SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

July 17, 2008 09:50 ET

Regulatory Changes Have Affected Meeting Planners' Ability to Attract Physicians, According to Cutting Edge Information Study

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - July 17, 2008) - In an increasingly strict regulatory environment, meeting planners are finding it more challenging to attract physician attendees. According to the CEI study, collected data shows that 36% of surveyed companies indicate that the current regulatory environment has made attracting physicians more difficult. The recent requirement that companies must track, and sometimes report, all physician spending is being seen as the major factor for the current struggles.

The study, "The Evolving Global Meeting Management Strategy," examines the effects of regulatory pressures on the meeting planners' roles and responsibilities in the life sciences industries -- pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical devices. It identifies global trends in meeting planning and provides key resourcing and outsourcing benchmarks.

A report summary is available for immediate download here:

"Physician spend tracking is a relatively new challenge for meeting planners," said Elio Evangelista, the report's lead author. "But it's quickly becoming their biggest time consumer. Companies are either becoming hesitant to invite physicians from regions that require reporting, or the physicians themselves are being cautious about payments being tied to life sciences companies."

The 138-page report examines meeting planning management organizational structures and reporting lines, resource levels, meeting venues and formats. It also identifies challenges unique to company type -- and examines ways to address them, such as technological tools. The report enables companies to elevate the strategic importance of meeting planning teams to win physicians' attendance and organize high-caliber meetings.

Developed from surveys and interviews with executives at 21 top life sciences companies, the report shows meeting planning teams how to coordinate global compliance, streamline processes, balance external and internal priorities, make the most out of limited resources, and drive physician attendance and participation.

The report contains 250-plus metrics, including the following:

--  The impact of regulations on meeting planning efforts
--  Percentage of domestic versus international meetings
--  Number of internal and external meetings planned in 2007 and 2008
--  Meeting spending in 2007 versus 2008
--  Average spending per meeting, year-to-year
--  Average spending levels by department age
--  Meeting planning funding contributions
--  Percentage of meeting budgets that are outsourced

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