to not only recognize good leaderships, but how to become a leader yourself.

Debbie Liberio is Business Development Director at Ashfield Meetings & Events.

11th ExL Pharmaceutical Meeting Professionals Summit