Pearls of Wisdom for Getting the Most out of the 2011 BIO International Convention

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Recently the Oklahoma Bioscience Association held a 2011 BIO International Convention information session for their delegates to get ready for the June event. BIO’s own Margaret Core participated via video conference, where she gave an overview of the convention. There were three other speakers who shared their advice based on their BIO experiences.  The panelists were:

Dr. Paul DeAngelis, Chief Scientist, Hyalose LLC and Professor. Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Larry Kennedy, Vice President of Technology Transfer, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
 
Dr. Thomas Kupiec, President & CEO, Analytical Research Laboratories/DNA Solutions/The Kupiec Group

There was lots of great advice was handed out. Below are few of the words of wisdom:

General Advice

  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Bring plenty of business cards – more than you ever think you will need!
  • Determine your business objectives, strategies and stay on tasks during the week
  • Task someone with keeping you organized – either back home or on the trip with you – stay focused
  • Team up and divide up the BIO prep work so your team arrives organized
  • Use BIO to gather market intelligence – best practices, lessons learned, the jargon
  • Jump around the breakout session tracks to get your information refreshed.
  • Review other marketing literature to get ideas
  • Look ahead on your business service needs. It’s much more efficient to meet with service providers at BIO than later in the year.
  • Have fun!

Business Forum Partnering Advice

  • Make sure you have a good, solid elevator speech – keep it short and sweet and to the point – make it stick
  • Be able to tell the team you are meeting with how you can help them in 3, 5, 10 years. Point out trends that will change patents that will expire, etc.
  • If you can’t find a secure an appointment with the company you are looking for – go to their country’s booth, as you might be able to make the connection there.
  • Do your homework – go into the meetings organized
  • Consider handing out your capabilities on a CD
  • When you return home, do your follow up with everyone, even if you think there is no business connection with them
  • “People do business with people they know”
  • With summer vacations, keep the follow up going into September
  • Keep the small talk to a minimal, make the beginning of each meeting meaningful

Networking Advice

  • Look around you at the parties – look for name tags – some companies you want to meet with you just might run into
  • Go to all the parties you can
  • Don’t overlook networking with attendees from your home state
  • If your company has a booth, make sure to do booth duty. You will meet good contacts.
  • Review your past contacts and see if they will be at BIO – if they will be, reach out to them and reconnect
  • Balance your networking with quantity vs. quality – make sure you stay focused and connect