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Optimizing Internal Meetings and Training Programs for Life Sciences

By Megan Burns posted 06-19-2024 11:46


At Cvent Connect 2024, we held our first ever Community Conversations, to allow attendees in similar companies and roles to have an opportunity to connect and knowledge share with other like-minded individuals. While everyone at Connect is a Cvent user, they are not all in your industry where you can relate to the same challenges and successes. We wanted to create a space where attendees felt comfortable sharing, asking questions, and were able to get ideas to take home with them. 

We worked to provide relevant content that we were hearing within our client base, and now we want to share it with you all as well! Our goal is for you to walk away with a greater understanding of how internal events are structured in your programs and those around you, key focus areas when expanding your Cvent technology, and scaling effective education methods.

We want to start with a little story that will weave its way throughout our time today. It is a little company you have probably never heard of called C&O Medical. These two lovely meeting professionals are our clients. They’re busy gals – doing less with more. They use Cvent for all their customer-facing events – they host advisory boards, run product launches, always travel to roadshows, run webinars, you name it! And they rely on us as their success resource to help optimize their meeting program with the technology available in Cvent.

Since they use Cvent often, they are starting to get a lot of attention from internal stakeholders. What is this amazing app you used at our ad board? Can you do an automated check-in for every event? Registration was so much easier than sending my Teams invite. This is opening the flood gates for them, so they want to figure out what’s the best place to start. What are other clients doing?

Let’s take a step back and talk about what a Life Sciences meeting program looks like today.

Here is an example:

With internal on the left and external on the right, we have generalized it into typical meeting types we see across your organizations.

We see many very well-run external-facing programs. What we don’t see much of, though, is internal meetings. Today, we focus on these internal meeting types and how to scale what you already have with external meetings to grow your program. Those could range from sales training by region, divisional town halls, HR training, and so on. Many of these meeting types might fall outside the typical Meetings & Events department requirements for support, but it is important that you still have visibility into key metrics within all meetings in your organization. No matter how involved your department is.

We then asked the attendees a poll question to get an idea of where our audience had visibility & influence today:

Does your team have visibility over internal meetings in your program?

  1. My team is responsible for all internal meetings
  2. My team handles some internal meetings dependent on the criteria
  3. My team doesn’t handle internal meetings

We found that the majority of the audience fell into the second option, “My team handles some internal meetings dependent on criteria.”

We heard about some barriers to internal meetings at certain organizations, including what businesses have resources to support meeting-related tasks and how to incorporate facilities needs.

Now let’s jump back to our friends at C&O Medical and see where their events program stands. You heard the floodgates are opening with interest in using Cvent for internal events. C&O Medical is excited to start collecting these events to broaden their meeting program data and provide a consistent attendee experience through technology. But they need help understanding how to approach this in Cvent so everyone has the RIGHT permissions & visibility. How can they continue to grow this long-term with their program and include other internal meeting types?

To help C&O Medical understand where to start, let’s discuss expanding Cvent’s footprint. We recommend the following for our customers who are expanding their internal program management: Establish a Cvent Oversight Group, Define User Permissions and Visibility, Standardize Data Collection, and Facilitate Change Management.

Defining User Permissions and Visibility is a great place to start. Defining these permissions and Visibility limits access to users who don’t need full visibility into your account. For example, one client at Connect shared that they are working on combining multiple Cvent accounts into one single Cvent account. Without defining User Permissions and Visibility, all events will filter into that Cvent User View. The ideal experience for Cvent Users would be logging in and seeing the events that they oversee.

Establishing a program-wide Oversight Group—these may be leads from various businesses or regions who will help make program-wide decisions that will affect the whole account. This group will oversee the steps needed to expand Cvent’s Footprint and put those recommendations into motion.

Standardize Data Collection—It is important to have accurate and consistent data across your organization. Creating custom fields to be used across your Cvent account and integrating them with your existing CRM databases are great places to begin.

Facilitating Change Management: You will need to continue iterating on your process, defining how changes are communicated, and relying on the oversight group to help champion them. 

Don’t forget to lean on your account team & other Cvent resources as you go through these changes!

Back to our friends at C&O Medical. As they’re bringing on all these new internal meetings, it was time they enforced standardized education and an actual onboarding process to ensure users can be self-sufficient but stick to their policy. Today, they rely on Cvent’s community articles and individual users' step-by-step notes with screenshots that are likely outdated.  

When focusing on education for Employees and Internal Stakeholders, we see three main categories: Power Users, Resources, and Ongoing Education.

  • Power Users:
    • Sub-Admins
    • Regional leads
    • Advisors to governance council
  • Resources:
    •  User guide by function
    • Templates
    • SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)
    • Knowledge base – the Cvent Knowledge Base is there for your users if you don’t have your own
  • Ongoing Education:
    • Centralized hub for account-specific training and communications—lean on technology such as the Cvent Attendee Hub or an Access Portal to act as this hub for your users.
    • Lunch & Learns

To wrap up, we want to tell you how happy C&O Medical is now that they’ve leveraged their existing processes to expand into internal meetings; set up a lasting governance structure; and created custom education for their users to be successful. This has gained the attention of their senior leadership and they are in talks for more budget for next year – maybe we will hear more next year at Connect!

Do you want to collaborate and knowledge share with other Cvent users in the Life Sciences vertical? We are excited to introduce the Life Science Community User Group – a space for you to continue collaborating with your peers in our Community. You can access the new user group HERE!