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Pharmaceutical Events - balance requires knowledge

Pharmaceutical events such as meetings and conferences have a primarily educational function. While there is a need to incorporate hospitality into such events, especially those that extend over several hours or even days, the code of practice of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) requires that the level of hospitality provided must be in proportion to the occasion. This means that all hospitality associated with pharmaceutical events should be secondary to their main educational purpose. Pharmaceutical companies that breach the code in this respect could face heavy sanctions. It is necessary, therefore, for organisers of pharmaceutical events to achieve the right balance in relation to education
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 and hospitality.

Achieving this balance requires thorough knowledge of the code to ensure compliance. All aspects of pharmaceutical events must be taken into consideration. These aspects include the venue and its location, the accommodations, the meals provided, activities offered, and the materials used. Timing is also important, with the length of the meeting needing to justify the type of hospitality available. Provision of three-course meals, for instance, at pharmaceutical events that last only an hour or two would not be acceptable to the code. Such hospitality may, however, be appropriate for pharmaceutical events that extend over one or two days.

While this is a fairly straightforward example, there are many other situations where organisers find it less easy to make a decision about whether the quality and cost of the hospitality achieves the right balance in relation to the educational content of pharmaceutical events. Venues need to be sourced to fit in with the content of the meetings, and should be professional and private, while activities should be offered only if they relate to the main educational purpose of the occasion. The advertising emphasis of pharmaceutical events must also focus on their educational content rather than the hospitality that accompanies them.

Combining these requirements with the many factors already involved in the organisation of pharmaceutical events results in a difficult and complex task. For this reason, some companies are electing to use the expertise of venue finding agencies when arranging pharmaceutical events. While this does not remove the responsibility of the pharmaceutical company to present an event that achieves the right balance between education
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 and hospitality, the agency's skills and knowledge provide an invaluable support in organising pharmaceutical events that comply with the requirements of the ABPI code of practice.

In addition to locating places for pharmaceutical events, venue finding agencies are able to advise as to whether those venues, and all other aspects of the events, are acceptable under the code. Certified by an industry consultant, a venue finding agency specialising in pharmaceutical events can ensure that everything from the location to the materials used at the event achieves the correct balance between educational content and hospitality as required by the ABPI code of practice. Because they are funded by hotels and conference venues, such agencies are able to provide their services free to organisers of pharmaceutical events.

A venue finding agency can provide savings in other ways for organisers of pharmaceutical events. Once the agency has located a suitable venue, it is able to negotiate the best price for the function and look after other associated tasks for the organiser. These tasks could range from setting up site visits and appointments with staff to arranging contracts between the venue and the organising company. The agency can also save you time in advance of pharmaceutical event by liaising with the venue on the numerous issues that need attention, and can provide on-site support to deal with any last minute problems. With its in-depth knowledge of venues, a venue finding agency can also ensure that the location of pharmaceutical events is acceptable to the requirements of the ABPI code of practice.

When you enlist the help of a venue finding agency for pharmaceutical events, you can also rest assured that the accommodations provided for guests, when overnight stays are necessary, will suit the code as well as the budget of the organising company. The agency can, if required, take over other matters connected with accommodation, including negotiating rates, taking bookings, and sending out confirmations. With a venue finding agency helping with such details, you can be sure the venues and accommodations chosen for your pharmaceutical events will be secured at the best rates, as well as being compliant with the ABPI code. You can also rest assured that all matters associated with the pharmaceutical events you organise will be acceptable to the code's requirements. The specialist knowledge of the venue finding agency you select will ensure that everything from the venue itself to the materials and activities achieve the right balance between educational content and hospitality. With this expert help, you will be free of worry when organising pharmaceutical events, and confident that they comply with the ABPI code of practice.


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