SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

March 16, 2010 11:14 ET

Drug Companies Increase Interactions Between Speaker Program Attendees and Company Reps

Cutting Edge Information Showcases Strategies for Driving Attendance at Promotional Events

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - March 16, 2010) - According to a recent study by Cutting Edge Information, pharma companies have shifted the focus of their promotional speaker programs to encourage more one-on-one interactions between attendees and company representatives.

The promise of that interaction encourages attendance, as physicians reap a number of benefits from face-to-face meetings. In fact, survey data from Cutting Edge Information study "Pharmaceutical Speaker Programs: Measuring ROI and Communicating Value" (http://www.cuttingedgeinfo.com/pharma-speaker-programs/) show that one-on-one interaction is one of the most effective ways to encourage doctors to attend speaker programs.

The data show that the best drivers of physician attendance are personalized invitations from medical science liaisons (MSLs) and sales representatives. These findings prove important because the key to a successful speaker program has, historically, been strong attendance. Whether they measure the number or quality of attendees, organizers consider programs a success if they are well attended.

"Sales reps and MSLs know their local contacts better than anyone, and such relationships allow doctors to pitch ideas and discuss new clinical discoveries directly with company representatives," said Jason Richardson, president of Cutting Edge Information.

Teams who earn the best attendance levels work to make invitations compelling in other ways, which means that field-based employees are armed with powerful tools to attract doctors to meetings in the first place. One surveyed company, for example, seeks out popular speakers by polling physicians in a given area. It then invites the most sought-after speakers to headline its events. Reps use the knowledge gained through the polling results to personalize invitations -- thus using both key influencers and targeted physician information to make speaker programs more appealing.

"The tactics that drove attendance 10 years ago have evolved to include new, virtual media and address the increasing demands on physicians' time," Richardson said. "These dynamics form part of companies' new strategies to maintain or boost attendance levels at speaker programs."

For more information on improving speaker program effectiveness or to view a complimentary report brochure, visit http://www.cuttingedgeinfo.com/pharma-speaker-programs/.

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