The Necessity of a Virtual Attendance Option for Pharmaceutical Industry Meetings

The pharmaceutical industry continues to adapt to the evolving nature of virtual meetings and remote work that has skyrocketed over recent years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers were forced to rapidly adopt virtual meeting technology. However, with travel returning to pre-pandemic levels, pharmaceutical companies are now tasked with finding the optimal balance between travel-to meetings and virtual meetings.  

A number of important considerations can factor into these decisions including cost, audience size, meeting objectives, and the geographic location of attendees; however, perhaps the most commonly overlooked consideration is attendee preference. According to an Accenture survey of Healthcare Providers (HCPs), 38% prefer all meetings to be virtual while only 12% prefer in-person meetings only. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 46% prefer a mix of in-person and virtual. 

While it’s clear that HCPs have a preference for virtual and hybrid options, the industry has continued to slowly migrate back to offering travel-to meetings. There are benefits to the in-person interactions that travel-to meetings can facilitate; however, the risk of eliminating key segments of your audience that are unable or unwilling to dedicate the time required to attend travel-to meetings is too significant to overlook. Hosting a critical Virtual Investigator Meeting, a high-profile Virtual Advisory Board, or a Virtual Speaker Training event without a subset of your most important Principal Investigators, KOL advisors, or speakers, decreases the value of your event and creates a myriad of ripple effects for your team. 

The simple solution that many organizations are deploying for this problem is to simply offer a generic virtual attendance option to invitees only after they have indicated that they cannot attend in person. These attendees are sent a last-minute Zoom or Teams link to view the in-person meeting remotely. They are rarely enabled to meaningfully participate in the discussion and this experience can often be more frustrating than rewarding for high profile HCPs. 

Pharmaceutical companies need to take a more strategic approach to this challenge. Knowing that a significant portion of your audience has a preference to attend virtually, all high-profile travel-to meetings for HCPs should include a virtual component from the beginning of the planning process. Teams should engage with an experienced virtual meeting provider that will ensure your virtual attendees have a seamless, engaging, and rewarding meeting experience.  

Please reach out to MedPoint Digital today to learn how our team of experienced, dedicated virtual meeting experts can elevate your next virtual pharmaceutical meeting.


About MedPoint Digital, Inc.

MedPoint Digital, Inc. partners with biopharma companies to deploy virtual pharmaceutical meetings and advanced portals that produce unique value. Our goals are to lower costs, improve quality and expedite timelines with digital platforms that transform key areas of clinical operations, commercial objectives, and study site tasks.

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