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| Written by Christina Lofton

From Brainstorm to Bookshelf – A Collaborative Journey

Did you know that M&IW co-authored a book?

 How to Plan Medical Meetings and Events was officially published in October 2023. The process was a joint effort amongst a determined group of individuals that included many M&IW subject-matter experts who were committed to helping medical meeting and event planners sharpen their skills and provide a solid foundation for those newer to the field as well as seasoned professionals looking for the most up-to-date information on this dynamic topic.

How Did It Start?

We announced the book internally at our all-company town hall in February 2023. By that point, we had already completed the first draft and were in the preliminary stages of editing the content. MPI had also signed on as the sponsor of the Medical Meetings Professional (MMP) certificate course that was designed to accompany the book.

In March 2023, we attended Pharma Forum, the largest annual gathering of healthcare meeting professionals, and announced the book publicly. There, Christina Lofton, CMP, HMCC, of M&IW and Michael Varlotta, CCEP, HMCC, of MLVII Associates LLC facilitated the inaugural MMP certificate course for over 60 medical meeting professionals. This opportunity opened our eyes to additional insights:

  • Although we initially believed our target audience would be meeting planners with less than three years’ planning experience, we soon realized that the course and text were a perfect opportunity for veteran planners and industry members to upskill and brush up on the fundamentals needed to be successful in an ever-evolving industry.
  • We realized that industry suppliers (venues, DMCs, etc.) were also in need of the foundational content we shared so they could better serve their clients.
  • Our intentional focus on the global impact of each subject area provided universal value to all course participants, regardless of their home country and that of the HCPs attending their events.  

Where Are We Now?

2024 has provided an opportunity for us to continue to build our momentum behind this exciting time for our industry. In-person conferences are back with a vengeance, which means more opportunities for medical meeting professionals to continue to upskill, network, and learn from one another.

To contribute to this effort, M&IW has the following projects underway:

  • A LinkedIn page focused exclusively on medical meetings content.
  • A one-year celebration of the MMP course at MPI WEC 2024.
  • Attendance at upcoming life science conferences, including Pharma Forum 2024.

Through this all, How to Plan Medical Meetings and Events is as relevant and important as ever. It is still the sole official source for the MMP certification and remains valuable for planners and suppliers alike.

Co-chair of Pharma Forum 2023, Tom Tolvé, CMP, HMCC, stressed the importance of continuing education for meeting professionals in the life science space: “The intricacy of planning medical meetings often extends well beyond what most people think. Meeting professionals have an obligation to their company to comprehend the complex, and often changing, regulations and compliance issues that are so prevalent today.”

How to Plan Medical Meetings and Events is available for purchase here. For additional information, please contact Dan Tarpey.

For additional information regarding the MMP Certification, please contact MPI.


Headshot of Christina Lofton

Christina Lofton, CMP, HMCC, MMP

Marketing Strategist

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.