By Rob Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader magazine
In recent discussions with readers, I have been hearing a consistent message regarding their plans to attend trade shows in 2013. That message can be summed up in two words — highly selective. In the past, these executives may have attended half a dozen events a year. When you combine the global recession with the patent cliff, the result is a conservative approach to budgeting, including funding conference and trade show attendance. Perhaps we will see an increase in people attending virtual events. Only time will tell. Maybe I am just too old school, but I believe there to be greater value in attending shows in person. Though I see people not giving the event their full and undivided attention, I imagine trying to attend a virtual conference in your office, with the constant demands of doing your day job, would preclude you from giving even 1/10 of your attention.
Now, before I tell you about some of the shows I plan to attend in 2013, I want to share those which I found extremely valuable in 2012. Let me preface this by pointing out that last year I attended around 20 different events. From these, listed in alphabetical order, are the noninvitation-only events which provided interesting educational content, were attended by industry key opinion leaders, provided excellent networking opportunities, and led to editorial which appeared in Life Science Leader magazine throughout the year: BIO International; BPSA Single-Use Summit; CPhI Worldwide; DDP; DIA; Disruptive Innovations; Diversity, Inclusion, & Life Sciences Symposium; HBA WOTY; Interphex; Partnerships; and the WIB Annual Gala.
For 2013, I plan on attending around the same number of events. Like you, I plan to be highly selective. Personally, I don’t select trade shows or conferences based on the venue or geographic location. The criteria I use for deciding which shows to attend is driven first by who will be attending/presenting and then the content. For a variety of reasons, I don’t always attend the same shows from year to year. This could be a matter of logistics. Such is the case with this year’s Interphex, Partnerships in Clinical Trials, and BIO International shows, which all take place in the same week. It could also be my desire to have a different experience. How can I tell you if I found a show valuable, if I haven’t checked it out for myself?
Just because you don’t see a show listed, doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Nor does it imply that someone from Life Science Leader won’t be attending. It simply means that as I strive to manage my most precious resource — time — and my second most precious resource — sanity — these are shows I am personally planning to attend for 2013, listed in the order in which they take place throughout the year: DIA Euro; DCAT; Diversity, Inclusion, & Life Sciences Symposium; BIO International; HBA WOTY; DIA; Disruptive Innovations; CPhI Worldwide; ISPE; and FDA/CMS Summit. In case you are wondering, since I did mention I would be attending about 20 events, what are the other 10 shows? Well, a few are by invitation only. For the rest, I am waiting to gain some insight from you, our readers. Think there is an event I should consider attending in 2013? Drop me an email with some additional information, or better yet, pick up the phone and give me a call.