4 Trends Your Competitors are Doing to Enhance Their Virtual Meetings

Virtual peer-to-peer meetings or video webinars are on pharma marketers lists to do more of in 2018. Blitz Health is an industry leader in biopharma virtual educational events for HCPs and patients. The following trends can help you make the most of your virtual events:

  1. The Moderator is Out; the Group Learning Expert is In
  2. Knowing the Audience & Meeting Their Needs Through Dialogue
  3. Adding 2-way Video with the Latest Tools
  4. Making Attendance and Participation Easier

The benefits of virtual programs are many - lower cost (no travel expenses and reduced speaker honorarium), multiple reps logged in locally, as well as the option for HCPs to attend on their own from their home or office (broadening the reach beyond the dinner meeting.)

For these reasons, brand teams are shifting budget from in-person dinner meetings to offer more virtual programming.

Pharma marketers stated that Virtual Programming was the #1 area they were looking to increase investment for 2018.
— 2017 Blitz Snap Poll

With this increased reliance on virtual programs, the ability to enhance interaction between the presenter and the audience has become a priority.  

1.    The Moderator is Out; the Group Learning Expert is In

Almost everyone is familiar with the typical role of the web conference Moderator - make a few introductory comments, introduce the speaker and then you don't hear from them again until the end of the program.  A Blitz Health Group Learning Expert (GLE) does the same basic tasks as a Moderator, but also plays a critical role in driving the presentation and discussion.  A skilled GLE assists the speaker and audience throughout the event - presenting questions/discussion topics to the group, encouraging attendees to share their own experiences and interacting with both the speaker and other attendees, maintaining the integrity of the presentation (staying on label), handling adverse event reporting, and controlling the overall flow of the program to stay on topic and on time.  

The use of a GLE significantly changes the static approach of moderating to a more dynamic model, helping a presenter to have an engaging, interactive program that engages the audience. All Blitz Health programs use an MRL-approved Program Guide that ensures the GLE and speaker have an outline of the program flow, the approved content and discussion questions/topics, and critical compliance requirements in a readily available, easy-to-follow format.  The Program Guide allows the GLE to provide the best experience for both the speaker and attendees, without stifling the dynamic approach to an interactive presentation.

Blitz Health GLEs all have extensive backgrounds in pharmaceutical sales/marketing and a minimum of 10 years of experience leading interactive virtual programs across a wide range of diseases and products.  This experience provides them with the ability to adapt to the needs of each unique presentation and audience while ensuring that we maintain the mandatory compliance requirements.  In turn, this gives attendees confidence in the presentation being facilitated by the GLE and increases the attention and interaction within the audience.

2.    Know the Audience, Meet Their Needs, and Address Their Concerns Through Dialogue

While virtual programs have many obvious benefits, one of the perceived drawbacks is the lack of personal contact with attendees.  The traditional methodology of the remote speaker delivering a presentation followed by limited Q&A, tended to reinforce this idea  This lack of personal investment from attendees can have a detrimental effect on interaction and learning.  At Blitz Health, we use a variety of features to help understand our attendees' needs in order to draw them into the program to build the relationship between the speaker and audience and enhance learning.  These features include: 

  • pre-program entry questions asked during the login/connection process
  • live polling during the presentation
  • multiple discussion breaks instead of a single Q&A at the end
  • approved brand-strategic messaging for the GLE to use to encourage discussion (seed questions/topics)
  • attention tracking and time-management by the GLE

The use of these features affords better insight into each audience, encourages discussion, and makes for a unique presentation every time.

3.    Add 2-way Video, Today's Tools Make it Possible

In the past, successful web conferences typically had a GLE working in conjunction with the speaker using a webcam. Providing the audience the ability to see the speaker, especially during Q&A, heightens their understanding. It is even better to allow the speaker to view the audience and take in their visual clues to make sure their needs are being addressed. 

New low-cost technology has ushered in the use of 2-way video conferences into the pharma speaker program. This technology is easily implemented and lends particular value to program formats where 2 or 3 reps have gathered customer groups to participate in a speaker program. The presentation proceeds as planned but when the GLE wants to encourage group discussion and dialogue, video streams from each venue are shared allowing the participants to see each other and the speaker to view all participants. This 2-way video conference dinner meeting model is quickly becoming a sales team favorite, recreating the in-person experience for attendees and speaker, helping to reduce costs without sacrificing that crucial personal experience for the audience.

4.    Making Attendance and Participation Easier

None of the benefits of virtual programs will be realized if your attendees cannot connect to your meeting!  At Blitz Health, we have done extensive research, including live testing, of all of the available web conference platforms in order to provide a user-friendly experience for your presenters and attendees. We selected a platform that is device agnostic - running seamlessly on PC and MAC, Android and IOS, and all the top browsers (IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.). It's capable of playing a variety of content including PowerPoint presentations, Captivate learning modules, videos, and interactive polling, with a minimum of software installation. 

But of course someone will have the occasional technical issue, so you need to be ready to help. All of our GLEs are expert at assisting speakers and attendees. With over 15 years of experience doing virtual presentations, we have learned the benefit of planning and have multiple processes in place to make sure each meeting runs as smoothly as possible. 

Contact Blitz Health to get supporting case studies and learn more about our approach.