THE OLD FORMULA IS TRIED AND TRUE: GET YOUR reps informed and excited at a launch meeting, and you'll have a positive impact on the success of the drug. But too many
pharma meeting planners forget that sharp PowerPoint slides and fancy dinners no longer impress sophisticated sales reps.
Reps want more than a fresh presentation. They seek a new experience. They want to be wowed.
And you should wow them. It's a great way to ensure that your audience really hears what you are saying—and remembers key informaton you
want them to retain. How do you do it? With memorable presentations that employ surprise, drama, intriguing themes, a focused
use of entertainment to create an experience that will carry through the entire week. Your only limits are budget, time constraints,
Create and Capture
But let's be realistic: It's tough to capture people's attention in these media-crazy days. And it's especially hard to impress
pharmaceutical sales reps. They're well-traveled, and they've been to a lot of meetings. They expect a high-quality, innovative
presentation. And pharma launch meetings present a double challenge: winning over an audience that sometimes reaches thousands
of people while getting across material of great complexity. Meeting planners constantly want event producers to think outside
the box—if this is what has been done in the past, what can we do different? This is an occasion when pushing the envelope
is actually encouraged.
Flexible presentations Create an element of drama right up front. The energy you present at the start will pay dividends
all week long.
Education in Entertainment
Remember: If you want to get people excited about your new product, you have to do more than talk about how excited you are.
Your reps already know this: The bland, low-energy salesperson is quickly forgotten. A high-energy presentation at the launch
meeting sends an unambiguous message to your reps: Get out there and generate that same energy on sales calls.
You need some drama, something that will keep your audience wondering what surprises are in store. You want to convey the
sense that your launch is a special event, and not just another business meeting.
Frodo's Fantasy Incorporating some pop culture and themes into events helps sales reps keep the message in mind. Here, a replica
of Fangorn Forest from "Lord of the Rings."
In the event industry, we use the term "edutainment" to express the union between education and entertainment—the two crucial
elements of a great meeting. It's important to use both of those elements. Take the message that you want to impart to your
team and turn it into a theatrical presentation, for example. This can include a storyline that carries a theme throughout
the course of the week. It is much easier to tie together a message presented in an engaging way as opposed to presenting
information in a traditional classroom setting.