Next Generation Event Consolidations - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Next Generation Event Consolidations


Pharmaceutical Executive


The Quantum Leap

Over time, a top-down, methodically implemented, and continuously reviewed and improved consolidation program produces truly significant results. Ten years ago, one CEO decided his multinational IT company was hemorrhaging money and diluting its brand image in thousands of large and small events around the world. Meetings, exhibits, trade shows, and customer events were managed by multiple departments, business units, and country organizations, as well as hundreds of suppliers.

The CEO made a bold decision, appointing one global advertising agency of record and one global event management company of record to establish and maintain a uniform and coherent brand identity and manage a carefully controlled group of suppliers. Cost savings for events in the first three years of the program totaled tens of millions of dollars. A decade into the program, under a different CEO, the program is still in effect, and the same agency continues to coordinate major events and a reduced supplier chain. To date, procurement-documented savings for this company total nearly $100 million.

While this may appear to be an extreme example, the point is not to suggest that pharmaceutical companies rush to adopt single-source supplier models. Rather, it is to demonstrate that strategic meeting/event management is not a theory, but rather a real-life option that is producing real-life results in companies from various industries. Given the increased pressure from both internal cost-control mandates and external compliance imperatives, it is not surprising that meeting consolidation within the pharmaceutical industry is poised to take a quantum leap.

Carol Krugman is director of client services for experience marketing agency George P. Johnson. She can be reached at


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