Hotel room rates are coming under increasing scrutiny for organisers of medical congresses.
Tighter regulations in the pharmaceutical industry around sponsorship of events has booted five-star luxury into touch for most travelling physicians, no matter how highly-esteemed. Strategic developments in the medical industry were discussed by a panel of experts at the ICCA Congress in Leipzig.
Michel Ballieu, CEO of the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO), said: “This is where we feel the influence of the pharma code. It has become very important for us, in terms of choosing our destination. We used to look at things like accessibility, now we have to look at economic value. We cannot accept cancellation fees, when the rooms are resold anyway.”
Sylvia Fondaneche, president of the International Pharmaceutical Congress Advisory Association (IPCAA), said she had seen a trend for shorter congresses.
“It is true to say that our physicians can no longer spend five or six days at a congress. There has been a dip in hotel rooms costs, but, of course, a lot of that depends on the destination. I think we have to consider what would a doctor be prepared to pay personally.”
L. Maximilian Buja, executive director of the Houston Academy of Medicine, concurred: “The price point for an individual delegate is now very important. We are seeing more and more use of weekends for busy practitioners and the tradition of bringing your spouse along is long gone.”