At the start of January our Chief Sales Officer, Louise Armstrong and Corporate Strategy Director, Richard Grethe, attended JP Morgan Healthcare week in San Francisco.
Louise shares her experience with us in this blog…
Having attended countless conferences and meetings in San Francisco over the last decade, this was my first JP Morgan healthcare week and there had been no shortage of advice from friends and industry colleagues on how to make the most of the week…and more importantly, how to survive it!
The first thing to note is that whilst everyone calls it the JPM healthcare conference, the JPM conference itself is restricted and the majority of the thousands of healthcare professionals in the city that week, are not actually attending the JPM meeting itself, but dozens of parallel conferences, meetings and events.
Unlike most large conferences in San Francisco, these meetings are not centrally located in the flagship Moscone Convention Centre, but are actually spread across the ballrooms, meeting rooms, restaurants and bars of the city’s hotels, centred around Union Square. Most people spend four or five days traipsing between hotels and restaurants watching company presentations, participating in industry round table and panel discussions and having one-to-one networking meetings with potential business partners. Itineraries start at breakfast time and can run on into the early hours each day.
I was in San Francisco with my colleague, Richard Grethe, and between us, we attended over forty individual meetings and events and met many hundreds of interesting people, in what is the premier global healthcare business networking event of the year.
The thing that makes the JPM week so different to all other conferences I’ve attended before, is the seniority of the attendees, their sharp commercial focus and the openness to networking, regardless of role or position, whether you are an entrepreneur with an idea, the CEO of a small company looking to raise the next round of investment to take products into clinical trials or the VPGM of a large multinational healthcare corporation or pharma company sharing your pipeline strategy and results. This is the week where you can meet inventors, investors, lawyers, business development professionals and service providers, from all over the world, looking to promote their work and to make new connections, in order to grow and develop their healthcare businesses through partnership and collaboration.
We specifically attended the China Showcase, Biotech Showcase, Digital Medicine and Medtech Showcase and Bio One on One Partnering. Across these meetings there were hundreds of company presentations and thousands of scheduled partnering meetings, in what can best be described as business speed dating.
At Biotech Showcase, one of the busiest conferences, there were rows and rows of small curtained cubicles, each numbered and containing a table, four chairs and power sockets. When the bell rang you’d make your way to your assigned cubicle where you meet your potential partner for 30 mins, until the bell rang again, signifying time to move on.
Outside of these formal partnering meetings, there were many informal partnering meetings and I really felt for those who didn’t know the city so well – navigating where to go next, trying to avoid all the cafés that were charging $50 an hour, just to sit down at a table, for a coffee and a chat.
So in all of this chaos, how did we find it? Absolutely fantastic!
JP Morgan healthcare week provides the one of the best opportunities to meet with new and existing clients and industry contacts, sharing goals and ideas, searching for new collaborations with a common goal – to advance global healthcare.
Blog by Louise Armstrong, Random42 Chief Sales Officer
Louise has twenty years of sales and marketing experience, commercialising cellular imaging and analysis technologies within the healthcare industry. She has worked extensively across the USA, Europe and Asia Pacific for both multinational corporations and in the start-up environment. She has joined Random42 as part of our strategic plan to support the future growth and success of our clients. Louise is passionate about developing people and teams that advance our scientific knowledge and understanding.