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Reshaping events in pharma

Healthcare professional (HCP) engagement experienced significant shifts during the acute phase of the pandemic, as COVID-19 forced a
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Healthcare professional (HCP) engagement experienced significant shifts during the acute phase of the pandemic, as COVID-19 forced a rethink of traditional pharmaceutical sales and marketing practices, including the digitisation of events.

With medical conferences and events long a mainstay for pharma-HCP interactions, the pandemic’s travel restrictions, and lockdowns forced these in-person meet-ups to go virtual.

Now, as face-to-face engagement returns to the agenda, all eyes are on the future shape of pharma events as the world starts to navigate its way out of pandemic conditions.

Some key learnings and best practices have already emerged from those events that were run during the pandemic, and there’s a clear desire on the part of many HCPs to retain some of the changed approaches put in place during the COVID lockdowns.

The changing events model

Pharma events saw the same sorts of genuine shifts to virtual channels as every other engagement method during lockdowns, according to Jenna Sherlock-Goudet, who’s senior manager of CRM events management strategy at Veeva.

“Before COVID, pharma events were mainly face-to-face. There’s now a need to find different ways of interacting with HCPs.”

As pharma rethinks its digital strategy and overall engagement model, companies should optimise the format of events to improve upon future events, and there are several ways this can be done.

For example, tracking audience engagement will help companies see what works best and where improvements can be made to increase interaction.

“[Brands] need to be very targeted and clear on who their audience is and how they want to participate. It’s one thing, pharma wanting to run hybrid events, but you need to know that your HCPs are also willing to interact with you in that way. Knowing and correctly targeting your audience is key,” Sherlock-Goudet says.

Consider what worked at a physical event versus what might work virtually to deliver a seamless hybrid event that encourages overall HCP engagement.

Linking events with the company’s broader content strategy will help regularly communicate more in-depth insights, and delivering content in new and engaging ways, such as gamification or extended reality, will draw in your audience.

Securing excellent speakers will undoubtedly enhance the event experience. Communicating in virtual environments requires tech-savvy, articulate individuals with strong communication skills.

Lastly, make the most of technology to streamline and minimise compliance risks, so your team can engage and manage communication effectively.

Rethinking pharma’s events’ strategy

During the short period in which these changes occurred there was a steep learning curve for pharma companies trying to run digital events productively.

These included technical difficulties, but as Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ IMCM customer engagement and CRM lead Daniel Nietske notes, these were expected.

“It started with which tools to use and which skills to learn to execute these events properly,” he says. “We also encountered internal process-related difficulties that led to questioning the appropriate event format to be attractive in a virtual setting.”

A common first step for digital meetings was often to take what was used to occur face-to-face and put it online. But HCP feedback about issues such as ‘Zoom fatigue’ confirmed that approach does not make for particularly engaging events.

According to Sherlock-Goudet, some companies instead took the opportunity to rethink their events strategy and made use of innovative technologies to encourage greater audience engagement and hone in on those event formats that would be most successful for their company’s objectives. In this way, companies were able to use the additional opportunities for interactivity afforded by virtual channels to drive deeper engagement.

One such company was GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), as its global product director Dave Yates explains: “GSK facilitates attendee participation through interactive discussion boards, live polls, word clouds, and audience Q&A. Posts can be moderated to ensure the suitability of content and adherence to regulatory requirements.”

“Speakers too are encouraged to use these features to ensure their presentations are adding value to the audience, adapting where applicable to the crowd-sourced suggestions.”

Focusing on adding value will be critical as pharma companies decide how to rework their tried and trusted pre-COVID engagement models and retool them for the future.

Creating HCP events that leave lasting impressions

Congresses and other meetings should not be seen as an independent experience but rather part of a company’s multichannel HCP engagement strategy.

Bayer’s Nietske says: “One of our most important focus areas is not to see an event as an independent activity. The event is part of the customer journey, which combines several activities and needs to feel seamless and smooth for a customer.

“The exchange between peers on virtual events still seems to be a major challenge in the virtual setup. We are trying out different formats and virtual event platforms but unfortunately nothing seems to be able to replace a simple coffee break communication on a face-to-face event.”

Utilising data collection during events will help extend the experience beyond the day of the event and can be used to enhance future events. Holding events virtually opens new opportunities for data collection that generate actionable insights for companies.

For GSK, the shift to virtual events provides a wealth of insights from informative data about HCP touchpoints.

Yates explains: “We can now understand what material is accessed in event resource libraries, how people vote in live polls, where attendees interact within event sessions. Crucially, we can collect personalised voice of customer feedback.

“All of this can increase customer experience at future events and ensure relevancy and personalisation of next actions.”

Keeping front-of-mind what organisers want attendees to learn and remember will be crucial if events are to leave a lasting impression on attendees and drive behaviour change.

The future of pharma events

The exact shape of pharma events has yet to coalesce around a particular model fully, but even at this stage, several trends are emerging.

One of those is the hybrid approach. By combining a face-to-face element for those who are able and willing to attend in-person with a virtual component that increases an event’s reach and engagement, organisers aim for a ‘best of both worlds’ experience.

This hybrid format requires companies to be proactive and data-driven if they are to understand what works and what needs to change. As a best practice, companies can host rep-led events that enable the rep to host in-person and virtually, and HCPs can attend based on their preferences and availability.

But, each region is seeing different approaches emerging.  “Interestingly, in the US where things are opening up or have been opening up much quicker than in Europe, we were closely tracking whether face-to-face would bounce back as some of our customers thought it would, and we’ve not seen that,” Sherlock-Goudet notes.

Irrespective of geography, there are some commonalities that all pharma companies will need to optimise if they are going to create valuable events.

GSK’s Yates explains: “Virtual platforms, remote attendance, and the necessity of prioritising the events engagement strategy will remain key. Whether events are virtual, face-to-face, or often a hybrid of both, there will remain an audience expectation to participate and interact throughout events.”

“As an industry, we can now move away from purely driving attendance numbers and shift focus to adding value, changing behaviours, and using insight to inform our next call objectives and customer prioritisation.”

As companies create a solid foundation for building their future strategies, one that includes a hybrid mix of elements appropriate to their audiences, they must beware of the pitfalls of creating the right virtual portfolio for both worlds.

Bayer’s Nietske is clear about the future direction of HCP engagement and how to manage its challenges.

He says: “Virtual education (on demand) platforms will also be a major aspect in our future industry setup to take over some of the former face-to-face activities. However, I see the risk of increased complexity for hybrid events in the future, so it will be crucial to have the right tools and partners on hand.”

For more recommendations on how to combat digital fatigue and differentiate your virtual events, download the playbook: Best Practices for Impactful Digital Events.

About the interviewees

Dave Yates is a global product director at GSK Pharmaceuticals. He is recognised as delivering a ‘game-changing contribution to business performance’ for defining a vision, representing the customer’s voice, and creating an integrated multi-product roadmap for end-to-end event delivery. Responsible for re-imagining the Pharma-HCP customer experience, harnessing, and integrating the power of digital technologies into business   operations.

Daniel Nitschke has been integrated multichannel marketing and CRM lead within Bayer’s Pharmaceutical division since 2019 in Berlin. 13 Years with Bayer in total within IT and Pharma-related positions in Germany and China with a strong focus on Sales/Marketing IT Solutions and Business Intelligence Projects.

Jenna Sherlock-Goudet works within Veeva Europe’s commercial strategy team as senior manager for Veeva CRM Events Management. She is responsible for the strategic vision in the region, driving product innovation, and ensuring alignment with local market requirements and customers’ success with the product.

About Veeva Systems

Veeva is the global leader in cloud software for the life sciences industry. Committed to innovation, product excellence, and customer success, Veeva serves more than 1,100 customers, ranging from the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to emerging biotechs. As a Public Benefit Corporation, Veeva is committed to balancing the interests of all stakeholders, including customers, employees, shareholders, and the industries it serves. For more information, visit

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Spread & Containment

TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A major morning television show in the UK deleted a Twitter poll asking if vaccines should be made mandatory..



TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A major morning television show in the UK deleted a Twitter poll asking if vaccines should be made mandatory after the results showed that 89% of respondents oppose compulsory shots.

Yes, really.

Good Morning Britain, which often tries to set the news agenda, posted the poll which asked the public, “With Omicron cases doubling every two days, is it time to make vaccines mandatory?”

The last screenshots Twitter users were able to obtain before the poll was wiped showed 89% oppose mandatory vaccinations, with just 11% in favor after a total of over 42,000 votes.

People demanded to know why the poll had been pulled, although it wasn’t exactly hard to guess.

Why did you delete this poll, is it because you were asked? Or because it shows the people don’t support this s**t, this tyrannical future your colleagues seem to want. We see you,” commented one respondent.

“Guess that wasn’t the answer they were looking for,” remarked another.

Good Morning Britain has failed to explain why it removed the poll.

However, it’s unsurprising given that the broadcast has been a vehicle for pushing pro-lockdown messaging since the start of the pandemic.

For most of that time, it was hosted by Piers Morgan, an aggressive proponent of lockdowns, mandatory vaccines and face masks.

The show also regularly features Dr. Hillary Jones, someone who at the start of the pandemic warned that face masks could make the spread of the virus worse, before getting the memo and doing a complete 180.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Thu, 12/09/2021 - 03:30

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Life Sciences Expansions Take Off as 2021 Wraps Up

Several life sciences companies and life science-focused real estate firms announced expansion plans as 2021 comes to an end.



Life Sciences Expansions Take Off as 2021 Wraps Up

Several life sciences companies and life science-focused real estate firms have announced expansion plans as 2021 comes to an end. Here’s a look.

Novavax to Expand Maryland Campus

Novavax, on the cusp of getting its COVID-19 vaccine authorized in numerous countries around the world, is expanding its footprint in Gaithersburg, Md., where it is headquartered. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to authorize the company’s vaccine soon, and so is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Czechia has already ordered 370,000 doses, with deliveries expected at the beginning of 2022. The company also has a deal with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies to manufacture millions of doses of the Novavax vaccines at its facilities in Billingham, U.K., with a £400 million investment in expansion.

Four Corners Acquired 150,000-Square-Foot Complex in Belmont, Calif.

Four Corners Properties acquired a 150,000-square-foot office building in Belmont, Calif., called the Shoreway Innovation Center. The seller was Westlake Group. Westlake bought it in 2016 for $61 million. The company plans to expand its use for life sciences, noting that 82% of it is currently leased to a mix of tenants with an average of less than three years lease term remaining.

“Shoreway Innovation Center offers the opportunity to bring office and life sciences space to a market where tenant demand is far outpacing available supply,” said Mike Taquino, executive vice president of CBRE’s Northern California Capital Markets team.

Genentech Leases Building Under Construction in South San Francisco

Source: BioSpace

Boston Properties and Alexandria Real Estate Equities are leasing a building under construction in South San Francisco to Genentech. It will be the first phase of a life sciences campus. The building is at 751 Gateway and is 229,000 square feet. The campus will be called Gateway Commons and is a joint venture between the two real estate firms. They expect initial occupancy toward the end of 2024. Genentech has been headquartered in South San Francisco for forty years, with a large corporate headquarters made up of 4.7 million square feet of five neighborhood hubs. The new site is about one mile’s distance from their main campus.

Mispro Biotech to Open New Facility in North Carolina in Early 2022

Mispro Biotech Services plans to open a new facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), N.C., in early 2022. Mispro is a leading contract vivarium organization (CVO). The new facility, a full-service vivarium research facility, will be central to one of RTP’s biopark campuses.

“Since we first opened our doors here in 2013, we have seen incredible growth in the RTP cluster,” said Philippe Lamarre, chief executive officer of Mispro. “The time was right to expand into a new facility with more space and modern amenities where we can support the influx of biotechs who are seeking in vivo lab space.”

Laura Gunter, president of NCBIO, representing the life sciences industry in North Carolina, noted, “Mispro has become a cornerstone of the Triangle ecosystem as contract research and support companies are finding increased favor. Biotechs of all sizes and therapeutic disciplines are focusing more on their core competencies, which is opening the door to innovation like Mispro’s contract vivarium option. We are pleased to see their decision to expand here and support more North Carolina companies.”

BioSpace source:

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Over 170 companies delisted from major U.S. stock exchanges in 12 months

  Over the years, United States-based exchanges have remained an attractive destination for most companies aiming to go public. With businesses jostling to join the trading platforms, the exchanges have also delisted a significant number of companies….





Over the years, United States-based exchanges have remained an attractive destination for most companies aiming to go public. With businesses jostling to join the trading platforms, the exchanges have also delisted a significant number of companies.

According to data acquired by Finbold, a total of 179 companies have been delisted from the major United States exchanges between 2020 and 2021. In 2021, the number of companies on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands at 6,000, dropping 2.89% from last year’s figure of 6,179. In 2019, the listed companies stood at 5,454.

NYSE recorded the highest delisting with companies on the platform, dropping 15.28% year-over-year from 2,873 to 2,434. Elsewhere, Nasdaq listed companies grew 7.86% from 3,306 to 3,566. Data on the number of listed companies on NASDAQ and NYSE is provided by The World Federation of Exchanges.

The delisting of the companies is potentially guided by basic factors such as violating listing regulations and failing to meet minimum financial standards like the inability to maintain a minimum share price, financial ratios, and sales levels. Additionally, some companies might opt for voluntary delisting motivated by the desire to trade on other exchanges.

Furthermore, the delisting on U.S. major exchanges might be due to the emergence of new alternative markets, especially in Asia. China and Hong Kong markets have become more appealing, with regulators making local listings more attractive. Over the years, exchanges in the region have strived to emerge as key players amid dominance by U.S. equity markets. As per a previous report, the U.S. controls 56% of the global stock market value.

A significant portion of the delisted companies also stems from the regulatory perspective pitting U.S. agencies and their Chinese counterparts. For instance, China Mobile Ltd, China Unicom, and China Telecom Corp announced their delisting from NYSE, citing investment restrictions dating from 2020.

Worth noting is that the delisting of firms was initiated due to strict measures put in place by the Trump administration. The current administration has left the regulations in place while proposing additional regulations. For instance, a recent regulation update by the Securities Exchange Commission requiring US-listed Chinese companies to disclose their ownership structure has led to the exit of cab-hailing company Didi from the NYSE.

Impact of pandemic on the listing of companies

The delisting also comes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in economic turmoil. With the shutdown of the economy, most companies entered into bankruptcies as the stock market crashed to historical lows.

Lower stock prices translate to less wealth for businesses, pension funds, and individual investors, and listed companies could not get the much-needed funding for their normal operations.

At the same time, the focus on more companies going public over the last year can be highlighted by firms on the Nasdaq exchange. Worth noting is that in 2020, there was tremendous growth in special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), mainly driven by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. With the uncertainty of raising money through the traditional means, SPACs found a perfect role to inject more funds into capital-starving companies to go public.

From the data, foreign companies listing in the United States have grown steadily, with the business aiming to leverage the benefits of operating in the country. Notably, listing on U.S. exchanges guarantees companies liquidity and high potential to raise capital. Furthermore, listing on either NYSE or Nasdaq comes with the needed credibility to attract more investors. The companies are generally viewed as a home for established, respected, and successful global companies.

In general, over the past year, factors like the pandemic have altered the face of stock exchanges to some point threatening the continued dominance of major U.S. exchanges. Tensions between the US and China are contributing to the crisis which will eventually impact the number of listed companies.


Courtesy of Finbold.

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