June 16, 2016

The challenges and opportunities facing planners of pharmaceutical and medical meetings remains an oft-discussed fast-evolving topic in the events industry. But a new report delves into a facet of this segment that has not received as much attention: what the physicians themselves look for in these events. A new survey from American Express Meeting & Events, "Doctor's Orders: The Physician's Perspective on Meetings and Events," explores the topic.

Drawing on the responses of more than 500 physicians worldwide, the report found that accessing new information and earning CME credits are two of the top reasons they decide to attend a meeting. Additionally, they cited presentation format, use of mobile technology and opportunities to connect with other attendees as areas in which meetings and events could be improved.

Gaining access to new information that will help their practices was cited by 74 percent of survey respondents, while sharing research was the least-cited benefit, cited by 39 percent.

"Attracting physicians and designing effective, compelling meeting experiences is critical to the ongoing success of pharmaceutical-sponsored meetings," said Issa Jouaneh, senior vice president and general manager for American Express Meetings & Events (pictured). "By better understanding the shifting expectations of physicians, meetings organizers can ensure that their events are a more effective channel for professional networking, product education, awareness and feedback."

Respondents estimated they received invitations to an average of 16 meetings in 2015, and attended half that number on average. The most popular types of events cited by the physicians were speaker dinners (attended by 67 percent of respondents), symposia (66 percent), congresses (53 percent) and product meetings (52 percent). The least commonly attended types of events were investigator meetings (24 percent) and data-monitoring committees (17 percent).