Standard Room Only: Pharma planners need to be sensitive about paying for Internet and room rental fees. Look into bundling items with the cost of a room. Make certain physicians stay in standard rooms, not suites.

Breadth of Opportunities: Consider working with a convention and visitors bureau to identify multiple lodging venues able to offer the number of standard rooms you need. The CVB can help negotiate pricing and room bookings to ensure that all attendees receive the same type room for the same cost. This option may not be available at a traditional stand-alone hotel.

Above all, don’t be shy about asking what meeting venues and CVBs can do for you. That’s their job. Make sure they do it right. 

Michael Krouse, CHME, CMP, CASE, is president and CEO of the Greater Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau in Southern California. He can be reached at