Commit to advanced measurement systems. Even small measurement improvements at the event level aggregate over time, evolving
into best practices you can rely on for smarter decision making (useful as well in making a case for an increase in next year's
budget). You should not do any event, meeting, or exhibit without working backwards to a certain extent, without knowing what
outcome you want. You start with what you want to happen. You set the goals, the objectives, and the outcomes first. And then
you do the planning according to what you want to happen.
If you don't, at the end of all the hard work and the wonderful event you have implemented, you won't know what you have achieved.
You need to be able to prove the return on what's being invested in these events. So measurement is key.
5. Employ Technology
Use tools that help your team meet specific business challenges. Whether it's marketing spend-analysis software, or SMS interactive
polling set up on the exhibit floor to get feedback, go with tools that make money, save money, and/or improve your audience's
interaction with your product and your corporate brand.
We now have the technology to really start tracking, monitoring, and consolidating meeting spend. At GPJ, we use a suite of
applications that basically tracks everything from beginning to end—everything that has anything to do with an event, whether
it is the content management, the material that's going into building a booth, where the booth is being shipped. It helps
to have a kind of collaborative work space, like a virtual meeting room, where the managers, staff, clients, and anybody involved
with the project can go and see everything. None of this back-and-forth with e-mails. Do we have the latest version of Dr.
X's slides? Well, gee, I don't know. Well, they're in there, in the collaborative workspace. And even Dr. X has the ability
to find out.
So my advice would be to go with the tools that make money, save money, or improve your audience's interaction with your product
and your corporate brand. Every touch point with every person should be consistent.
It's where pharma knows it needs to move, but isn't quite there yet.
Ms.Krugman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org