Launch to Success - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Launch to Success
Blockbuster drugs aren’t born—they’re made. Are you doing everything you can to make your product launch great?


Pharmaceutical Executive


Breathing Room


Good pointe This six-acre oasis isn't just for the kids. Implement product launches around a hotel's unique facilities.
Despite the rules and regulations governing the tone of pharma meetings, a product launch doesn't have to consist of rigidly scheduled activities. For companies that believe a little R&R makes for happier sales reps, the natural beauty of a destination can foster a lighthearted attitude for the week. The better you hold reps' interest, the more they will learn.

In addition to the cattle round-up, Destination Services offers rock climbing, a Royal Gorge Route train ride along the Arkansas River, and a trip to the Garden of Gods—a 238 million-year-old red-rock hike. Todd Wells, director of national sales for the midwest at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, knows that getting some personal time is vital during a weeklong conference with hundreds of attendees. That's why he says the 3,200-acre hotel sitting at the base of the Rockies is a perfect spot for large product launches. "We offer multiple breakout and individual opportunities simply because we have the space for it, and people can go off and get some fresh air if they need it," says Wells. "For companies looking to emphasize the health and wellness of their sales force, we appeal to them because we foster a very active lifestyle on our grounds."

Making Memories


Geoffrey Cooke, national sales manager, Pointe South Mountain Resort
Mike Lyons, president and CEO of Global Event Partners (GEP) in Philadelphia, concentrates on spectacular launches indoors. For GEP's most recent event, the team produced a last night extravaganza that capped off a weeklong convention that celebrated popular music through the decades. "We wanted to create a really memorable send-off where attendees would actually say 'wow' when they entered the space," Lyons says. Five different rooms were made up to exemplify the last five iconic decades: There was a 1950's diner; a psychedelic focus to reflect the 1960s; a disco dance floor for the 1970s, complete with a John Travolta impersonator and Village People cover band; break dancers for the 1980s; and another room that exuded the stark lounge trend of the 1990s and early 21st century. "I think this is an idea that a lot of companies can replicate because, it's memorable and fun and it allows people to bond over common interests and network," says Lyons. "For a pharma launch, you want people to get motivated. And this jazzes them up a little and helps them get out there and sell."

Personalized Approach

When planning product launches, some vendors find that a more personalized plan works best. "Our approach is to be far more individual and catch this service much farther upstream," says Geoffrey Cooke, national sales manager of Pointe South Mountain Resort in Phoenix, AZ. "We ask the meeting planners, 'What is it that you want to do?' And we try to facilitate that and tailor the needs to the company."

Companies like to go to Pointe South resort for its six-acre water oasis, giant lawn areas, and helicopter-landing pad. For one company, the hotel set up a water-themed launch. Out by the oasis wave pool, Pointe South built a screen to hide a big event scheduled to follow dinner by the water. After a sumptuous feast personally created for the event, the Blue Man Group came out and performed a theatrical spectacle, capped by the unveiling of the company's product from the huge dropdown screen hidden in the dark. This was an effective presentation method because the guests weren't expecting a big display on their first night, and it excited them about what else was in store for the week.


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Source: Pharmaceutical Executive,
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