In this ISMPP Committee Spotlight, we hear from Rob Pilbrow and Eleanor Raynsford from OPEN Health Group, who are leading the planning for the 2021 European Meeting of ISMPP, taking place January 26–27, 2021.

Each year, the European Programme Committee is tasked with the planning and execution of ISMPP’s annual European Meeting. The 2020-2021 Committee is led by:

Chair: Rob Pilbrow, MPhil, MSc, ISMPP CMPPTM, Global Managing Director, Medical Writing, OPEN Health Group

Vice-Chair: Eleanor Raynsford, PhD, MSc, MBiochem (Hons), ISMPP CMPPTM, Associate Publications Director, OPEN Health Group

This year’s European Programme Committee is one of the most experienced ever, comprising more than 20 senior publications professionals from the United Kingdom and Europe, as well as the United States, representing industry, agency, publishers, and other key stakeholders. Each brings a wealth of insights and knowledge from the field of medical communications and publications, and like all other ISMPP committee members – past and present – they give freely of their time, energy, and experience to advance and support the community.

Planning for the European Meeting usually begins many months before the event. This year, the group came together during a time of great change both in our industry and wider society, and with the knowledge that the 2021 European Meeting of ISMPP would be unlike any that has gone before due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the committee members were united in their aspiration of matching and exceeding the very high bar set by previous meetings.

Development of the European Meeting programme began with a virtual kick-off meeting, during which Programme Committee members exchanged ideas, identified key themes, and proposed topics in order to develop the framework for a rich, compelling agenda. Since then, members have met weekly to plan an educational and engaging meeting that fulfils the needs of ISMPP members. Each Programme Committee member leads the development of a session, and many also volunteer additional time to serve on the Abstract and Roundtable Committees.

2020-2021 European Programme Committee Meeting

What You Can Expect at the 2021 European Meeting

The biggest change for 2021 is in meeting format: for the first time, the European Meeting of ISMPP will take place as a virtual event. The meeting programme will include a mix of live, scheduled, and on-demand content, all delivered through an online meeting platform and mobile app, geared around ease of access and attendee experience. Obviously, the change from an established live model to a new virtual format requires a lot of discussion, planning, and flexibility, but this is something the experienced committee is well-equipped to handle. And of course, digital delivery opens up opportunities for new faculty, meeting format innovations, and increased audience engagement.

The chosen theme for the 2021 meeting is Collaboration, connectivity and change: A holistic view of the scientific communications environment in 2021. The meeting agenda will include:

4 Plenary sessions: These will address core topics – the publications and scientific communications ecosystem, how to communicate with different stakeholders, the expanding role of the publications professional, and finally – looking to the future – how our professional practices are changing.

3 Parallel sessions: These practical sessions will cover how to use informatics and data visualization to harness the power of data; how to take real-world evidence to the next level by planning, conducting, and publishing high-quality real-world evidence studies; and how to define best practices when it comes to patient engagement in publications. Available to watch on demand, Q&A opportunities will be offered with faculty of the parallel sessions.

9 Roundtables: Facilitating peer-to-peer interaction and in-depth discussion, our roundtables will address such important topics as Plan S, compliance considerations with virtual congresses, and mental health during changing times.

2 Keynotes: Finally, the meeting will feature two prominent keynote speakers, sharing their expert insights on the leading issues in our industry. The keynote speakers will be announced soon.

In addition, there will be many more activities and sessions to look forward to.

  • The ever-popular Training Zone will take place as a stand-alone virtual event on Friday, January 29, during the week of the European Meeting.
  • A record 43 posters will be available on a new virtual poster platform that will open up member research to a wider audience than ever before.
  • The number of invited oral presentations has been doubled from three to six.
  • Poster authors and lead authors of the oral presentations will be available in real time during the meeting to respond to attendee questions.
  • A special networking event is being planned to interact with peers; information to be shared soon.

So, what more do you need to hear? Register here and join us in January 2021! While we won’t be seeing each other in person, we look forward to meeting and interacting with colleagues and friends at the virtual 2021 European Meeting of ISMPP.

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