On the 12th December Eagle exhibited, sponsored, chaired a session and presented at a One Nucleus event: Genesis 2013.
Let me tell you a bit about the conference first and then I will share the steps that we undertook to make sure it was a great event for us.
Genesis is held in London’s Queen Elizabeth Conference II Center, and gathers emerging and well established life science companies to exhibit and showcase their products and services and also the chance to comment on the current state of life science and discuss ways to improve it.
This year, Genesis was Eagle’s fourth time exhibiting. Bottom line: our presence went really well for us. We had great company exposure and met with really interesting professionals and also had the chance to catch up with our previous contacts and see how they are getting on.
During Genesis, a lot was mentioned about the current initiatives that are set up bysome of our fellow companies and government bodies, initiatives that are set to accelerate life science innovation.
Biotech has been urged to consider NHS partnering and venture capital. Louise Wood, first plenary session speaker for Genesis was the one to speak about the strategies to go ahead. Louise is the head of NHS research Infrastructure a the Department of Health. Her main message was: “to persuade you that things are changing”. £1 billion was recently secured to start innovation silos accross the UK.
Later in the session, Eagle's own Abel Ureta-Vidal presented on the subject of Data Management in Healthcare Research, and his presentation can be downloaded here. Information on this and all the other talks in this session are available thanks to Scrip Intelligence.
Eagle was also announced as runners-up in the Genesis BioNewsRound, a competition based on recent press releases.
Preparations for a conference
Great preperations start with good discussions with the event organisers. Discussions were held on sponsorship, location, session chairing and just keeping in touch on any new changes that may happen in the preparation steps. Below I will share with you some the things that worked well for Eagle.
The first thing that we did for this conference was to secure the right spot. Location at a conference is always important as it hugely matters what footfall you will get at your stand. Try to stay away from spaces where there is no coffee or if the booths are on another floor, away from the mass of booths, unless you don't like people around you. That is said because delegates may not be aware that there are stands on other floors. A very small percentage of them may have checked the venue layout thoroughly, and come and see you. Most of them may not bother.
At Genesis our stand was at a key spot, just next to the coffee station and partnering meeting tables, which was in the sight of the delegates while they were meeting or having coffee breaks.
Eagle has been exhibiting here many times and have learned our lesson. But being at a good location doesn`t always make people come to chat to you, continue reading to find out the key steps.
The sponsorship deal
We secured a very key sponsorship package: sponsoring the WiFi. It turned out to be extremely effective to get our name heard. Everybody needs WiFi these days. Even though professionals are out of the office they need to check their emails. So Eagle gave a helping wing(hand), and made sure the connection was reliable and easy to access.
So when delegates connected to the conference WiFi they saw our logo and the fact that we were at booth 43, which then encouraged them to pay us a visit.
Next key step to make sure you bring all your most relevant banners, brochures and lay them out where they are easy to see. And for the folks who are more interested you need to be prepared to give them the right brochures.
The eye catcher
We also had a rolling presention on a plasma screen that makes things a bit more interactive. We had a couple of delegates stopping by to glance at the slides and once they saw some key words it triggered their interest and made them approach us.
To all that we also added an element of joy, fun and a way to ease your mind after hearing all the overwhelming leaps forward that life science is taking:
We had a remote controlled helium balloon that really attracted people's eyes and put smiles on their faces. Many delegates and friends of ours came to play with it and take pictures.
That was a really great way to speak to them and as a result they were more open to share what their projects were and what they needed help with.
The other extra we had was a box of tasty Belgian biscuits, which was simply an irresistible pull for the sweet tooth lovers, and it acted as a nice excuse for folks to come by and chat.
That was on the front line.
A bit of homework before the event
As for the backend preparations, we had a few tick lists as to what we need to take with us and one other key move; we analysed the delegate list very carefully and selected the key people to meet with. We checked their profiles through the conference partnering system and visited their company websites. Doing this will save a lot of time at the conference and will put you in a better position when you meet a potential customer. It is always flattering if you meet with someone who has heard about your company. And it also won`t waste any time meeting someone who is not relevant to your business.
If that happens and a meeting is arranged with someone not relevant to your business try to find out what the other professional does and maybe introduce him or her to someone who may be their perfect customer. This little extra mile always does miracles as these contacts may help you out with something in the future.
Eagle once got a free presentation slot by helping someone out. So it is definitely worth it, especially if it only takes a few minutes to do.
And after the event
And last but not least it is key to follow up on everybody that you meet. Just drop them a line saying thanks it was great to meet you and wish them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
That is it on sharing a few tips on how to make a great conference. Hope it helped.