I first attended ExL’s Meeting Planners’ Summit (as it was then called) in 2009 in Long Branch, NJ. Up until that point, any discussions I had ever had at the New Jersey shore about Sunshine were very different to the ones we started having that year about an (at that time) little-known piece of legislation that would forever change our industry.

At the show I remember meeting a lot of people for the first time. Not that I knew it then, but many of those new faces would eventually become my co-workers or supplier partners, others my clients, and many of whom I now consider to be my friends.

Each year since, I have attended the ExL Pharmaceutical Meeting Professionals’ Summit, and each year I have found the educational and industry networking to be exceptional. The value of this show compounds over time for me, as relationships develop and grow, and collaborative knowledge sharing evolves within our agency into the refinement of best practices, and ultimately enables us to use this to develop and deliver innovative solutions.

This year I am part of a panel discussion, involving some of the leaders from the pharmaceutical meetings industry. During our session we will have the privilege of exploring some of the challenges we face together, but more excitingly, how we overcome those challenges with collaborative and innovative solutions and ways to meet the needs of our ever-evolving landscape.

As always, I look forward to the educational content.  But most importantly in my opinion, I look forward to meeting with suppliers, clients and colleagues; both the ones I know already, and those of whom I have still yet to meet.  After all, in our industry, it is these relationships that will ensure we are successful.  Come rain, hail… or Sunshine. See you in Philadelphia.

Gavin Houston is CEO: The Americas at Ashfield Meetings & Events.

Pharmaceutical Meeting Professionals’ Summit