If you do any amount of temporary work at all, it’s bound to happen at some point, especially with the typical pharmaceutical sponsored dinner events. You show up at your hotel/restaurant/meeting venue only to discover there are multiple similar meetings going on at the exact same time as yours. So, the hostess/concierge will ask, “Which group is yours?”

TEMP: “Um, the pharma one?”

VENUE: “We have three pharma groups tonight.”

TEMP: “Um, the GCG group?”

And, 99% of the time that’s the wrong answer. As a temp, the groups we work are almost always booked under one of the following ways: the name of the sponsoring pharmaceutical company, the name of the company that has been hired to manage the program, the drug/product being promoted, or the presentation’s actual title. So, while it’s technically true you are on site working for GCG, rarely will you find the GCG name showing on any of the venue paperwork. For the most part, the venue’s contact will only be the party/company name that’s financially responsible, which is why it’s really important that before you arrive you clearly understand who the ultimate client is and know them by company name.

The point of this discussion is to make sure that you know before you go who you are ultimately working for on each event. This is obtained through paying attention to the paperwork issued by your GCG rep as it is always clearly contained within those documents and if necessary, make a copy of the assignment sheet and take it with you for reference. The best way to put this is ‘know before you go’ and avoid the embarrassment of not even understanding the chain of command and where you, the On Site Manager, fall within that group. In the end, yes, you are working for GCG, but you are also working for any number of other companies that are sponsoring or managing the event, and must maintain professional representation of all names involved in that booking.

 

Terry Matthews-Lombardo is an industry veteran meeting planner, trip director, and free-lance writer who’s seen and experienced a lot of challenges – the good, bad, great and ugly – during her professional lifetime spent in this industry. Based in Orlando, FL, she’s been a proud and active member of the GCG Network of planners since 2005. You can read more by Terry on her blog Hospitality Hive.

 

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