Change is often seen as a challenge, but it can also be a tremendous opportunity for personal and professional growth. Such was the case for me when I made the transition from being an in-house events manager at a large pharmaceutical company, to joining CFS Events Ltd as an events manager. This journey has been filled with unique experiences, challenges, and rewards that have broadened my horizons in ways I never expected. In this blog, I will share my journey and insights into the transition from in-house to agency life in the medical events industry.
The In-House Experience:

For several years, I worked as an in-house pharmaceutical events manager for a leading pharmaceutical company. My role primarily revolved around organising and managing a wide range of events, from international medical congresses and conferences to product launches, advisory boards, and training seminars. I gained valuable experience and developed a deep understanding of the pharmaceutical industry and the ABPI code. As is often the case at large pharmaceutical companies, the position was a contracted one which sadly came to an end. But the industry fascinated me, and I wanted to continue developing my knowledge in this niche field.

“The Medical Education industry fascinated me, and I wanted to continue developing my knowledge in this niche field.”

The Decision to Transition:

The decision to transition to an agency role was not made lightly. I loved the company I was working for and began looking for any opportunity to stay in-house. But as my department no longer had capacity, and I couldn’t find another internal opportunity that was the right fit for me, I began looking outwardly. I was motivated by a desire to expand my skill set, work with a diverse range of clients, and face new challenges head-on. I wanted to explore the world of medical events from a different perspective and harness my expertise to help various pharmaceutical companies achieve their event-related goals.

“I wanted to help pharmaceutical companies to achieve their event-related goals.”

Joining CFS Events Ltd:

After careful consideration and networking within the industry, I found the perfect opportunity at CFS Events Ltd, a reputable agency specialising in medical events management. The interview process was rigorous, as they were seeking someone with a strong background in pharmaceutical events. My previous experience as an in-house manager proved to be a significant asset during the selection process. I immediately felt a connection to the company and the role, and I knew it was right for me!

Key Learnings and Challenges:
  • Adaptability – One of the most significant challenges was adapting to a constantly changing landscape. In-house roles often have a more predictable schedule, whereas agency life can be fast-paced and unpredictable. I quickly learned the importance of being flexible and adaptable to meet clients’ unique needs.
  • Client Relationships – Building and maintaining strong client relationships is crucial in the agency world. It requires excellent communication skills, patience, and the ability to understand and fulfil client expectations. My experience from the in-house role served as a foundation, but I had to fine-tune my client management skills to thrive in this new environment.
  • Diverse Projects – Agency life has exposed me to a wide array of pharmaceutical companies, each with its own culture, goals, and challenges. This diversity has allowed me to broaden my knowledge and expertise in ways I couldn’t have achieved in-house.
  • Time Management – In an agency, juggling multiple client projects can be demanding. Effective time management and prioritisation have become essential skills in my day-to-day work. Developing these skills has been incredibly rewarding and has made me a more efficient events manager.
The Rewards of Agency Life:

While the transition brought its fair share of challenges, it also brought numerous rewards:

  • Professional Growth – I have grown both personally and professionally, gaining invaluable experience that will serve me well in my career. The exposure to various clients and projects has expanded my skill set and knowledge base.
  • Networking Opportunities – Agency life has provided ample opportunities to connect with professionals from different pharmaceutical companies and industries. These connections have not only enhanced my industry knowledge but also opened doors to new collaborations.
  • Creativity and Innovation – Agency work encourages creative thinking and innovation. I have been able to propose and implement novel event strategies, leading to more engaging and successful medical events.

Transitioning from being an in-house pharmaceutical events manager to becoming a medical events manager at CFS Events Ltd has been a transformative journey. While it came with its share of challenges, it has ultimately been a rewarding experience that has expanded my horizons, challenged me to grow, and allowed me to contribute my expertise to a diverse range of clients in the pharmaceutical industry. If you’re considering a similar transition, remember that change can be a powerful catalyst for personal and professional development. Embrace it, adapt, and watch your career flourish in exciting new ways.


#MedEdEvents            #MedicalEvents           #EventAgency


Written by James Lyden.


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