Digital Pharma East 2010: A Look Back

It’s been almost a week since the conclusion of ExL’s 4th Annual Digital Pharma East conference and believe us when we say that there was a LOT to report! So much so, that it’s taken almost a week to get it all down in writing. Now, we contemplated putting together a lengthy breakdown of each and every aspect of this event; but if you’ve checked out Berci Meskó, Carly Kuper, Hannah McDonald, Jess Seilheimer , Kevin Clauson, Steve Woodruff or Wendy Blackburns review/wrap-up posts on the event, you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of what went down. So in lieu of a play-by-play of the week’s events, we’ve composed what we’ve decided to call a “Cliffs Notes™-style rundown” of noteworthy aspects of this year’s conference.

Chapter 1: Who Showed Up?

This year’s event attendee list included a veritable who’s who of industry thought leaders. Key presenters/panelists/attendees can be found HERE.

Chapter 2: All About Mobile

It’s no secret that mobile was a HUGE topic at this year’s conference, so much so that we devoted an entire day to the discussion of this emerging topic!

“We were extremely pleased to see the number of executives that committed to attending Mobile Pharma. It was a true sign of the attention that mobile applications are getting within the pharmaceutical industry.”
Bryon Main, Managing Director/Co-Founder of ExL Pharma

“Mobile Pharma was a great way to conclude this year’s outstanding event. It really delved into what I think is perhaps the hottest topic in Pharma marketing right now.”
Jason Youner, Event Producer at ExL Pharma

Not only did we break ground by adding an additional mobile day to the event; this year ExL introduced its first ever mobile application!

The Digital Pharma East Mobile App, powered by Eveo, debuted at this year’s conference and received rave reviews. App users were granted access to a number of features—including session information and agendas, speaker bios, networking event information, up to the minute Twitter feeds and more!

Chapter 3: Lunch Break!

This year attendees were served a more than just meals during the event’s daily luncheons. On day one of the main conference, attendees bore witness to the inaugural (and rather impromptu) Pharmaguy Social Media Pioneer Award ‘Unceremony’Alex Butler, Digital Strategy and Social Media Manager at Janssen UK, became the first winner of the ‘unaward’ for his work on Janssen’s Psoriasis 360 FaceBook page, the first to allow consumer comments without pre-moderation.

On the second day of the main conference, attendees were treated to a special luncheon address given by Bob Garfield, NPR host, 25-year Advertising Age columnist and author of The Chaos Scenario, who captivated guests with with his quick wit and insight into the evolution of digital media and marketing.

Chapter 4: Follow the Stream

This year’s conference marked the first time that ExL used the “stream” conference format, which gave attendees the option of attending one of four different sessions  at any given time. Attendees enjoyed both the variety and  freedom that this new approach provided, as it wasn’t uncommon to see guests jumping from stream to streamin essence, creating their own customized conference experience!

This year’s event also market the re-introduction of the ExL’s rather successful “unconference” sessions. This groundbreaking (and quite popular!) conference format has became famous for turning the traditional session format on it’s figurative head, allowing sessions to be driven by moderated audience conversation, rather than pre-planned speaker presentations.

Chapter 5: #Tweetchats Aplenty

If you follow our @DigitalPharma or @ExLPharma Twitter accounts, you most read our commentary during the #DigPharm Twitter conversation. In fact, Tweetchatting was a hot topic at this year’s event with a number of attendees collectively micro-blogging the event via the use of the event hashtag (#digpharm)

Digital Pharma East also played host to the first ever #SocPharm Tweetchat, where Len Starnes and Joan Mikardos moderated both the live #digpharm conversation and the virtual #socpharm conversation, respectively.  A very interesting experience indeed!

Other useful hashtags mentioned at the event included: #RNchat #MDchat #hcsm #hcsmeu #hcsmca #fdasm #hcmktg #dsma

Chapter 6: Notable Quotables

Here’s what some of our most notable conference attendees have already said about the event:

“My expectations were really high before flying to Philadelphia to speak at Digital Pharma East. The first day was vibrating and the other days were also great…”
Berci Meskó, Phycician/Medical Blogger/ Founder

“…the [keynote] that completely floored me was delivered by Dr. Ian Morrison.  It was the perfect blend of style (his seamless comparison of Pimp My Ride to the state of US healthcare) and substance (holistic view of drivers of medication non-adherence).  Spot on observations, great timing, and natural, unforced humor.  The clip on his site does not do him justice…”
Kevin Clauson, Associate Professor, Nova Southeastern University

“… Including speakers who are not embedded in the industry is very smart….Getting high-level perspectives about cultural and technological trends definitely stirs up more creative thinking and discussion. As we all know, Pharma can be very insular, and we need fresh infusions from the outside to keep us from being boxed in by our own self-made ruts…”
Steve Woodruff, Impactiviti Founder and President

If you’re still in need of a more visual overview, check out this “video essay” courtesy of Mike Sevilla, MD:

And there you have it folks, an easy-to-follow rundown of key details/happenings at this year’s Digital Pharma East conference. But this isn’t all we’ve got to show—stay tuned for even more event-coverage, coming soon!

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