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Meetings 2.0

Why there’s still a role for well-planned, face-to-face interactions in today’s digital world

Steve WynneWhen we talk about meetings in pharma, they serve numerous purposes: generating ideas, obtaining advice, reaching a consensus, problem solving, decision-making, or simply strategic planning - and experience has shown that there is no better substitute for building rapport than doing it face-to-face. Whatever the desired outcome, meetings are evolving to be more deliberately and carefully designed to deliver optimal results from these human interactions. Expert planning, design and facilitation ensures that the time is used as productively as possible, that delegates are energised and that the right conclusion is achieved, benefitting all the stakeholders involved: not just those in attendance but wider audiences such as colleagues, patients, HCPs and payers - all of whom may be affected by a meeting’s outcome.

There are four ‘pillars’ that are essential in creating a great meeting:

  1. Objectives: taking the time to define fewer but clearer objectives for the meeting, so that time is focused and not hampered by trying to achieve too much.
  2. People: gaining the right balance in the room. It’s a fine art, but it’s vital to have the right type and number of participants.
  3. Time: aligning the meeting length and structure fully to the objectives and providing the perfect balance of stimulus and response.
  4. Resources: choosing and using your space, tools and techniques wisely. It is often overlooked in its significance, but the choice of room is vitally important; it needs to work as a partner in the event. Space is needed to share information and continuously capture feedback and recommendations - for personal reflection and co-operative exploration. Posters on all four walls - and the ceiling, if necessary! - can provide focal points and ensure dialogue can easily be tracked and referred to, as discussions progress.

From training sessions and business planning, to steering committees and key message workshops, more sophisticated meeting design and facilitation is being applied across the board to great effect. Regardless of where a challenge sits within a business, there’s now a shift towards bringing in experts from in-house communications teams and agencies to help plan and run face-to-face meetings - recognition that they are undoubtedly one of the most valuable communication channels.

Steve Wynne is an event strategist and facilitator at Virgo Health

In association with

Virgo Health

From: Marketing

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