For hoteliers looking to attract pharmaceutical meetings, it helps to learn about the AdvaMed and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) codes of ethical interactions with healthcare professionals. This advice came from Michelle Bartolone, CMP, CEO of Meetings Sites Pro, an independent meeting planning company based in San Diego, in a session at the Pharmaceutical Meeting Management Forum in Philadelphia in March.

While both codes are voluntary, most companies now follow some interpretation of the codes. The Physician Sunshine Act Provisions of the healthcare reform bill that President Obama signed into law in March also require pharma and medical device companies to track what they spend per physician annually — including at meetings.

Anything hoteliers can do to help with compliance will make them stand out from the crowd. For example, many companies now are including in their guidelines that the meeting space must be conducive to education. Hoteliers who can point out the educational — as opposed to recreational or entertainment — aspects of their facilities can move up on the list.

While the AdvaMed and PhRMA codes relate just to meetings that pharmaceutical and medical device companies hold for healthcare providers, Bartolone pointed out that these companies also are still feeling the pinch from the “AIG effect” that influenced most corporate meetings in the past year. This means that an emphasis on education over recreation could help with landing a company's sales or other internal meetings. “Managing perception in the post-AIG-effect world is more important than ever,” said Bartolone.