Key tips from top med and pharma planners
Medical meeting planners are some of the most specialized and highly trained planners in the industry. It’s
not just the technical complexity of
medicine, pharmaceuticals, medical
devices, animal health, surgery, biotechnology, patient care and all other
facets of health care that makes the
field so challenging, but the sheer
size of the industry. By some counts,
health care is the single largest component of gross domestic product in
the U.S. and still growing.
The size, economic impact, and human impact of all-things medical has also made it one of the most highly regulated industries in the world. According to MPI, there are
196 countries on the globe and 87 of them currently have
some type of health care meeting compliance reporting.
In most jurisdictions, including the U.S., meeting sponsors and planners have primary responsibility for collecting
and reporting data on compliance and spending. It’s tough
to keep on top of the current regulatory requirements, but
continuing growth in health care makes medical meetings
one of the hottest segments in the entire planning industry.
Whether you’re considering medical meeting planning or
already on the career ladder, here are tips for success—and
key cautions—from six industry veterans.
CMP, CSEP, DMCP, HMCC, Director,
Professional Development, Healthcare
Sector, MPI Academy. Author of Breaking
the Code to Healthcare Compliance [1st,
2nd and 3rd editions] and the MPI CMP-HC
Pat Schaumann accidentally landed in medical meetings. Originally a teacher, she went back to school for an event and conference
management degree, fell into the role of planning medical meetings
during her first job and hasn’t looked back.
“As meeting planners, we do what we have always done: We plan
logistics. That is no different in health care. What is different is
that we capture more data and report to more regulatory bodies
than any industry. Medical meeting professionals very much need
to be aware of compliance and spend tracking. They need to understand the terminology in health care and in health care meetings. They need to understand what HCPs, health care professionals, are and what that really means in the context of meetings, data
collection and reporting. And they need to realize that we are all
working under spending caps.
There are educational opportunities I would stress for someone considering entering the field or already in it. One is the
Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate program. This is a
semester-long university course taught in four hours, designed for
working adults. Planners should also look at industry conferences
and seminars on medical meeting planning.
Also available is the new CMP subspecialty, CMP Healthcare,
or CMP-HC. For the Convention Industry Council to create its
first-ever subspecialty shows the importance of education. MPI is
launching a training program and CMP-HC Training Manual, and
I have a third edition of Breaking the Code to Healthcare Compliance. Both books are available at www.meetingcompliance.com or
through the MPI Bookstore.”