Helping Small Businesses to run their Event

Events are one of the best ways to promote your business these days. Who said face to face is dead?! They bring people together, they offer a lot of value and the return can be incredible! More customer contact, more brand awareness and therefore, more sales.

We know however that planning and managing an event is a whole different beast. There are so many things that can go wrong, making the whole event flop and fall flat on its face before it even began. The whole process is stressful, taxing and painful. Believe me we know! But somehow we love it all the same! And that’s our difference I guess!

Fortunately, there are many companies that are specialised in Event planning and that are willing to help make your event a fabulous success. And the best part is that you won’t have to do anything yourself.

Lets take a look at 3 revealing reasons why small business owners like yourself should definitely hire an event planner.

  1. Hiring an event planner makes everything easy

It’s obvious that if you get someone to do something for you, it’s easier than doing it yourself. As we said, planning an event can be a very tiresome and stressful task. Instead of pulling your hair out, consider hiring an event planner instead.

Planning events is their main job, so they’ll most likely be inherently better at it than you are. That’s not to say that you’re bad at planning events, but obviously an event planner will have more experience. They’ll have proven event formats that they can implement in order to streamline the whole process and will be able to suggest creative ideas about your event.

Everything that the event planning company will offer you will save you an absurd amount of time. This is incredibly important and in the long run, you’ll be glad that you hired one instead of going through it on your own!

  1. An event planner can help you save an incredible amount of money

Obviously, the less time you spend planning the less money you’re going to cost your business since your time will be spent doing your day job and this usually far outweighs the cost of an event management company fee.. The less trial and error you go through, the less money it’ll cost you. As we have said, hiring an event planner greatly speeds up the whole process and they are also good at making it as cheap as possible.

A good event planner will have established relationships with hotels, venues, and suppliers because that’s their job. This is why they can provide cheaper services by negotiating against those relationships. They will also know exactly how much everything will cost, meaning that the budget will be tighter than if it was done alone and can be managed much more efficiently.

  1. Professional delivery and safety

As we now know, hiring an event planner means that your event will be professionally handled. This means that the preparations before the event and the planning are perfect, the event itself goes smoothly and everything goes as well as possible.

An event planner will not only create the best event for your business, planning every activity hour by hour, but they will also deliver contingency plans on the possible unfortunate dangers that may occur. Things such as power shortages, medical emergencies, and fires.

Using an event planner will greatly help here as you’ll have access to experienced staff if an issue arises. On the off chance that something does happen, you’ll be one step ahead and dealing with it in a professional manner.

Another overlooked benefit of hiring an event planner is that they’ll have an incredible toolkit for communicating with attendees and making sure their journey is as exciting and easy as it can be. Things such as creating a website for the event with maps, event programmes, the attendee list and much more.  All of this makes hiring an event planner an obvious choice.

So it’s clear that hiring an event planner can be extremely beneficial to your business. Not only do you get the peace of mind that your event will be handled professionally, but you also save incredible amounts of time, money and stress.

At the end of the day, it’s the job of an event planner to plan events (obviously), so they’ll be much more proficient in that than anyone else!

Save yourself from the hassle of planning an event yourself and get a professional event planner. The benefits outweigh the cost of hiring one!

If you would like to find out more about how we can help, get in touch or book a free Hour of Power with us!

The Secrets To Arranging A Great Investigator Meeting

For more than 10 years, McCullough Moore have been delivering successful, and informative pharmaceutical investigator meetings, and with more than 9 years of knowledge in pharmaceutical meetings, Jilly Bullock shares her 5 key secrets on how to deliver a great investigator meeting.

The purpose of an Investigator Meeting is a pharmaceutical company’s forum to train physicians and their staff on a particular clinical trial or study they are sponsoring.

Typically, the client will advise how many attendees can attend from each site, but usually it is preferred that the Principal Investigator and a Study Coordinator or nurse can attend. A Principal Investigator is preferred as they are leading the study in their hospital. There is usually a CRO (Clinical Research Organisation) in attendance as well, as they have been liaising with the sites for the study.


Early stage planning on investigator meetings is crucial, as many of these meetings are for more than 100 people. Therefore, with early planning you are able to achieve a better rate for accommodation, meeting space, food & beverage, and audio visual support. On top of this, as travel is usually booked for attendees to an Investigator meeting, the earlier that this can be done, the better, as last-minute bookings are always the most expensive.

Agenda Requirements

There is always a repetition of certain key areas for an investigator meeting, such as the Good clinical practice training. Principal Investigators go to many of these meetings, so you want to make sure all the key learning that is needed is listened to. It is always key to make these meetings engaging and interactive for all participants, but relevant. Perhaps it would be good to gauge attendees understanding with the use of keypads?

Date choice

Investigators like to spend as little time away from their clinics, and with experience we know that Thursday and Fridays are the best days for a meeting to be held. Also, meetings where there is set sessions for Study Coordinators and Principal Investigators are good. For example: A Study Coordinator session with the CRAs (Clinical Research Associates) on Thursday and the Investigator meeting on Friday to include the Principal Investigators. Therefore, only one day will be needed out of the clinic for the Investigators.

Destination choice

There may be several different countries attending, so it is always key to choose a country that has the most site attendance therefore minimising travel cost to the client. Ideally it should be a hub destination that all other countries attending the meeting can easily get to.

Post Meeting Evaluation

As with any meeting it is always good to evaluate the performance of the meeting. For Investigator meetings this is always helpful to determine which presenters worked well, and which topics were needed. If there is a series of meetings for this particular study it is very helpful to determine what needs to be presented at the further meetings.

Do you need help planning your Investigator Meetings? If so, give us a call to discuss your needs.



5 Revealing Ways A PA Can Use An Event Management Company

PA’s are busy people who thrive on juggling priorities and meeting tight deadlines.  They are often tasked with organising many types of events, all to be delivered on time and on budget.  Sometimes using an event management company is a sensible option, and here our very own Office Manager, Ness, discusses some revealing reasons why …

1. Try something a bit different

People get excited by trying something different, so don’t just go back to the same hotel you went to last year.  Event management companies can help you find a unique venue or choose a theme for your event that will make your attendees want to come back next year.  How about a Bollywood themed gala dinner or a truly memorable venue?

2. Getting a Good Deal

Many PA’s don’t realise the options that are out there when choosing a venue, you don’t need to pick the standard menu’s or packages, you can tailor to your requirements and budget.  Event management companies can take all the hard work away by securing a venue or hotel FOC.  They know all the extra’s you can get to make your event really special and they have built up strong relationships with many hotels that can make a big difference in negotiating rates.

3. Production

For smaller conferences and internal events you may find Powerpoint presentations are probably fine.    If you’ve got attendees coming from outside the company it makes a real impact if you choose a more elaborate presentation style, maybe transitioning slides or building in film clips – you will need professional help to achieve this.

4. Getting Everyone There

Booking transport and hotels for events can be a bit of a headache for busy PA’s.   If it’s in the UK then it’s a matter of booking flights, cars and trains to get everyone where they need to be.

Once events start going abroad, then you need even more help to plan it all.  It’s not just a case of going through a travel agent to book flights – how about transfers, where to go for dinner and what you can do at the destination?

5. Maximising Attendance

It’s not enough to organise an amazing conference or exhibition – you need to get enough people attending.  Event management companies are experienced in generating event attendance through targeted exhibitor, delegate and sponsorship marketing and telesales. Speaking to attendees is the best way to guarantee a sell out event.


If you would like some help with an event do get in touch with us – we would love to hear from you. You can event take advantage of our Hour Of Power – find out more here.


A Guide For PA’s On Finding Great Event Venues

When your boss asks you to arrange a company event, what do you do first? There is so much to think about and usually very little time. One of the most important jobs is to find the right venue – it needs to match the event strategy, audience, budget and company needs. It’s not an easy task and most likely will be hugely time consuming at first but once secured, a great venue can make an event IMPRESS!

Here, our very own Becky Herbert, Senior Event Executive, discusses a 4-step approach for PA’s to finding great event venues.

1) Location

The location is a crucial element of an event – you need to make sure everyone can reach the destination to make it happen! Some venues have great transport connections via public transport. If you are booking a venue outside of a city or in a more rural location, it is always worth checking with the venue to see if they can arrange a shuttle service. This may be an additional cost, but it could be offered complementary.  If it can be arranged it will avoid any of your guests getting lost on their way and will be peace of mind for you.

2) Try the product first

You may be in the process of communicating with the venue to arrange a site visit, costs etc. Do not be afraid to ask the venue if you can come along to the venue perhaps stay overnight, try the food, leisure facilities or other products and services. This is the only way you will get a true understanding if this is the right venue for your event. Many venues will offer you a ‘try before you buy’ service complimentary. It will also give you the opportunity to raise any concerns or questions prior to confirming your booking.

3) Negotiate

Once you send the initial enquiry to a venue they will go through the full event details and provide you with a quote. Although some of these prices may be fixed it is always good to try and negotiate a deal. There are a few ways you can approach this;

If your dates are flexible this will be an advantage for you as the venue may offer days where the price can be reduced depending on availability at the venue (usually classed as off-peak).

Research some local competitors get an idea of their pricing and what they can offer, if they offer lower – see if the venue can match.

Sometimes there is no movement on the price if you are fixed on your dates and it is a peak day at the venue. However, you could suggest some added extras complimentary to benefit your event or your guests such as upgraded bedrooms for VIP guests, complimentary drinks reception, additional AV/staging or SPA treatments (venue dependent).

There is always a way to get a good deal, don’t hesitate to ask the venue!

4) Work with the venue

If anyone knows what will and won’t work for an event it will be the venue. They would have done many events similar to what you are looking to arrange and will have the experience. Make sure you communicate the full brief of the event so they can get a clear understanding of what you are aiming to achieve. They may have some ideas which have been proven to work at other events and could really fit in with your event. Anything you are unsure of always check with the venue and never assume as each venue works differently. It is always beneficial to go to the venue and arrange a meeting with your co-ordinator this is great during the planning processes. When all event details have been finalised always run through every detail with the venue to ensure every aspect has been communicated and both have a clear understanding so you can work together.

If you would like some help with an event do get in touch with us – we would love to hear from you.

We also offer our #GetMoore Hour of Power – a free hour of our time to advise or help you as needed – so please book in, if this sounds like something you could use!

5 Unique Event Venues in Sussex

By Samantha Reid, Senior Events Manager.

As an event planning and management agency, we are always on the lookout for great venues that offer something original, which are memorable and that will leave our clients feeling content and that they have had a great event experience with us. Here’s a few venues in Sussex that we think are pretty special and who are definitely worth considering for your next conference, exhibition or gala dinner.

British Airways i360

The British Airways i360 is one of the most unique, exciting new venues in the UK. You can host an exclusive event in their futuristic glass pod or in their contemporary beach-side rooms with private terrace for 10 to 1,100 guests. Offering catering for full banquets, private dining, drinks and canapé receptions, the beachside terrace makes British Airways i360 the ideal venue – enjoy outdoor barbecues, summer cocktails and Nyetimber, England’s finest sparkling wine, while taking in the sea views. Unforgettable!

Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens

Imagine the luxury that would once have surrounded the proud owner of this lavish Roman residence. This palace was certainly fit for a king. Fishbourne Roman Palace has several rooms available for hire particularly suited to presentations, meetings, workshops and other events.  The site and gardens are also available for hire for performances and other evening events.

All Saints Chapel

The Chapel is the ideal for events that are looking for a unique setting. The Chapel with the clever use of LED lighting can be transformed into the most extraordinary party venue. There is nothing quite like it in the South of England and we believe offers the best of both worlds, traditional and Modern in a very flexible environment that will make your next event truly magical.

Goodwood Racecourse

Offering breath-taking views across the undulating beauty of the South Downs, to the Solent and the Isle of Wight, Goodwood Racecourse is an idyllic and unique setting. It hosts some of the finest horseracing in the world, including the iconic Glorious Goodwood meeting. For entertaining clients, treating staff, indulging with family and friends or simply sharing a celebration, Goodwood Racecourse is the perfect venue.

Chichester Watersports Centre

Are you looking for a venue to hire for a special occasion or event? Parkers is a unique venue set on the lake side, with panoramic glass doors opening out from the spacious interior onto the large decked balcony with stunning lake views. When the sun sets on the lake it is truly breath-taking. Parkers has facilities to accommodate for 20 – 150 guests, and offer a great service to make every event truly special.

If you need any help finding a unique and engaging venue for your event, get in touch with us today. We’d love to help!

You can also take advantage of our #GetMoore hour – a free hour of our time to help in whichever way you need – whether that’s advice, reviewing a current event format or finding a venue – book in NOW!

5 Key Ways To Secure The Perfect Venue For Your Pharmaceutical Events

by Jilly Bullock, Pharmaceutical Event Manager, McCullough Moore

Venue searching for pharmaceutical clients requires specific things to be considered – you can apply the usual venue-finding processes but when it comes to pharmaceutical advisory boards, investigator meetings and other industry-related events, event planners need to assess some very specific areas.

When a new client requests our help for venue searching or planning for a specific pharmaceutical meeting, we work with them to understand why they need this meeting, and the results they want to achieve from it. It’s key for your event planner to understand the requirements up front as everyone works differently and this helps to ensure the event delivers on all levels – for the pharmaceutical company AND the attendees.

1) Know the budget and stick to it

The first important factor tends to be the cost. Depending on where the attendees are coming from can dictate how much there is to spend. Hotels and venues are very aware that the client has an end budget to work to, to be compliant, and with the right negotiation, hotels can be flexible to your needs.  Event management companies can help with this negotiation and can often bring the costs down using their current relationships with the venue to the advantage of the client. Read here about why event planning companies are worth their weight in gold.

2) Destination is key

On the whole, we at McCullough Moore generally only go for 4* properties when it comes to pharmaceutical events, and so we would start the search based on that. There will be some destinations that pharmaceutical clients want to work with specifically, but you can also draw on the expertise of the event management company to guide you as to where else might be an option. It is always important to go for destinations that are considered ‘hubs’, destinations with good travel links, especially if the attendees are flying in from all over the world, such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, London and Frankfurt etc. There are definitely some places in the world that we would love to host a pharmaceutical meeting, but would never consider, such as the Maldives, or the Caribbean, as these are considered to be resort locations and therefore not appropriate for events where healthcare professionals are in attendance!

3) Define the event experience you want

Before sending the RFP (request for proposal) to hotels, it’s vital to know what sort of meeting you are planning and how you want the audience to interact and engage. Advisory  Boards are typically best in a u-shape, as you want the conversation to flow between delegates. The same applies to an Investigator Meeting – these are usually styled in classroom seating so that attendees can write things down, but it’s also nice to offer cabaret style seating, as it encourages people to speak and interact.

4) Natural light maintains focus

As a lot of meeting rooms are on the lower ground floor and therefore have no windows. Where there is an opportunity to have a higher floor or a meeting room with natural daylight then try and secure this first and foremost. Curtains can always be pushed to one side during the breaks to open up the room more, especially when there isn’t much space or the weather isn’t great outside. Attendees need to stay focused, especially in the “graveyard slot” after lunch – this is a good time to move them to an area of natural light.

5) Make sure the space works on all levels

It’s important to consider the ceiling height in a room and if there are any obstructions that could block the audience’s view of the screen or presenters.  This is especially vital for Advisory Boards and Investigator Meetings where the level of detail presented is key to the event as a whole. Another thing to consider is in relation to filming for a live stream – the videographers need to get a good view of the space, the audience, the presentations, and the faculty presenting. Ensure they have some input into the venue brief from the outset.

And lastly, it’s really important to check with the venue if there are any other pharmaceutical meetings in-house at the same time. If there are, then it’s critical you are aware of this and check it is not a direct competitor.


If you need help planning an Advisory Board, Investigator Meeting or other pharmaceutical event please get in touch with us.

You can also find out a bit more about what we have done for other pharmaceutical clients by reading our case studies:


Envision Pharma

Using Colour to Transform your Events

It is widely known that companies use colour to enhance people’s moods, so why not use it creatively at an event? Using a certain colour at events can create different ambiances and experiences for your guests.

If you are using strong colours at your event to go with the theme of the client’s brand, it is worth realising what colours can do to trigger people’s memory of the event. You can be quite strategic in colour placement, it could be just a tablecloth in a certain colour, or menus designed to help build that of the client’s brand.

Alternatively, instead of using objects with colour, a mood can be enhanced by using gobo lighting in areas, or uplighters by the side of the screen. Simple touches promoting the event almost subconsciously.

The Meaning Behind Colours

Below is a brief overview of meaning behind each colour and brands associated with these:

Red is a very emotionally intense colour. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. It can be used as an accent colour to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect colour for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites.

Yellow is the colour of sunshine – and hey who doesn’t LOVE sunshine?? It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. Yellow has a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. Yellow is often associated with food.  McDonald’s, apparently, use red and yellow because red means fast and yellow means hunger (hence fast food!).

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. It represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. Orange also has connotations with travel… Think EasyJet.

The colour brown is a friendly yet serious, down-to-earth colour that relates to security, protection, comfort and material wealth.

Green is the colour of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money.

Blue is the colour of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquillity and calmness.

Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic. It is also known that purple is the colour of the imagination. It can be creative and individual or immature and impractical.

The colour psychology of pink is unconditional love and nurturing. Pink can also be immature, silly and girlish.

White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the colour of perfection.

Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. Black is a mysterious colour associated with fear and the unknown. Think black holes…

Safety, reliability, intelligence, melancholy, modesty, dignity, maturity, soundness, functionality, old age and grief all represent the colour grey.

Gold is the colour of success, achievement and triumph. Associated with abundance and prosperity, luxury and quality, prestige and sophistication, value and elegance, the colour psychology of gold implies affluence, material wealth and extravagance.

It is also worth noting that colour is culturally dependant. For example, although black is the colour of death in many countries, in China the colour associated with death is white.


For more insight into colour at your next event, come and talk to us at McCullough Moore about how we can deliver your events into outstanding events with colour!


Overcoming The Top 3 Challenges Of Managing Advisory Boards

Pharmaceutical companies have long used advisory boards to gain commercial and medical insights about products either in development or already on the market.  An advisory board is “a body that provides non-binding strategic advice to the management of a corporation, organization, or foundation”. For pharmaceutical meetings it can be a meeting that comprises an appropriate number of selected medical advisors who provide the company with relevant advice. Importantly it is run for the benefit of the company, not the attendees.

Here at McCullough Moore we have successfully managed and run a number of advisory board meetings for pharmaceutical clients globally and can help you to deliver your advisory board with optimum results.

Faculty Management

One of the challenges that can surround advisory boards is to manage the faculty. Our clients come to us as they want a seamless meeting delivery and they want to manage the content aspect of the meeting and leave the logistical details to us.

We know that HCPs can sometimes be demanding. We use a travel agent to organise all flights and know responsible ground agents all over the world that can help in facilitating a smooth arrival of sometimes flustered HCPs. Not to mention we always offer alternative suggestions of dilemma’s that may arise.


A key part of pharmaceutical advisory board meetings is compliance. Depending on where faculty come from determines the amount that can be spent on the HCP for food & beverage, accommodation and travel, as well as honorarium payments. We work alongside legal teams within global corporations to ensure compliance at all levels from contracting to the welcome dinner.


It is our business to know the reporting required on global meetings and to ensure that HCP interactions are ethical and transparent. Reporting of a meeting is the final part to the delivery for the client. Pharmaceutical events have to be compliant and the reporting is done to ensure that all limits are adhered to. These include contract management, speaker payments, and transfer of value (TOV) after the meeting. It is our responsibility that we collect and report on the data for compliance and spending purposes. We know how important it is for meeting planners to be diligent and we stay aware of the information coming out of the various authorities, such as PhRMA and codes of conduct so that we can offer the best possible service to our clients.

If you need help arranging your pharmaceutical event, please give us a ring and book in a chat.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

7 Points To Consider When Planning A Pharmaceutical Advisory Board Meeting To Ensure ABPI Code of Practice Compliance

By Shirley Rhodes, our very own Event Director.


Advisory Boards are a chance for pharmaceutical companies to gain expert insight and guidance from key opinion leaders in the field in relation to an aspect of their medicine (clinical use, therapy area guidelines, market access, administration, development, supply etc.). The PMCPA Guidance states:

“Advisory Boards should only be held to enable companies to answer legitimate business questions to which they do not already know the answer.” 

Advisory Boards represent a significant opportunity in the brand development process in a drug lifecycle, however, it should be purely scientific in the content and have no promotional element to it.

The planning of an Advisory Board needs to be meticulous and can be very resource intensive and is therefore sometimes outsourced.  However, when you contract a third party to manage the logistics of an Advisory Board, you need to ensure they operate in a fully compliant manner to ensure your company is represented appropriately.

Below are 7 areas to consider to ensure ABPI compliance logistically:

  1. Venue

The code states inn Clause 22 “meetings must be held in appropriate venues conducive to the main purpose of the event.” This basically means that the hotels cannot be sporting venues, they must be functional business hotels with a maximum of a 4-star rating. Some hotels are unclassified so can also be considered unless it’s clear they are a luxury spa hotel.  Plus, the venue must be in a convenient location for all participants so as to not incur unnecessary cost.  So, the thought of hosting the Advisory Board at a 5-star golf resort on a Greek Island, 2-hours drive from the airport when none of the attendees are coming from Greece is a big no no!

  1. Country approval

Once the Advisory Board date, venue, location and list of invitees has confirmed it is then imperative to seek approval from each country representative for the healthcare professional (HCP) attending.  Each country in the EU has its own regulations regarding reimbursement, minimum amount of meeting time, meal costs etc and before the official invitations are sent out approval must be got from each required county.

  1. Travel

Usually Advisory Boards invite HCPs from all over the world and travel costs can quickly escalate. In order to help budget and manage the costs, all HCPs should be offered Economy (coach) Class for any travel under 6 hours.  For any travel over 6 hours then Business (similar) can be offered.  However, this can differ depending on each individual company’s policy. HCPs may organise and pay at their own expense the genuine cost of an upgrade

  1. Meals

Arranged meals must be deemed appropriate and the costs involved must not exceed that level which the recipients would normally adopt when paying for themselves. The Code of Practice states “the maximum of £75 plus VAT and gratuities is appropriate only in very exceptional circumstances, such as a dinner at a residential meeting for senior consultants or a dinner at a learned society conference with substantial educational content. The cost of a meal (including drinks) should normally be well below this figure.”

The above amount does not apply when a meeting is held outside the UK in a European country, in such circumstances the limits in the host country code would apply. Some countries require a dinner to be no more than €54 including drinks and gratuities.

  1. Expenses

HCPs can submit expenses after the meeting, however it must be reasonable e.g travel to/from the meeting.  Receipts must be submitted for all expenses otherwise they cannot be claimed, so it’s a good idea to be clear about what can and cannot be reimbursed as part of the invitation process.

The payment of travel expenses and the like for persons accompanying the delegate is not permitted.

  1. Honoraria

If an honorarium is offered it should be made clear that it is a payment for work and advice. Honoraria must be commensurate with the time and effort involved and the professional status of the recipients.  Sometimes it is calculated on an hourly rate. When working out the rate to the pay the HCP, you must check the fair market value (FMV).  Again, it’s a good idea to be clear about the expectation of effort in return for the honorarium payment as part of the invitation process.  The payment of any advisory board members must be declared.

  1. Contract & Sign in

Depending on the content being discussed at the Advisory Board and who the HCPs are will determine if a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) will need to be signed.  If it is, then this is imperative the contract is legally approved by the company’s legal team and that it is signed by both the HCP and the pharma company before the start of the meeting. All contracts should then be scanned and stored securely. Furthermore, to ensure compliance, it is imperative that every attendee sign-in to the meeting with the completed sign-in sheet also scanned and stored securely.


Think that’s it?? No time to relax just yet!  Once all the planning has been done and the meeting has taken place then the final activity is the post reporting and ensuring every single expense for each HCP is clearly broken down and detailed with back-up.  It can then be passed to the relevant authorities to ensure complete transparency.

Now not all meeting organisers (third parties and internal pharma company staff) run their Advisory Boards to ABPI standards which can put not only the individual HCPs at risk but also the pharma company. At the very least, the event may be a waste of the attendee’s time; at most, it could compromise the attendees’ professional standing, particularly where attendance constitutes bribery and/or the event is found in breach of the ABPI Code of Conduct.

So, as you can see it’s imperative for all parties involved to ensure your Advisory Board is fully compliant.  The 7 areas listed above are only a few of the logistical elements to consider….there are so many other things to consider such as balance of HCPs to pharma company attendees, objectives are set and clear, time allows for presentation and group discussion, the right level of expert HCPs are invited and many more.


If you need advice on how to ensure your Advisory Board is compliant or need assistance with the logistics of planning an Advisory Board then please book in for a free event consultation with Shirley Rhodes, our Event Director and all round guru in Advisory Board event management. To find out more about our pharmaceutical event management capabilities click here.


10 Quick Tips To Host Excellent Pharmaceutical Events

Planning a pharmaceutical event, workshop, investigator meeting or advisory board can be overwhelming, but once you have these key elements in place the process will be a much smoother journey to the end result.

#1 – Plan and Coordinate

The nature of pharmaceutical events is that sometimes the lead time can be short and you only have a few weeks to organise the event. The key factors in any event management role is to be highly organised and work to strict deadlines. These deadlines can include setting up registration websites, marketing, print and supplier deadlines. A timeline is a good document to work with, which covers all elements of the meeting, key dates and deadlines. It is a good idea to set-up regular in house team meetings and calls to go through each element of the meeting and its progress.

#2 – Speakers and Agenda

Firm up the Agenda even if it is a draft as this will determine the event schedule for each day. With Pharma events there’s a process that you have to follow in order to invite a speaker to a meeting. Every business is slightly different in the process, so it is good to get an understanding from the beginning before the process of invitation has started. It is good to identify the speakers, ask for biog and pictures from the speaker or medical content agency. Study the pictures and this will help with your onsite speaker management to recognise your speakers as they arrive at the venue.

#3 – Thinking Ahead

Don’t think of just the here and now, to run a great event you need to always be thinking ahead, be ahead of the game. Think about all the possibilities and scenarios for each element of the event. In your kick-off call ask all the questions you can think of surrounding the event and all the eventualities. This avoids lots of questions throughout the planning, as most people are very busy and they just want to be able to rely on you and get on with their job. This also applies to your suppliers to avoid lots of emails, try and ask all the right questions in the outset and provide them with all the information they require.

#4 – Make Friends

In this industry you will work with many different suppliers and contractors all over the world and it is very important that you build a good relationship with them as they are in fact an extension of you. It is important that they deliver a high-quality service with a smile just as we do. So, make friends and build those relationships to deliver a smooth-running event.

#5 – Pester

Unfortunately, you do have to chase and pester your suppliers and even speakers for details in order to move forward on a project. If you don’t have all the information you require, do pester, chase and remind people of deadlines as this is the only way you can move forward, be the initiator, do not wait.

#6 – Negotiate

Everything is negotiable, always get around 3 quotes per supplier. Remember that with every event there will be unforeseen costs, so try to negotiate as low a price as you can. Determine your budget before meeting a vendor and offer to pay 5-10% lower than this figure. Your vendor may put up a fight, but ultimately, they want to win your business if they can.

#7 – Pharma Code

The Pharma code of conduct and iHCP’s guidelines can restrict a Pharmaceutical event. It is important that you research and abide to these guidelines. If you have HCP’s attending from different countries they will have limits on meals, dinners, transport, accommodation etc. This cost can vary, this can also depend on which country the event is being held. It is important that you get a list of which countries are attending the event in the outset or as soon as possible so you can set the costs per attendee for your budget.

#8 – Venues

Due to the compliance you are restricted to cost and venue types. Meeting environments can be limiting – try and think out of the box for the meeting and dinner venue. Attendees are cooped up a lot of the time in meetings so food is very important and some fresh air. If you are limited to being at a hotel for the duration of the meeting due to time restrictions and location, be creative with the coffee breaks, lunches and food. If you have an off-site dinner, if compliant, again be creative with venue, transportation and food. Tie it in with the branding or subject matter.

#9 – Location

If attendees and speakers are coming from all over the world, think about hotels and venues that are easy to reach by plane and train for the countries attending the meeting.

#10 – Delivering Your Event

You have been planning meticulously and now the big day has arrived.  It’s essential you have a master event plan, running order and a team briefing for everyone involved – your team, all the suppliers, venue, caterers, security and any other relevant parties. Remember the complexity of many events mean that challenges may occur during the course of the event and this is when a strong, skilled and most importantly, a well briefed team really comes into its own.  Ensure that all team members know the decision-making structure and what to do in an emergency.

If you need help arranging your pharmaceutical event, please give us a ring and book in a chat.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]