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The event world inside Astra Zenecca

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"All of us are looking into virtual meetings as one way of delivering your communication", Anna Frick, event manager of Astra Zenecca. 

What types of agencies do you work with? Do you segment a lot the agencies depending on the event?
We have a list of preferred suppliers that we stick to. These agencies provide us with all the logistics including venues in addition to this we will work with communication agencies together with us work on the content and the presentation format. And finally we have AV and exhibitions crews involved. They are more segmented per brand that type of events. All agencies are lead by our internal project leaders. 

What would you say are the main changes events are going through in your industry?
All meetings are under scrutiny business cases needs to be provided for each individual meeting in order to get the budget allocation. We are not going to as many meetings as before. We are trying to measure the outcome of our meetings by checking what the doctors has learned and what the take away message is. In line with this, we are sponsoring less delegates. Also, all of us are looking into virtual meetings as one way of delivering your communication. 

CME will grow in importance. And focus is getting more on science than promotion and therefore, in the future, sponsorship opportunities will need to reflect this shift. 

There is talk of increasing outsourcing of meetings depts. Do you thing this will be a key trend in pharma companies?
This is a key trend, and it is really happening. Personally I do not believe in a 100% outsourced model but tasks that in the old days were part of the meetings department are being outsourced. I think the majority of companies have outsourced their delegate management and logistics. 

Pharma is supposed to be a very advanced industry for meetings. What ROI measurement do you do?
In my company, we do surveys after meetings trying to get an estimate on what the delegates learned and what impact this may have in their future practices. As well as the delegates satisfaction level. We are in the industry talking about trying to identify one model that all can accept as standard and the medical societies also would recognise.

What would be your advice to agencies, to server better pharma clients?
Forget all about how it used to be and get a good in depth understanding of how the industry is shifting and what there new needs might be. Be creative in supporting the focus on science.

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