Philadelphia. A city steeped in rich history, and designated as the birthplace of the United States. Home of the Liberty Bell, the famous steps from Rocky, this year’s Superbowl champions (who unfortunately dethroned my beloved Patriots), as well as one of Pharma’s largest annual US conferences, CPhI North America.
For three days in late April, over seven thousand attendees will descend upon the Pennsylvania Convention Centre for meetings and educational sessions covering drug development to manufacturing. Attendees can choose to participate in one of three tracks based on their preference and business focus: Drug Development, Drug Manufacturing, or Bio-Processing.
Aside from the educational sessions, visitors may also choose to visit the over 670 exhibiting companies that fill the hall from corner to corner.
Part of CPhI’s expansive global portfolio of events each year, 2018 marks the second iteration of the North American conference. This collection of events all culminate in the CPhI Worldwide conference in October, where thousands of pharma/biotech professionals flock to sunny Spain.
For such large scale events, it can quickly become overwhelming for a team of company attendees, particularly if limited in size. With so much potential ground to cover, making the most of your time and investment is key, so we’ve put a few tips together for planning out your time in Philadelphia:
Know the area
The Pennsylvania Convention Center is a substantially large facility, and the CPhI exhibit hall is filled to the brim with company booths, all vying for the tiniest sliver of your attention. CPhI provides an intuitive way to plan out where you have to go to find specific companies.
Through the interactive exhibition floorplan, you can view each of the booths and the companies occupying them. You may also view the exhibitor list in the side panel, and are able to add them to your own personal Expo Plan. This will flag the booth for each company and provide you with a custom map, so you know precisely where to go.
It also helps to look up the area surrounding the convention center, should you wish to schedule a more informal meeting outside of the busy conference hall. There are plenty of coffee shops and restaurants for meeting up away from the hubbub of the conference.
Identify the right companies to meet
You might know your slice of the market like the back of your own hand, but the pharma/biotech industry is quick moving and highly dynamic. New companies emerge frequently, while existing companies merge, acquire, and divest each other almost just as much. Not to mention keeping track of what specialty services each company provides and what their areas of expertise are. Buyers can explore the exhibitor list available on the CPhI North America website, where you can also filter by specific service offerings.
Find out who’s going
This tactic can become quite tricky, as many are not vocal about the conferences that they attend, be it through social media or other channels. Fortunately, attendees are able to utilize CPhI’s Bond Meeting Service, where you can reach out to other attendees to schedule meetings. This may not provide a fully comprehensive list of all people attending the conference, but it is a good place to begin your planning process. If unable to reach them through the portal, you can track the person down through LinkedIn or by finding their information elsewhere.
A lesser known fact is that InformEx, the long running event for specialty & fine chemical professionals, began shared hosting with CPhI during the inaugural North American conference. Joining forces allowed attendees from both conferences to connect more deeply across the wide array of verticals represented, while under the same roof. Key industry players from the specialty & fine chemicals markets could now develop more relationships and partnerships across the entire pharmaceutical value chain, while pharma/biotech players could also access a broader range of companies.
Wear comfortable footwear
While it may seem obvious, this cannot be understated. As an exhibitor or visitor, in a facility that spans well over 600 000 square feet with so many people and sessions to see, you’ll constantly be on your feet from dawn until dusk. If you’re going to make it through the 3 day event without sacrificing your mobility for the remainder of the week, proper shoes are a key asset!
Meet up with Zymewire
The best tip are always saved for last, but it’s a good one. We may not be exhibiting, but we love seeing new and familiar faces at events nonetheless! If you are interested in empowering your business development team, or even just meeting for a friendly chat, feel free to let us know through our CPhI meeting page.