After 4 days of R&R down in Miami, FL, I am back tending to my flock (of social networks, blogs, clients, subscribers) and trying to get back in the groove. Unfortunately, I lost my glasses on a Miami Metrobus and I have to put my face against the screen to write this!

But I am happy to see that the folks who have organized the ePharma Summit,which is being held today and tomorrow in Philadelphia, are practicing what they preach by using social media tools to keep me informed about the conference. That’s good because I may not be able to attend today’s session — I will be busy catching up and getting new specs! But I hope to attend tomorrow.

NOTE: Pharma Marketing News — the e-newsletter I publish — is a Media Partner for this event and has been paid to promote the event. This post, however, is not a paid ad.

This morning the “ePharma Summit Team” (aka Allison Rigels and Amy Xu, Institute for International Research) sent me an e-mail update summarizing who will be presenting. That in itself is more than I have seen many other industry conference organizers do. But the ePharma Summit people are and have been doing much more.

“We’re excited to be kicking of this year’s conference with new features; combining live blogging and Twittering for you to track the event live!” said the Team. “We’ll also be posting several interviews taken throughout the day introducing you to some of the industry leaders and companies who are hear today. If you aren’t in Philadelphia, stay tuned to the ePharma Summit Blog and ePharma Summit Twitter to follow details about the latest presentation at the event. On the ePharma Summit webpage, you can check for the latest video and photos of today’s presentations and exclusive interviews with the speakers.”

Even before the conference, Allison et al have employed various social media networks to keep us informed not only about the conference, but about ePharma marketing in general. They’ve done that through the blog as well as a Facebook Group and LinkedIn Group that you can join.

As a Media Partner, I helped Allison and the ePharma Summit Team by posting their Blog’s RSS feed to a special Pharma Marketing Network Forum dedicated to that feed. The summary of and link to each post made to the ePharma Summit Blog is a separate discussion thread (post) within this forum. These summaries have been very popular with the 4,000 or so daily visitors to the Pharma Marketing Forums site. As of February 1, 2009, there were 97 posts made to that forum and a total of 9,869 views!

I think every pharma industry conference organizer and marketer should follow the ePharma Summit strategy of getting involved with social media marketing to promote their conferences and keep their attendees informed during and AFTER the conference. It may not be appropriate for ALL conferences, but it especially useful for recurring conferences like the ePharma Summit, which has good brand recognition.

It’s hard work keeping your social marketing efforts going and the ePharma Summit people have now become so experienced with new media marketing that I would not be surprised to learn that some smart pharmaceutical company asked their advice on how to do it.

I wonder how many agencies that promote social media marketing to their pharmaceutical clients have actually practiced what THEY preach?