Navigating the Meal Caps Maze: HINTS and TIPS from Healthcare Venues

Navigating the Meal Caps Maze: HINTS and TIPS from Healthcare Venues

360 Healthcare Navigating the Meal Caps Maze HINTS and TIPS from Healthcare Venues
It is not surprising that the question most asked of us at Healthcare Venues, as we do suggest we are subject matter experts, is: “Do you have a webpage that details all the international meal caps and other code detailed guidance for meetings by country” In short, NO! If we did that, we would need to employ at least another member of staff, full time, to keep on top of them, and remember, if every country has their own guidance there will be 195 country pages!

But don’t worry, there is a solution.

As we are about to share in our forthcoming 3rd Compliance Workshop, from the beginning of the pandemic in February 2020 to the “end”, c. 2 years later, there were no changes in European meal caps, and yes, that does include the UK! However, since then, we have seen 7 EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) scorecard updates reflecting more than 12 different country increases.

What exactly is so CHALLENGING?

  • For cross-border meetings i.e. HCPs (Healthcare Professionals) from different countries, despite codes of practice providing guidance that the host code could be applied, many healthcare companies apply the lowest (strictest) meal cap for all attendees or even their own fair market values, sometimes provided by the affiliates.
  • The European Regulator, EFPIA, does provide a ‘Scorecard for Meals and drinks’ but it’s hard for it to be always up to date. The current version is, at the time of publication of this article, from 22nd November 2023.
  • But country meal cap updates will not be reflected in the ‘current’ code of conduct which might date back a couple of years; however, you will find the detail within any updates/addendums.


To start off, if you were working with EU meals caps (including the UK) HERE you can find the latest EFPIA scorecard, as mentioned above, but NOTE: if the link stops working, it means that it has been updated, again! So please, in this instance, check the EFPIA website.

Failing that, you know that Healthcare Venues will post any updates on our page on  LinkedIn and the Healthcare Hub community pages, You are welcome! 

For our Healthcare Venues, here is our solution in this month’s HINT and TIP, however, for agencies, it might also answer some questions:


For hotels and venues, you MUST know what your national meal cap limit is – you are in the “host country”. This is typically included as part of our Venue healthcare Champion Training but if you are not part of our membership, click the EFPIA scorecard link above to find what national meal cap is. For non EU countries, please contact us.

Note: the rates shown are maximums! And even then, agencies should be considering the audience: can the level of hospitality be considered appropriate for a senior consultant, if so, it might not be considered appropriate for a nurse or newly qualified Doctor. And meeting stakeholders should consider whether the proportion of education in the agenda versus the level of hospitality is appropriate. Try the ‘red face’ test: would you be able to defend the choices made if the details of the event were made public?

Think about what menu packages you are sending along with your proposals, there is no point in sending dinner menu and drinks packages that exceed that limit, as selecting them would be uncompliant! “And no, we do not recommend that you should ‘create’ a room hire charge to enable you to reduce the menu price.”

Note: for venues who do typically charge a room hire for meeting and events, this would likely be acceptable, but note, some company policies may determine that room hire charges are included and spread across the number of attendees, thus making the per person cost exceed the meal cap.


Create healthcare meal packages that comply with your national meal cap limit, or even better, less, as many company policies apply the lowest or strictest rate. 

We all know the costs of human resources, energy and ingredients have increased due to inflation, so it makes sense to sit down with your chefs to create cost effective and compliant menus and drinks packages. If as is typical you send all your menus, with your proposal including an attractive package at 70 euros, don’t be surprised when you are asked to charge 60 euros.


Be proactive with your clients. Demonstrate your knowledge and suggest that whilst we have healthcare packages that respect the national meal cap limit. 

We can and have shared with you where to find the scorecard for meals and drinks however, the potential stricter company policies are not open source, so be sure to ask what meal cap they are applying to this meeting.

AND FINALLY…….A WORD OF WARNING FOR MEETING VENUES. There is a current trend of employing DJs in hotel lobbies and bars, which might be fun for leisure guests and the local community seeking some extra atmosphere, but if your clients are looking to book HCP dinners in your restaurant, anything more than background music i.e., DJs, live music or anything else that might be considered entertainment, and is likely to be considered inappropriate.

Good luck and if you have any questions, please do let us know. For our next Hint and Tip, how about we tackle Star Ratings?

Click here to read more about the work of Healthcare Venues. 

Enhancing Decision-Making with Live Chat Technology: Bridging the Gap Between Stakeholders and Suppliers

Enhancing Decision-Making with Live Chat Technology: Bridging the Gap Between Stakeholders and Suppliers

360 Healthcare Venues Enhancing Decision-Making with Live Chat Technology Bridging the Gap Between Stakeholders and Suppliers
A long standing observation of mine is how the success of a meeting can be achieved through efficient decision making. Having been in the position of stakeholder and supplier, I have seen firsthand how making informed decisions can be a complex and time-consuming process, often involving multiple meetings and emails. However, this can be improved with the use of live chat project planning technology. This modern day dynamic – be honest, you’re probably using these as internal tools or through WhatsApp groups on a daily basis anyway – will change how decisions are made, enabling stakeholders and suppliers to communicate seamlessly and make decisions more efficiently in real time.
The Power of Live Chat in Decision-Making
Live chat technology, commonly associated with customer support, should find a new and valuable application in the realm of supplier-stakeholder interactions. Yes, there are barriers in terms of the perception of being on the hook 24/7 for demanding suppliers, information security, and likely policies that at the moment deny their use, between employees and external organizations, but the benefits are clear. We estimate that using shared chat technology can boost efficient decision making by up to 50%. How can we deny the use of the tools that we already use every day, to dramatically improve a critical component of meeting planning? .
Here’s how it can revolutionise decision-making:
1. Real-time Communication: Live chat facilitates instant, real-time communication between stakeholders and suppliers, eliminating the delays associated with emails or scheduled meetings. This allows for quicker responses to queries, clarifications, and the exchange of critical information.
2. Accessibility: One of the most significant advantages of live chat technology is accessibility. Stakeholders and suppliers can engage in discussions from anywhere, making it easy to connect with global partners across different time zones. This accessibility ensures, that decision-making processes are not hindered by geographical constraints.
3. Efficiency and Savings: Using live chat promotes quick decision-making, reduces delays in obtaining information, and minimises the need for lengthy email exchanges or meetings. This streamlined communication enhances planning efficiency, manages billable hours, and ensures that time for the generation of meeting outcomes can be maximised.
4. Documentation: Live chat platforms often provide a record of conversations, which serves as a valuable resource for decision-making. Stakeholders can refer back to past chats to review discussions, decisions, and commitments, helping to maintain accountability, clarity, and compliance throughout the supplier relationship.
5. Multimedia Support: Live chat goes beyond text-based conversations. It often supports the exchange of multimedia, such as images, documents, and even video. This feature allows stakeholders and suppliers to share visual information, specifications, and project updates more effectively, enhancing the quality of decisions made.
6. Efficiency: Live chat can significantly reduce the need for lengthy meetings, allowing stakeholders and suppliers to quickly address issues and make decisions on the spot. This not only saves time but also reduces the administrative burden associated with scheduling and organising meetings.
Top 5 Tips for Effective Decision-Making Using Live Chat Technology
To leverage live chat technology for improving decision-making between stakeholders and suppliers, consider the following tips:.
1. Choose the Right Platform: Select a reliable live chat platform that suits your organisation’s needs and is likely used by the stakeholder already. Bespoke systems will likely get wrapped up in approvals. Look for features like file sharing, search functionality, and mobile accessibility to ensure efficient communication.
2. Establish Clear Communication Guidelines: Create guidelines for using live chat effectively. Define expectations for response times, professionalism, and the controls required for the types of information that can and cannot be shared through chat. Clarity in communication helps avoid misunderstandings and protects data and confidentiality.
3. Target Bigger Meetings then Grow the Scope: Be ambitious and start with larger meetings. This is where the most value is created. Cascade the habits and best practises to other meetings as you are ready.
4. Use Chat Archives Wisely: Encourage stakeholders and suppliers to use chat archives as a resource for decision-making. Ensure that important decisions and commitments are documented and easily retrievable for reference, especially where compliance requirements are concerned.
5. Provide Training: Offer training to all parties involved in using the live chat platform. This includes understanding the platform’s features, best practises for effective communication, and data security measures.
6. Think Inclusive: At the initial stage of the project, keep the live chat to a core team of decision makers and worker bees. Open this up to more of the supply base as you put some of the basic framework of the meeting together and get closer to the date of the meeting. It may take a shift in mentality to share your stakeholder with others that are critical to the planning chain, or feel as if you always have to be available, but the benefit is efficiency and project success, which is the goal.
7. Balance Chat and Meetings: While live chat can streamline communication, it’s essential to strike a balance. Reserve meetings for more complex discussions, brainstorming, or when face-to-face interaction is necessary, but use live chat for quick updates, queries, and routine communication. Live chat can effectively prepare you for ‘good’ meetings, clearing the clutter of bad preparation to focus on efficiency and outcomes.
In conclusion, live chat technology has the potential to enhance decision-making between stakeholders and suppliers by promoting real-time, accessible, and efficient communication. By following the tips outlined above, organizations can harness the power of live chat to improve collaboration, streamline processes, and make more informed decisions in a rapidly evolving business landscape. Embracing this technology is not just about creating decision making advantages; it’s about driving innovation and ensuring long-term success in supplier-stakeholder relationships..
Fostering High Performance: Creating the Ideal Environment for Supplier Excellence

Fostering High Performance: Creating the Ideal Environment for Supplier Excellence

360 Healthcare Venues Fostering High Performance Creating the Ideal Environment for Supplier Excellence

The client and supplier relationship when planning meetings can be complex and stressful at times. It can be hard to accept that, but sometimes, without this being the intention of either party, it just doesn’t work efficiently. With an increasingly entry level meeting planning workforce and high demands on those with experience, expecting excellence without an investment is not sustainable. Neither is poor supplier performance. This is the problem that needs to be solved to engineer more efficient project planning.  

Transparency, not on their own, KPI’s and SLA’s, is the cornerstone of this high performance relationship. Open communication about expectations, goals, and challenges ensures a shared vision. When suppliers are equipped with a clear understanding of their role and how their contributions align with the client’s objectives, they can tailor their solutions for maximum impact. Furthermore, an environment that prioritises transparency builds trust, fostering collaboration and long-term partnerships.Yes, it may seem excessive for a one off meeting, but the method is translatable regardless of the meeting size.

Creating a performance-oriented ecosystem is equally vital. Regular feedback, aligned with measurable metrics, empowers suppliers to fine-tune and evolve their meeting planning strategies. This involves not only highlighting areas for improvement but also acknowledging successes. Constructive feedback drives growth, while recognition fuels motivation, resulting in an upward spiral of excellence.

Embracing failure in innovative scenarios completes the triangle. Encouraging a culture where calculated risks are applauded, even if they result in failure, drives supplier innovation. Such an environment prompts suppliers to think outside the box, push boundaries, and ultimately deliver ground breaking solutions.

In conclusion, the success of a supplier-client collaboration can hinge on the environment clients cultivate. Transparency nurtures trust, a performance-driven approach boosts outcomes, and embracing failure fuels innovation. By prioritising these principles, clients pave the way for suppliers to thrive and create a synergy that can have a significant impact on the creation of successful meetings.



The easy answer to create a sustainable medical society congress

The EASY answer to create a sustainable medical society congress


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Partnership announced between PR Medical Events and Healthcare Venues

Partnership announced between PR Medical Events and Healthcare Venues

Healthcare venues and PR medical events partner to take the grey out of medical society congress room block compliance approval.

We are delighted to announce a partnership between Healthcare Venues and PR Medical Events, who will contribute their healthcare sector knowledge of the global medical congress environment, to the platform’s new venue compliance index and tools for corporate compliance specialists and meeting planners. The index, and broader platform benefits will be integrated into PR Medical Events’ compliance process to support their clients when selecting code appropriate venues. The upgraded Healthcare Venues solutions will be launched in Q3, 2022

About PR Medical Events

PR Medical Events, is a fast-growing agency providing accommodation and group travel and logistical solutions for worldwide medical congresses and conferences.

PR Medical Events

PR Medical Events are a team of multi-cultural, passionate, and creative event professionals who understand the value of brand equity providing Quality Group Travel Services to Worldwide Medical Congresses.

Our professional relationships with reliable partners, suppliers, agencies, and hotels, allow us to provide pharmaceutical companies, doctors, pharmacists, agencies, and business delegates full destination management services.

We understand that your event must be considered a success by any measure and we manage every detail to provide unforgettable experiences.

PRM maintains a strong position as a “provider of choice” by orchestrating events flawlessly and ensuring our client objectives are met in a profitable and memorable way.

We understand our clientele’s needs, that is why every single group has dedicated coordinators that can be reached at any time, before and on-site, to ensure that any of your queries and all of our services are delivered in the personal and professional manner which set us apart.

Back catalog of thought leadership and news articles

Back catalog of thought leadership and news articles

Where can you find over 130 blog posts, articles, opinion pieces, and help materials from 3Sixty and Healthcare Venues? 
The answer … regrettably, still on the old Healthcare Venues site. We are in the process of transferring and updating this content over the coming weeks to migrate to the new site. It will take us a little time. We are not lazy, just ready for rest, relaxation, and good company over the holiday period. While we do this please take a peek here hopefully there may be something of interest there to inspire you to create your own content. If we can help, let us know.