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Rock Your Trade Show: Inspiring interviews with Industry Insiders, Executive Leaders, Marketers and Influencers who share their insights, challenges and lessons learned so you can rock Your next trade show.

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Sep 4, 2017

Starting in a new industry can be overwhelming.  Whether you are new to healthcare or a veteran you will relate to Janet Aguhob, Senior Convention Planner at Allergan and her story about what she wished she knew when she started in healthcare.  Janet shares how she transitioned from non-profit to a highly regulated industry and what every healthcare marketer needs to know. Get this insider’s perspective of leading a large healthcare exhibit program and how you can apply her proven strategies to your marketing program.

Healthcare Exhibitors All Need To Know “The Big 3”

  1. The Office of Prescription Drug Promotion OPDP:

The mission statement for this office includes: “traveling to major medical meetings and pharmaceutical conventions to monitor promotional exhibits and activities”

  1. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s (PhRMA) Code

“The PhRMA Code reaffirms that interactions between biopharmaceutical research companies and healthcare professionals should be focused on informing the healthcare professionals about products, providing scientific and educational information, and supporting medical research and education.”

  1. The Physician Payments Sunshine Act (PPSA)--also known as section 6002 of the Affordable Care Act(ACA) of 2010 “requires medical product manufacturers to disclose to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) any payments or other transfers of value made to physicians or teaching hospitals.” The Sunshine Act dramatically impacted exhibiting in healthcare.

What Happened Post Sunshine Act In Trade Shows?

  • Prior to 2010: PhRMA marketers were allowed to provide giveaway reminder items including pens, tote bags, wireless mice etc. The trade show floor was a popular spot. 
  • Post 2010: Initially there was a dramatic drop in overall spend across many areas.
    • Vendors and Medical associations lost business.
    • Exhibitors reduced booth size and trade show floor plans were reduced.
    • Exhibit partners saw lower revenues, general contractors saw reduced revenues.
    • Few Sales Reps were needed and hotels lost room block space, and host cities lost revenues from conventions.

Positive Results of the Sunshine Act

  • Attendees who come now are motivated to learn about the products.
  • There are more qualified leads.
  • Healthcare Practitioner (HCP’s) are motivated to learn.
  • Improved interactions with attendees who value information over giveaways.
    • Educational items are the focus of giveaways.  Sales Reps are able to follow up with busy physicians at their office with a disease-state product that will help them in their practice.
    • Increase in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) giving on showsite.
    • Allergan did a CSR project with a signature wall-the more signatures collected $10 was donated for every signature to the non-profit wing of the association.
      • Sales Reps found it provided a different way to approach the HCP
      • People feel good and conversation is more at ease when there is a CSR component

Janet manages 62 shows of various sizes, sponsorships, product theaters, room blocks, pre-con meetings.  In addition, she helps coordinate KOL (Key Opinion Leader) meetings.  Her marketing role includes collaborating with brand teams and in-house graphics for art production and approval. Her expansive role includes managing product theaters where she acts as the coordinate and helps speakers with transit, badges and lead scanning.

How does Janet Relax on the Road?  She makes a point to visit the host city of the conference.

You can find Janet on LinkedIn or email her at

Interested in finding out more about how to exhibit in healthcare, read the full article with tips on how to plan a trade show project, FDA at trade shows what to say to International exhibitors and more!

Credits: A big thanks to Christy Haussler at Team Podcast for editing this episode.