Sharing experience

Panel discussion about the new forces shaping the decision to in-house or outsource during the PCMA CIC in Niagara Falls

By Barbara Siqueira 

Technological convergence, social media, education on-demand, and new legislations about pharmaceutical sponsorship in medical meetings have been affecting the decision to either in-house or outsource meeting planning services.


This is a trending topic and was the subject of debate by distinguished panellists Daniel Lalonde, Executive Director at Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi), Christina Mills, Congress & Meetings Manager at World Federation of Hemophilia, and Gail Brathwaite, Meeting Manager at Endress Hauser.


Adriana Spitteler acted as a presenter and mediator and brought valuable points on the pros and cons of each decision. “Process control is a frequent reason why Meeting Planners decide to do in-house. However, a transparent discussion to address needs and concerns, a detailed project management plan to define task division, and a communication guideline can help to overcome this issue”.


A budget sample comparing the estimate costs in hiring extra staff with just outsourcing a housing bureau brought to light the hidden costs when deciding to organise accommodation in-house. “Hiring extra staff and training time are some of the hidden costs when choosing in-house. It is recommended to calculate ROI - return on investment - to compare scenarios”.


In addition to accommodation management best practices, Christina Mills shared valuable tips when signing a contract with hotels or venues. “We are adding specifics liability clauses in case of terrorism, and natural disasters that can affect our Congress.”


By the end of the panel, attendees were sharing their experiences on contracts and clauses, and also past experience. There are still diverse opinions on the decision to in-house or outsource as many forces are influencing the results.




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