After more than nine and a half years at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, I joined BIO three months prior to the biggest event of the year, the 2011 BIO International Convention here in Washington, DC. While that may sound like plenty of time to finish planning the Convention’s programming, coordinating 125 breakout sessions and 800+ speakers, 6 super sessions, 2 keynotes, a Leadership Summit, a Translational Research Forum, Diabetes Forum, Emerging Leaders Workshop and other various events takes some planning. My anxiety over this monumental undertaking was quickly calmed when I saw the number of quality industry thought leaders participating in our event and the amount of work that had already been completed by our Conventions team.
What did I learn through this experience? The BIO program provides attendees with all the information you need to know about the latest in biotechnology from business development and finance topics to biotech patenting, health policy and regulatory approval. The line-up of speakers at this year’s event was second to none. Several times throughout the Convention, I had to take a step back and admire the level of speakers this program attracts from NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins (who appeared on the program THREE times) and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and the heads of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world. In the breakout session rooms, I heard first-hand experiences from global biotech leaders taking risks, moving innovation forward, navigating the clinical trials and government approval process and nurturing their companies to the next stage. Nowhere else can you find this caliber of speakers within one single program.
There is no better opportunity to gain publicity with a global audience and recognition as a biotech thought leader than the Convention. The 2012 call for sessions opens this week, Friday August 26 and I encourage you to start your planning today. To learn more about the submission process, visit here.
I can sum up my experience at the 2011 BIO International Convention as four days of learning, planning, and meeting some of the most powerful figures in the biotech world. I survived it, I look forward to 2012 and I hope everyone reading this submits a session proposal so you too can be part of the best biotechnology educational program out there.
See you in Boston!