June 6, 2016
By Shaeffer Smith, BioSpace.com Staff
The BIO International Convention is the largest biotechnology conference in the world, and this year it is returning to its birthplace of San Francisco, California. From June 6 to June 9, biotechnology companies and professionals from around the globe will come together to discuss some of the most innovative triumphs and least successful trials in the industry, as well as connect with others in the biotech field.
As a biotech professional, a convention or conference like BIO can be an advantageous networking opportunity with so many attendees and company representatives all in one location. However, being one fish in a sea of biotech pros can also hinder your ability to connect with the right contacts.
Here are some networking tips for creating meaningful connections at BIO 2016:
Do your research ahead of time.
With so many presentations and sessions scheduled, you won’t have time to sit down and digest the hundreds of companies represented at the convention. So, before you go, research the companies that are attending the conference and for available job opportunities. Next, create a schedule. Carve out some time to visit specific speakers or booths and focus on the conversations.
After you’ve figured out who/what you want to see/do and what opportunities are available, make sure you have everything you need to sell your skills and experience. Bring several copies of your resume/CV in case a representative should ask to see it. In addition, bring plenty of business cards and a pen and notepad. Finally, dress to impress. Have confidence and show your professionalism through your attire.
Networking can be intimidating, but the trick is to be confident and sociable. Introduce yourself to presenters and company representatives. It makes a difference to the person you are trying to impress if you are able to approach them professionally and maintain an intelligent conversation.
Interact with social media.
These days, every convention has a hashtag, event page, and dedicated social media employee posting updates, info about presenters and presentations, and general announcements. Following the event/event sponsor on Facebook and Twitter will give you insight into who is really engaging with the #BIO2016 audience and create more opportunity for professional connections.
Follow-up after the event.
After each day or each genuine conversation, take notes on who you talked to and what about. This will make for a stronger follow-up after the event. Send an email or make a call to whomever you spoke with to show that you are serious about the opportunity for a connection or open biotech jobs.