Archive for the ‘Conference’ Category

We’re on the threshold of the annual SPBT (Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers) conference. We’re back in Orlando, and it looks like the event is loaded up with lots of good stuff once again this year.

For my part, I’ll be focusing on the importance of social networks – not only delivering a Wednesday afternoon workshop on the topic, but also helping out in the “Social Media Shack” for one-on-one coaching on advancing your career with social networks.

Each year, I look over the agenda and pull out the sessions that are of particular interest to me. Here’s what is catching my eye this year:


Loud, Small, and Disconnected: Adapting and Converting Content for Mobile – Jay Goldman. Mobile is a huge deal, and it will only become bigger. I especially think that tablets (like the iPad) will be game-changers. I’ll be drinking in everything I can learn about iPad apps this year.

Can We Really do Product Training through a Computer? – Braydon Johnson-McCormick and Jeff Taylor. I know both of these gentlemen, and I know what they’ve worked on. It’s very cool.

Customer Insights for Training Success – Manny Gaspar. Fascinating topic. We like data points.

Maximizing Sales Force Effectiveness With a (Simulation-based) Mastery Training Methodology – Kevin Glover. If it says “Simulation,” I’m in. Plus Kevin is a great guy.

Proof That Managed Markets Training Gets Sales Results-A Case Study With ROI! – Kathy West, Dennis Falci, Chris Ayers. Case Study? ROI? Want to see it.

Business Acumen in Life Science Sales: A Discussion Panel – Fred Marshall et. al. Very hot topic. And I’ve had a sneak preview. Powerful stuff.

Product Launch Excellence – Ready, Set, Train! – Philip McCrea et. al. Strong panel and a great topic. “it is critical that companies have the right framework in place while ensuring the organization is product-launch ready.”


Using Experiential Learning to Create Powerful Business Results – Annika McCrea, Alan Gentry, Jeff Tucker, Kelvin Yao. Same time as my workshop on sociai networking, which REALLY bums me out! May have to bring a clone. Plus, Mike Capaldi’s session on Social Learning is also at the same time. Scheduling FAIL! ;>}

Alternative Reality Challenge: An Interactive Blended Compliance Training Experience – Cinda Serianni, Caroline Bennett. OK, I’m a sucker for interactive stuff. You knew that.

Strategic Business Acumen: Training Your Sales Team on the Reimbursement Pathway – Pam Marinko. Business Acumen. Specialty Sales. Enough said.

Enhancing Clinical Understanding through Virtual Preceptorships – Ian Kelly, Ron Schanze. Hey, it’s tech.


Lessons Learned in Global Learning – Brian White, Dawn Epstein, Eric Jacobs. Always have to stay on top of this topic.

Creating Lasting Engagement: A Role for Sales Training and Field Coaching – Ed McCarthy, Phil Horne. I like Ed’s angle on this subject.

Of course, there are loads of other workshop topics, and your interests will vary. I’m also glad to see that my friend John Talanca will be giving a talk during one of the general sessions.

During the conference, I will be a “free-ranging” resource for you – happy to talk over your training challenges, make introductions to targeted vendors, give pointers on social networking, etc.

Here’s how to reach me before/during/after the SPBT conference: download my digital business card with all contact info to your mobile, by simply texting swoodruff to 50500. During the conference, the easiest way to make contact is to just send a text.

Hope to see you in Orlando!


Sign up for the Impactiviti Connection weekly e-newsletter (see sample), chock full of news and resources for pharmaceutical professionals

Get the Impactiviti overview

Read Full Post »

This week, I enjoyed the opportunity to gather with a large number of professional colleagues at eXL Pharma’s 4th Annual Digital Pharma East conference.

I’ve attended this conference 3 or 4 times and it gets better every year. This year was no exception. The eXL team (Bryon Main, Jason Youner, Jayson Mercado, and others) did a great job organizing a multi-faceted event that contained far more variety than most of the ePharma conferences I’ve attended.

Instead of giving a recap of content (ably being done by several others – here, here, here, here, here, here, and including this very cool video essay by DoctorAnonymous, Mike Sevilla!), I’m going to list out some of my high-level impressions and perspectives as a veteran conference correspondent and industry networker.

1. It was great to have participation from savvy ePatients and ePhysicians. I can’t underscore enough how much it matters for pharma professionals to be exposed to “customers” on the ground, especially those emerging into thought leadership. Not only did I get to renew ties (and meet for the first time) some of my ePatient friends, but I was also privilege to have long discussions with Mike Sevilla (DoctorAnonymous online) and Bryan Vartabedian (Doctor_V online). Bryan ably served as co-host along with Shwen Gwee, the social media guru at Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

2. Mobile is huge. And getting huger. If you’re not thinking about the intersection of communications and mobile devices, then you’re trying to make a faster horse-and-buggy while cars whiz by.

3. We’re finally moving past the first few years of very limited social media case studies into a variety of interesting approaches and efforts. Frankly, the ePharma conference circuit was getting a bit wearisome as industry struggled with the very basics, but now the on-line efforts are maturing, and increasingly being tied into off-line (integrated) efforts (Applause from audience). The best part is that these efforts will only increase in number and creativity.

4. Including speakers who are not embedded in the industry is very smart. We enjoyed hearing from Doc Searls (one of the authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto), Bob Garfield (Advertising Age columnist), and futurist Ian Morrison. Getting high-level perspectives about cultural and technological trends definitely stirs up more creative thinking and discussion. As we all know, pharma can be very insular, and we need fresh infusions from the outside to keep us from being boxed in by our own self-made ruts.

5. There is no substitute for face-to-face networking. Attaching names to faces to feelings to ideas to potential collaboration…you cannot replace human networking with technology. This came up several times in talks as well, about the potential for pharma to be overly enamored with e-solutions such that human contact with physicians gets lost. And for me, it was a welcome chance to rub shoulders with old and new friends like Shwen Gwee (credit for photo above), John Mack, Eileen O’Brien, Gilles Frydman, Phil Baumann, Daphne Swancutt, Bruce Grant, Faruk Capan, Jess Seilheimer, Mike Myers, Ellen Hoenig, Jeff Greene, Len Starnes, Christiane Truelove, Cheryl Ann Borne, Hannah McDonald, Allison Blass, Mark Senak, Gigi Peterkin, DJ Edgerton, Cynthia North, Zoe Dunn, Kelly Dane, Chris Campbell, Quang Pham, Lance Hill, Carly Kuper, Alex Butler (who, for being an industry pioneer, won the Hawaiian shirt off of John Mack’s back!) and many others – these are the people that are shaping the future of pharma digital. And many have become good friends, both on- and off-line!

6. Having tracks and unconference sessions is a really good idea. The problem, of course, with tracks is that you want to be in more than one session at a time – but I think it’s great for drawing a more diverse set of attendees, and open discussions during unconference sessions can be very lively and invigorating (note: successful unconference sessions rely on a skillful moderator who knows how to draw others out, and at least a few people who don’t mind sharing opinions and being a bit provocative!)

Three years ago, live-tweeting a pharma conference was brand new territory. Now it’s becoming common practice. If you want dig deeper into the content, quotes, impressions, and resources shared, do a Twitter search under the hashtag #digpharm. This is also a great way to discover some of the most active folks involved in pharma social networking.

There is much more that could be said, but I can’t close without thanking the many sponsors who helped make the event possible, especially PixelsandPills, HealthCentral, and HealthEd, who sponsored social events in the evening.


Sign up for the Impactiviti Connection weekly e-newsletter (see sample), chock full of news and resources for pharmaceutical professionals.

Get the Impactiviti overview.

Read Full Post »

I had the privilege a couple weeks back of attending the second annual ePatient Connections conference, which I highly recommend for those in the pharma/healthcare industry.

Interacting with the growing number of influential ePatients, and hearing their perspectives, is immensely valuable. The conference is put on by Kevin Kruse and his team at Kru Research.

Here is my video recap:

Other helpful summaries of the conference can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.


Sign up for the Impactiviti Connection weekly e-newsletter (see sample), chock full of news and resources for pharmaceutical professionals.

Get the Impactiviti overview.

Visit the Impactiviti Job Board


Read Full Post »

On my conference schedule for July 2010 are two events, both geared toward pharma marketing/communications, and both during the last week of the month:

exl Pharma‘s 6th Public Relations and Communications Summit will be held in NYC on July 26th and 27th, and is chock full of great speakers. It should be an excellent networking opportunity. Go here for more information and to register on-line.

CBI (the Center for Business Intelligence) is putting on an event focusing on communicating with patients, an area of growing interest and practice for Impactiviti. The Bio/Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Forum on Patient-Centered Marketing will be held in Philadelphia on July 28-29 – and, as a bonus, is co-located with a sister event, Evolving the Pharma Sales Model. Go here for more information, including registration.

I will be covering both events live via social media.


Sign up for the Impactiviti Connection almost-daily e-newsletter (see sample), chock full of news and resources for pharmaceutical professionals

Visit the Impactiviti Job Board


Read Full Post »



Amgen finally gets approval for Prolia – After months of delay, Amgen finally won FDA approval for Prolia, an injectable treatment for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who are at high risk for fractures. The endorsement is a big boost for the biotech, which has been counting on Prolia to reverse a series of setbacks over the past few years, notably a decline in sales of some of its largest-selling products, Aranesp and Enbrelmore

Encouraging early-early-early result? Sure. Overly optimistic headline? Of course. New vaccine “could eliminate breast cancer.” Sally Church gives us some good cautionary words about over-hyping such results.

Biogen sues multiple rivals over MS drug – seeks royalties. I’m sure the lawyers, at least, are happy about this development.


Territory Management Training. We’ve got the vendor/partners you need for this – contact us (stevew at impactiviti dot com, or phone at 973-947-7429) for recommendations.


Sales and Account Manager, Training Agency serving Life Sciences (Massachusetts), experience required. From the Impactiviti Job Board.


Looking Forward to the SPBT Conference – here’s what I’ll be doing, and the workshops that look appealing. Will I see you there? Download my digital business card (see linked post) and let’s get together in Orlando! (SPBT = Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers)


16 Thin Buildings. Actually, I’d prefer to see one thinner consultant, in the mirror. Sigh.


Subscribe to the Impactiviti blog via e-mail (which will bring you Impactiviti Daily – a brief of the day’s top pharma news)

Visit the Impactiviti Job Board

Sign up for the Impactiviti Connection twice-monthly e-newsletter (see sample)


Read Full Post »

The annual Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers conference is next week in Kissimmee (code word for “Orlando”) Florida! Looking forward to seeing many friends there – on both the client and vendor side – and meeting lots of new folks as well.

If growing your professional network is on your mind, I’ll be leading a session on Wednesday morning at 11 am called Five Ways Social Media will Shape your Future in Pharma, plus hosting a breakfast roundtable Wednesday morning on Social Media and Learning: Would eHarmony Match Them Up?

I’ll also be part of group-led discussion on Vendor Selection (Strategic Sourcing: Meeting Training Stakeholder Needs with Best-in-Class Solution Providers) Wednesday afternoon at 4 o’clock.

So, what other sessions to attend? Well, looking over the program of workshops, here are some of the sessions that look appealing to me:

Period 1: I like the looks of the session Incorporating Managed Care Training in a Specialty Curriculum (Ed McCarthy/Lynn DiBonaventura), as I get many vendor recommendation requests for both areas. Also tempting is The Younger Generation of Doctors: Understanding and Meeting their Needs (Peter Shaw et. al.), because that one may focus on some of the progressive social media/learning themes that are near to my heart.

Period 2: This time slot is so loaded with good stuff that I may need a bunch of clones! I may well attend the Curriculum Analysis: Why and How session (Bob Holliday/Brenda Goolsby), but frankly, every single session in this period appeals to me – which is very rare. If you need a dose of serious motivation and fun, hang out in Jim Smith’s “Hot Seat” session. There’s some good technology stuff during this period too, with web 2.0 and tablet computing themes. A bunch of my clients and partners are presenting during this time. I don’t think attendees can possibly lose with any of these workshops.

Period 3: This time slot is very heavy on vendor-led sessions – however, a lot of the topics focus on forward-looking themes and boutique areas of interest, which is good. I’m leaning a bit toward Designing and Implementing a Corporate Medicare Communications Platform (Thomas Hromin/Dennis Falci/Steven Shuck), but am also intrigued by the Expanding Coaching workshop.

swpresent1Period 4: I don’t have much choice here – I’ll be leading a session on Five Ways Social Media will Shape your Future in Pharma. You will walk out with your mind buzzing! If I could skip my own workshop and go incognito into someone else’s, however, I’d probably grab a seat at Developing Business Acumen Training (Garry O’Grady) – definitely a hot topic these days.

Period 5: This is another packed time slot. I don’t know how I’m going to choose between Learning Transfer and Retention (Chris Ayers/Seana Ziliak), Utilizing 3-D Virtual Worlds (Ron Burns/Cindy Skirvin), Key Account Management (John Miller), The Sherpa Project (Bill McDunphy/Dan O’Connor), and Using Competency Models (Diana Kramer/John Sjovall). And some of the other sessions are equally compelling. Wow.

Period 6: Again, my selection is pre-made here, as I’ll be co-leading a panel discussion on Vendor Selection/Strategic Sourcing with Gary Marinko of Proficient Learning. This will be a very lively and interactive session. But maybe I can prop up a cardboard cut-out of myself half-way through and sneak over to the Sales Training for Medical Devices workshop (Philip McCrea/Tom Egan/Darleen Weghorst).

Period 7: I’ve had a long-standing interest in this topic, so I’m likely to be at Bridging the Gap between Training and Marketing Brand Teams (Howard Hessel/Cindy Monastersky) – but otherwise I’d be seriously torn between Training Directors’ Playbook (George Schmidt/Sue Iannone) and Science-Driven Sales (Mark Vince).

These are just my probable choices based on areas of interest for me this year – obviously, you have specific needs and interests that will dictate what you choose. There are some really great presenters/trainers in sessions I haven’t even mentioned.

There are many familiar names in the exhibit hall, but also a good bunch of newer companies. It’ll be enjoyable getting to know new friends and renewing ties with long-standing colleagues.

I am available throughout the entire conference if you wish to network, catch up, or get vendor recommendations from me. In fact, you can download a digital business card with all contact info (including cell): text swoodruff to 50500. I look forward to seeing you in Orlando!

[This blog post from 2 years ago, with a brief video about maximizing your SPBT time and a downloadable form, is still a good resource, esp. for those attending for the first time.]


Subscribe to the Impactiviti blog via e-mail (which will bring you Impactiviti Daily – a brief of the day’s top pharma news)

Visit the Impactiviti Job Board

Sign up for the Impactiviti Connection twice-monthly e-newsletter (see sample)


Read Full Post »

Upcoming Event

For more information, including registration, please click here to visit the event website. Use promo code IMPACT for a discounted rate of $155.

Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: The Graduate Center / CUNY; 365 Fifth Avenue; New York, NY 10016
Registration Fee: $195
Website: http://www.bdionline.com/socialhealthcare2010.html

About the Event:
Over the past year BDI has produced five programs focused on the impact of social communications on the healthcare industry. The 2nd annual Social Communications & Healthcare – Case Studies and Roundtables conference will demonstrate the best examples of how leading healthcare brands are accomplishing business objectives with social media and social networking. We will address the FDA’s position/role and what can be expected from future guidance. We will also explore how leading pharmaceuticals, medical technology companies, and hospital groups are integrating their social projects into their existing marketing, communications, education and service platforms.

The conference uses a proven half-day event format from 8:30 AM until 1:00 PM at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York in midtown Manhattan, New York City. The agenda will consist of several case study presentations in the general auditorium with 350+ attendees. The presentations will be followed by two moderated interactive roundtable discussion group sessions with 8-12 attendees each on very specific topics. We will also host a networking breakfast and networking breaks between sessions.

We will cover the following questions:

  • How do you deal with regulatory and legal issues when planning and implementing social media strategies
  • How do you connect with and tap into consumers who are already using the internet for healthcare information?
  • What are the case studies of leading brands that use internet based social strategies to achieve communications objectives?
  • What are examples of social communities that demonstrate how leading healthcare brands interact, educate, and provide value to consumers online?
  • Why real-time social media tools such as Twitter are gaining momentum and what’s the business case to use them?
  • How has social media impacted crisis communications specifically for the healthcare industry?
  • How do you sell social communications projects and prove ROI to senior management?
  • How do you create effective partnerships with new healthcare media leaders beyond advertising?
  • What are the best examples of how to use social communications to connect internally with employees and stakeholders?
  • What are the tools, technologies, and best practices for monitoring and measuring social communications?

We have a very limited amount of sponsorship/speaking opportunities available. BDI also produces customized webinars for sponsors who want to engage communications and marketing leaders. For more information please contact Steve Etzler at setzler@bdionline.com or 212-765-8045. Follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/bdionline.

BDI is proud to have Jonathan Richman of Dose of Digital
announce the winners of The Dosie Awards!

Case Studies Presenters and Moderators:
Ann Aiken, Health Communications Specialist, Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Jarvis Cromwell, Managing Principal, Reputation Garage
Michael Fleming, Senior Director, Social Media, GlaxoSmithKline
Robert Halper, Director of Video Communication, Johnson & Johnson
Lance Hill, CEO, Within3
Brian Kaufman, Senior Director Client Solutions, KIT digital, Inc.
Ira Kaufman, Integrated Marketing Strategist, Entwine Inc.
Ray Kerins, Vice President / Worldwide Communications, Pfizer Inc.
Alan Levy, CEO, BlogTalkRadio
Marc Monseau, Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media, Johnson & Johnson
Mario Nacinovich, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Communication in Healthcare
Jonathan Richman, Director of Strategic Planning, Bridge Worldwide & Author, Dose of Digital
Alex Romanovich, Founder, Chief Marketing Officer, Social2B
Nancy Shenker, Founder & CEO, theONswitch
Brian Simpson, Assistant Director Food & Beverage and Social Hospitality, The Roger Smith Hotel
Bill Sobel, Chief Connections Officer, SobelMedia LLC
Alicia Staley, The Staley Foundation
Patsy Stewart, Director Social Media Marketing & Training, Entwine Inc.
Steve Woodruff, Founder and President, Impactiviti

Hotel Sponsor: The Roger Smith Hotel Use promo code BDI10 to receive 10% off rate.

PR Newswire / MultiVu; Ketchum; LiveWorld; Within3KIT digital, Inc.; BlogTalkRadio; Impactivity; ipTV Evangelist Maney Publishing: Journal of Communication in Healthcare; LatinVision; Mashable; Pharma Marketing NewsReputation Garage; SobelMedia; Social2B; Social Media & The Big WtheONswitch; What’s Next Blog

For more information, including registration, please click here to visit the event website. Use promo code IMPACT for a discounted rate of $155.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »