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5 Ways the Pharma Event Industry Has Adapted to A Virtual World

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and quarantine protocols were enforced across the globe – putting the exchange of knowledge and information in the pharmaceutical industry at risk.

This was one of the most significant medical events in living memory – and it called for the world’s greatest medical minds to pull together, in any way they could. However, in-person events were not feasible or safe to hold, so organisers had to act fast to prevent vital dialogues from grinding to a halt. The industry soon gravitated towards gatherings that were held on a virtual platform, rather than face-to-face.

Although the pandemic has since lulled, the appeal of virtual events is pressing on. For pharmaceutical companies, embracing an online world has injected new possibilities into event production – making them more creative and dynamic than ever before.

There are five big ways that pharmaceutical events adapted to this new, virtual world – and we’re going to explain them right here.

1. Larger Audiences

In the days of in-person only events, if you weren’t free on the day (or indeed the week, if it required significant travel), you simply couldn’t attend. For those in medical and pharmaceutical professions, this could be extremely challenging to juggle alongside a busy schedule.

When you need to get in front of a large audience, virtual events have huge benefits. It’s far easier for invested parties to find the time to join, without taking up a chunk of their diary – which, in turn, makes it more likely that you’ll benefit from their valuable insights.

All the while, pharmaceutical companies with a large international presence can arrange vital symposiums, training, and product launches without asking hundreds of delegates to travel across the globe – making it easier than ever to collaborate on a shared path.

2. Accessibility


Ensuring that everyone, regardless of their physical abilities or location, has the opportunity to participate and access information is vital to creating an equitable environment. Virtual events are often more inclusive to individuals with disabilities or mobility issues, who may have difficulty attending an event in-person.

Virtual events allow for live captioning, sign-language interpretation, and other accessibility features which enable a wider and more diverse group of people to engage. In the pharmaceutical industry, this contribution is vital; it permits a robust exchange of ideas and perspectives, which can ultimately lead to better outcomes and innovations.

Furthermore, accessibility in pharmaceutical events is crucial to professional development. It allows individuals with disabilities or mobility issues to continue to learn and advance in their careers, unleashing greater personal opportunities and business benefits.

3. Cost

If a pharmaceutical company needs to protect its budget, virtual events can be a godsend. By holding an event online, huge amounts of cash could be saved on…

  • Venue costs. With virtual events, there is no need to rent or book a physical venue

  • Travel costs. Attendees don’t have to travel to a physical event location, which can save on transportation, lodging, and other travel expenses.

  • Food and beverage costs. There is no need to provide refreshments for attendees at a virtual event, which can be a significant cost saving.

  • Staffing costs. With virtual events, there is less need for on-site staff, which can save on labour expenses.

  • Marketing costs. Virtual events can also help to save money on marketing, as the reach of virtual events is often wider and can be more cost-effective when it comes to ROI.

Overall, virtual events offer cost savings in multiple areas - presenting a budget-friendly option for pharmaceutical organisations.

4. Creative Freedom


Virtual pharmaceutical events can offer an enviable amount of creative freedom for a few reasons.

For starters, the latest innovations in augmented reality and interactive features can enhance the attendee experience significantly, allowing for more creative and engaging content. This is, by nature, best suited to a virtual or hybrid platform.

In addition, virtual events are often more flexible than an in-person equivalent. They can be tailored to the specific needs of the audience and can be more adaptable in terms of format. The content can even be recorded and reused in the future, for maximum value.

Virtual events even allow for more interactivity and audience engagement, where attendees can participate in polls, quizzes, and live Q&A sessions, simply by using the technology that connects them to the event – such as a laptop, tablet or phone.

As we addressed earlier, virtual events are often more cost-effective than in-person events. So, the budget you saved could be invested back into the resources required for ultra-creative and engaging ideas.

5. Sustainability

For the pharmaceutical and medical sector, sustainability is a hot topic.

The NHS, for example, have introduced Net Zero – their initiative to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. As the largest employer in the UK and the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, shrinking their carbon footprint is a top priority – and it sets a precedent for the health sector at large.

It goes without saying, therefore, that flying people around the world doesn’t send a great message about a company’s ethos; particularly for events, which could be considered non-essential in the digital age.

For the pharmaceutical industry, putting sustainability at the core of event planning is integral when it comes to protecting the company’s reputation and appeal. Thankfully, virtual events are extremely eco-friendly.

Virtual events do not require travel, which reduces carbon emissions from various modes of transport. They also don’t require the same amount of lighting, heating, and cooling as in-person events; plus, they generate far less waste, as they won’t require printed materials, food and beverages, or other disposable items.

Overall, it’s easy to see why virtual pharmaceutical events can contribute to a more sustainable future. To further your impact in this area, you can even choose to work with an eco-conscious events agency; for example, UKSV is proud to become a member of isla – a non-profit organisation focusing on a sustainable future for brand experience and events.

If you’re a pharmaceutical company looking to make an impact with your events, you should rely on a specialist event planner.

A specialist will have worked with numerous pharmaceutical companies and managed countless events – demonstrating real knowledge of your industry, as well as its unique challenges.

UKSV has:

  • Provided over 10,000 hours (1,266 days) of pre-production, onsite and production support to the pharmaceutical events industry.
  • Reached over 63,000 separate healthcare professionals through its live pharmaceutical activities.
  • Delivered 61 pharmaceutical projects, including 30 virtual/hybrid events and videos.
  • Won the Best Event Award at the UK Agency Awards 2022 and the Most Dedicated Events Agency 2022 in the Southern Enterprise Awards, as a result of its pharmaceutical work.

UKSV can remedy the stress of managing your pharmaceutical events.

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