The report found that at some companies, 75 percent of meetings management personnel's time is spent combing through legal
language to ensure that the team remains compliant. The other 25 percent is the actual meeting planning work. As recently
as 2005, almost 100 percent of the meeting planners' time would have been devoted to actually planning meetings.
Fewer Meetings for Companies as Well
Today, differing regulations have made it nearly impossible for meeting planners to attend to all of their responsibilities
by making it increasingly difficult to improve specific physician attendance.
As a result, regulations are hindering physician education opportunities from not only the physician side, but also the pharmaceutical
side. Companies are trimming meetings to just the necessary ones because they do not see the value of battling the various
Make no mistake, there will be no shortage of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or medical device meetings in the near future.
The report's data shows that 85 percent of companies will either maintain their meeting planning budgets or increase them.
The fact that only 15 percent of companies are looking to decrease their meeting budgets should allow meeting vendors and
suppliers to rest easy.
Another reason for a drop in overall spend per meeting is meeting planners' increased interest in virtual meetings. The savings
associated with Webinars and other virtual formats are too tantalizing for executives to pass up.
But virtual meetings have not replaced live meetings by any means—in fact, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that interest
and preference for live meetings will not go away anytime soon. But virtual meetings are likely to become a permanent addition
to the meetings management toolkit.
The meeting planner's future is likely filled with additional responsibilities for managing regulatory changes, developing
new strategies to attract physicians, continuing to find new methods of hosting large meetings on smaller per-meeting budgets,
and becoming a greater strategic partner within the organization.
Elio Evangelista is a research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
. For information about the report, The Evolving Global Meeting Management, go to