Session Submission Update: Where Are We Now?

With the overwhelming success of our recent Call for Sessions, next year’s BIO International Convention may be the best yet!

Companies, institutions, and organizations from around the globesubmitted more than 500 entries to host a session at the Convention. Word has quickly spread that for an organization to maximize visibility and credibility among the most influential people in the industry, becoming a session host is invaluable.

With the tremendous amount of submissions, the team is confident the Convention will once again offer at least 125 breakout sessions. Of note, the two tracks that received the most submissions were Drug Discovery and Development and Business Development.

The long and arduous task of grading is handled by a select volunteer committee of subject matter experts within the biotech field. The committee consists of over 60 industry experts representing all sectors of life sciences. Each expert individually reviews and grades the submissions, with one representing the weakest grade and five being the strongest grade. To assist the experts, BIO staff also participates in the grading processas needed.  We estimate that more than 500 hours are contributed by the volunteers in reviewing the submissions.

The committee is given two and a half weeks to review and grade the submissions in their assigned track. Once complete, a series of meetings are held to review the grading results as a collective team. During this time, graders select the final sessions for the program. Based on the overwhelming submissions – it looks like 1 out of 5 submissions will be selected for the June program.The committee has a goal of ensuring that at least 40% of the sessions selected for the program are advanced.

BIO International Convention attendees expect cutting-edge educational programs at the Convention. In order to guarantee these biotechnology professionals are not disappointed, just what are the graders looking for from the submitters?

  • Timeliness of topics. Attendees can expect the subject matter discussed during the sessions to be relevant to the latest technologies and issues surrounding the industry.
  • Variety. Due to the sheer volume of sessions, there will be content for all audiences with tracks representing a diverse range of topics in the biotech field.
  • Educational value. All speakers and presenters are chosen for their unparalleled knowledge in all things biotech. Participants can expect to walk away from sessions with a deeper understanding of the subject discussed.
  •  Subject matter appeal. With over 15,000 attendees, it is no easy feat to offer something for everyone. This is accomplished on an annual basis by offering a wide variety of sessions addressing industry issues across the board.
  •  Speaker qualifications and expertise. Speakers chosen to lead sessions are the best of the best in the field and have a wealth of knowledge to share.
  • Overall quality. Attendees return year after year to participate in the world’s largest biotechnology event due to the unrivaled superiority of the content presented.

With the process well under way, graders will soon be meeting in Boston to finalize their recommendations. The committee’s goal is to notify all submitters in December as to whether or not they will be leading a session at the 2012 BIO International Convention

Once notified, the work has just begun. Session leaders will then spend the next six months working with committee members as well as BIO staff to tweak and fine tune the content that will be presented in June.

In addition to the ongoing session selection process, there are many exciting Convention related happenings daily here at BIO. The Company Presentation submission tool will open January 2012. These Company Presentations are 15 minutes in length and are open to all attendees.The Convention hosts several hundred Company Presentations each year.Be sure to keep tabs on the most exciting event in the industry, check back often for updates, announcements and reminders.