BIOAs in previous years, BIA and UKTI will be leading the UK delegation at BIO2015, working together to maximise the networking opportunities on the UK pavilion and offering grant assistance for companies to exhibit in Philadelphia. More information will be available later this year. In the meantime, as the deadline for BIO2015 panel sessions draws near (2 October), Sue Charles, Managing Partner, Life Sciences, Instinctif Partners, highlights the merits of using a panel session to raise your profile in front of the largest global biotech audience.

BIO International Convention, the Global Event for Biotechnology, is the largest conference in the life sciences business calendar, usually attracting some 16,000 delegates, including nearly 2,500 CEOs, with 40% of delegates drawn from International audiences, comprising 65+ countries. The UK is always well represented and it’s a great place to network and do business. BIO 2015 runs 16-18 June in Philadelphia, PA, USA, details here: http://convention.bio.org/pitch/

As with any conference, costs can be high when you add up registration fees, travel and accommodation and, of course, time. Organising and participating in a panel during BIO can provide a powerful opportunity for companies to position themselves as a thought leader. Unlike company presentation slots, there are no fees for running a panel and there is also the added benefit of reduced registration fees!

To be successful, session topics will need to be provocative, on cutting-edge topics that affect the global biotech industry with an attractive speaker line up. They can:

  • Profile new technology and provide insight on promising research developments.
  • Spark creative conversations: we welcome unique, timely, and novel ideas.
  • Build crucial dialogue with your audience through interactive education formats.
  • Establish yourself as an international expert who tackles the most pressing issue

Whilst June 2015 may seem a long way off, time is short to get in a panel proposal – the call for sessions closes on 2 October. Instinctif Partners has worked with many clients to devise attractive panel topics, preparing successful panel submissions and managing the co-ordination and promotion of the panel. Here are a few tips and guidance on what is available:

Session Formats

Different session topics may be suited to different session formats. Consider which of the following formats will most effectively serve to communicate your message.

  • Interview: One presenter, one moderator. The moderator questions the presenter on the session topic for approximately three fourths of the time, after which the floor is opened up for questions to the presenter from the audience.
  • Debate: One moderator and no more than two speakers will have an interactive, lively discussion in which they will put forth opposing views on the session topic.
  • How-To Session: Tutorials for the novice or expert in biotech with 1 – 2 speakers. Addresses a specific topic or issue in biotech and provides practical lessons learned. The total session time is 60 minutes including a minimum time of 15 minutes allotted for questions and answers with the audience.
  • Master: One presenter, who is considered a visionary in the biotechnology field, conducts a 45-minute presentation delivered lecture-style from the stage. Master speaker must be Executive CEO level and facilitate formal Q&A for the last 15 minutes of session (60 minutes total).
  • Interactive Panel: 60 and 75 minute offering where panellists (maximum of 3 plus one moderator) present case studies from multiple perspectives facilitated by a moderator. Moderator will facilitate formal Q&A with the audience and panellists for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • Rapid Fire: Fast-paced session with an allotment of four speakers giving one distinct 10 minute talk each. Moderator will provide a brief summary of what had been covered and facilitate a formal Q&A with the audience for 15 minutes at the end of the session.

Speaker Information

Depending on the format, you are allowed a maximum of three speakers and one moderator per panel. The BIO Program Committee will prefer proposals which have a panel that is both completely confirmed and full, based on the proposed format.

Session Subjects

  • Business Development and Finance will focus on corporate deal making and operations, as well as fundraising for private and public companies.
  • Biomedical Technology: Research & Development
  • Digital Health will explore the intersection of digital health, biotech and pharma.
  • Value, Market Access & Commercialization
  • Intellectual Property will highlight current challenges in intellectual property protection for biotech innovations including pragmatic approaches to securing protection in light of the latest judicial and administrative developments. Those submitting proposals should ensure the content of the proposed session enables attendees to receive Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits.
  • General Biotechnology Interest will cover any areas that may not currently be represented in one of the top five focus areas.

In summary, advantages of organising a BIO panel include discounted entry to BIO for panel organisers and speakers; corporate awareness raising through the BIO program and your own marketing efforts; thought leadership profile and positioning with invited panel members.

To discuss how Instinctif Partners can support you in a panel session application for BIO, please contact us at: lsinfo@instinctif.com