Market Overview

In-Person Invitations Important for Recruiting Key Opinion Leaders as Speakers


Face-to-face invitations are overwhelmingly rated by surveyed companies as the most effective way to recruit key opinion leaders (KOLs) as speakers, according to a new study from Cutting Edge Information.

Cutting Edge Information's recent study, “Educational Speaker Programs: Event Management and Recruitment in a Complex Regulatory Environment,” revealed that in-person invitations from medical science liaisons (MSLs) are the preferred method of contact compared to other channels; in-person invitations from sales representatives ranked second. With the advancement of communication technologies, there remains an abundance of recruitment options. It seems, however, that in-person recruitment remains a valuable tool for companies searching for educational speakers.

“Having MSLs recruit speakers for an educational speaker program has many advantages,” said Michelle Vitko, senior research analyst at Cutting Edge Information. “In addition to having that wall between marketing and medical affairs teams, KOLs are more likely to respond to a liaison invitation asking them to speak on a peer-to-peer level.”

Smaller pharmaceutical companies, on the other hand, ranked in-person invitations from sales representatives as the most effective way to recruit KOLs into their speaker programs; larger companies prefer MSLs to initiate contact. This disconnect in strategy is more than likely due to group structure and company resources as smaller companies usually do not have the capabilities to hire full-time MSLs. Under these circumstances, smaller companies rely on their pharmaceutical sales force to recruit KOLs for their educational speaker programs.

“Educational Speaker Programs: Event Management and Recruitment in a Complex Regulatory Environment” ( features detailed data on speaker program team structure, recruitment methods, speaker training and event compensation. The research also highlights metrics illustrating educational speaker event management including typical attendance, average cost per attendee, and the best times to hold events. Use this report to:

  • Prepare educational speaker programs to face increased public scrutiny and smaller budgets.
  • Create superior educational speaker programs by recruiting, training, and compensating high-caliber speakers.
  • Understand the impending Sunshine Act and increased transparency's impact on speaker events.

For more information about educational speaker programs, contact Cassie Demeter at 919-433-0389.

Cutting Edge Information
Cassie Demeter, 919-433-0389

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