BIO International Convention makes partnering a priority

When BIO says they will bring people together, they mean it.

The last time the BIO international Convention was held in person, in June 2019, event participants engaged in more than 48,500 partnership meetings, setting a Guinness World Record for “Largest Business Partnering Event” for the second straight year. This year the BIO International Convention is in-person again.

The BIO partnering team, using the BIO One-on-One Partneringтм technology, will be facilitating a similar level of networking for the BIO International Convention, in San Diego, June 13-16. The world’s largest gathering of leaders in the biotechnology and life sciences industries, the BIO International Convention brings together thousands of biotechnology and pharmaceutical executives for a chance to meet one another and foster new opportunities and promising partnerships.

In 2020 and 2021, partnering meetings had to happen virtually, due to the pandemic. According to Sougato Das, who created the One-on-One platform and will be partnering this year, while the virtual meetings were effective, face-to-face meetings have a greater impact.

“Meeting in-person forms a deeper connection and bond,” he explained. “Sometimes, what needs to be covered concludes in 20 minutes. With a virtual meeting, the participants sign off. No chit chat or further communication. However in an in-person meeting, usually there’s some additional connection that comes from the non-business conversation. Partnering is not just about making a pitch and running. It’s about being genuinely curious about your industry brethren. It’s about learning from the experiences of others. This kind of interaction is extremely limited in a virtual meeting.”

Making partnering easier

Partnering opportunities are essential to progress in biotechnology. The range of development projects necessary to bring new advances to market requires numerous deals—venture deals, institutional deals, license deals, M&A deals, and vendor negotiations.

That’s why BIO puts such a premium on networking at the BIO International Convention, and why BIO offers the easy-to-use BIO One-on-One Partnering platform.

“The model is simple—you register for the Convention and get access to the partnering system weeks beforehand,” said Mackensie Vernetti, Director of Partnering Operations at BIO. “You’re able to fill out a company profile, set your calendar availability for meetings, and search our database of companies that are also attending and seeking to set up meetings. You send meeting requests to potential partners and then BIO schedules the meetings for you, providing on-site meeting locations and times based on mutual availability.”

The format, and the team, make a difference

A great benefit of the many scheduled One-on-One meetings is the opportunity for unplanned connections and chance encounters that pop up, according to Das.

“Let’s consider the dynamics of a partnering convention versus any other kind of event. Partnering conventions simply have more people walking around and crossing paths instead of sitting sequestered in programming all day, creating many more opportunities to run into people you need to catch up with or haven’t seen in a while. The BIO Business Forum has a casual seating area strategically setup to foster this. And this isn’t just theory—this is what I hear over and over from people—they sorely miss this aspect of in person partnering. They are another valuable source of deals, especially the many times that serendipity turns into a partnering meeting as a follow-up.”

In addition to a great platform and a format that encourages mingling, Das said, the BIO Partnering Team’s tireless efforts help make the event such a great place to network.

“BIO’s Partnering Team works hard to ensure your meetings happen, and do all sorts of high-touch maneuvers that no computer could do. It’s the human concierge service that makes BIO partnering so effective”

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