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The Cadence Concierge Experience

I often get asked why I joined Cadence and what sets us apart from other Medical Communications companies. For me, it’s a very obvious answer: we provide a concierge-level quality of customer service.

All agencies care about the outcome of each project. Each team stands a hundred percent behind what they do and are committed to each task at hand, no matter how big or small. But our clients have told us that we consistently go above and beyond that level. A few weeks ago, a client told me that he had just watched the film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and she couldn’t help thinking of how we made her experience feel like she was being looked after by Ralph Fiennes’ character. She said, “You know, you should call it the ‘Cadence Concierge Experience.’”

I knew exactly what she meant. Many hotels have someone that you can ask for advice as to what activities you could do, or where you should go and eat, and you will usually talk to someone who will pull out a city map start drawing circles. However, the very best properties have professional concierge who is genuinely thrilled to guide the guests’ itineraries and usher them through an exquisite experience. At Cadence, we only hire these concierge-level people, screening for individuals with good attitudes and who demonstrate the ability to truly care about our clients. This cannot be simply taught, nor can it be simply bought.

There are a number of unique situations we’ve found ourselves in over the years, and each time our team has gone above and beyond the letter of the contract. We pride ourselves of being one of the best medical communication companies in the industry, and all our team members are highly qualified with many years of experience in the field. As such, we know the extent to which careful attention to what others might consider to be minor or small details can make a major difference to our clients.

In one situation, our team was managing a European meeting and our client was looking forward to exploring the city once the meeting was completed. However, he was a bit intimidated by the public transport system, and mentioned that he was nervous about taking the local train. Our team researched the train lines, accompanied him to the station, and outlined how he could get to his destination and back to the hotel again. He arrived back that evening, full of stories and enthusiastically grateful for our assistance and the boost of confidence it gave him.

On another occasion, the meeting we had organized happened to coincide with a major storm that had moved into the area at the same time advisors were scheduled to arrive. Our client was extremely concerned about the participants getting to the meeting safely and timely, given the cancelled and delayed flights that resulted. To allay their fears, we posted team members in the hotel lobby until very late at night to personally greet each advisor upon arrival, to show them how grateful our client was that they still made the trip despite the delays and less than convenient travel experience. The next day, several of the advisors commented that this small gesture was greatly appreciated, and our client told us that we had made them feel taken care of at the end of a long and frustrating travel day.

One other situation occurred at one of the major European Medical Conferences, where in addition to supervising several projects for large clients, the Cadence team was also assisting in a smaller project for a start-up company. When the Cadence team landed on the tarmac, they found several urgent voicemails from the start-up client disclosing that there had been a terrible mix-up in the printed materials their internal team had prepared for another project, and they didn’t have the ability to fix the problem on their own. Our team jumped to action immediately and found a local printer who was able to recreate the materials. The Cadence team went to the printer, proofed them for accuracy, and then personally delivered them to the hotel where our client told us, “You really saved my bacon!”

Of course, small situations like this don’t make or break any event; however, it has definitely been our experience that if clients and meeting participants feel that all the details of the meeting are being handled professionally and that the organizing team truly demonstrates that it cares, it frees the client to focus on the big picture. Ultimately, our mission is to help our clients reach their short-term and long-term goals, and I think we have found that small acts of kindness go a long way.

Susanne Blassingille

Meeting Planning Processes 101’s

Planning 101’s

No matter where you are in the planning process for your upcoming program, we thought you could use some ideas of what to discuss with your vendor of choice. Here are some of our top 10 tools & priceless pieces of advice.

Six or more weeks prior to the meeting

#1        Pick a date that works best for your speakers and team members. Make sure to review the calendar to ensure that the date doesn’t fall over any holidays.

#2        Determine the start and end times of the meeting, and if you will require a separate room for meals and or breakouts. This is important to know when venue sourcing.

#3        Work on an invitation that will get people’s attention by using your companies branding for added visuals. Cadence can also assist you with specific meeting graphics based on the content of your program. Just ask us how we can help!

#4        We suggest using email as your first line of communication. Most physicians don’t have time to read through their physical mail, and faxes tend to get ignored.

#5        Ensure confirmations go out as soon as possible so the attendee has all the information they need to block out their calendar and book any travel arrangements necessary.

#6        Submit your rooming list, menu, AV requirements and final meeting details to the hotel. Make sure to include a final head count.

One week prior to the meeting

#7        Ensure all attendees receive a final confirmation with all the meeting/travel details including: ground transportation, hotel parking, flight arrival & departure details, hotel confirmation numbers and contact information for them to be able to reach someone in the event they are having a travel issue.

#8        Finalize Meeting Agenda.

#9        Print all meeting handouts ahead of time when possible.

#10       Partner with a great vendor like Cadence Research, to ensure that your next meeting is a great success!

Hotel Do’s & Don’ts

☐         Make sure that the hotel cannot move the meeting room location without your prior written consent. One way to ensure this is by having the hotel list the names of the meeting rooms on the contract.

☐         Ensure that your sleeping room rate is effective three days prior and post meeting. In the event you have a guest that wants to stay over or come in early.

☐         Confirm there is a “Force Majeure” clause in your contract to protect you against acts of God, war or terrorism.

☐         A “No Walk Clause” – is also a necessity when signing a contract. You want to make sure the hotel cannot walk any of your guests to another hotel.

We hope you found this to be helpful, these are just a few key items to remember when planning a meeting. Cadence Research & Consulting has more thorough checklists for each and every program, and we would appreciate the opportunity to plan your next program. Please let us know how we can help YOU to ensure that your next meeting is an amazing success!