President's Corner

Why We Took A Different Approach To Planning A Conference

Like you, I have attended a lot of educational events and conferences over the years. I’m sure we both could list some that were unique, valuable, and memorable while others could be simply categorized as “been there, done that.” And since time is my most precious resource, the last thing I want to do is spend this ever-diminishing asset on attending — or planning — a conference that’s just like all the rest.

That’s why, when we partnered with Life Science Leader magazine to plan the Outsourced Pharma West (OPW) conference, we made it our mission to create an event that not only offered informative and interesting sessions, but the opportunity for you to connect with partners and build your network. Then, instead of creating our conference agenda by putting out a traditional call for speakers or soliciting abstracts, we employed a simple philosophy we refer to as “follow your reader.” We asked what types of topics readers of Life Science Leader magazine would find valuable enough to want to attend a conference with sessions related to such topics.

After surveying readers for topics, we began making phone calls and sending emails to schedule “gut checks” to see if we had the right topics, as well as to find qualified experts willing to share best practices that could lead to actionable information for attendees related to the contract pharma development and manufacturing industries. Not surprisingly, during this process we encountered potential presenters who said they couldn’t speak about the topics we had uncovered as valuable, but they would be happy to speak about a topic on which they had spoken previously. We learned that this is often how it is done when creating session topics for a conference. But we wanted to create something different, so we passed on those speakers’ offers.

Ultimately, I believe we created a conference that you’ll not only remember as being the spark that ignited a new form of business innovation at your company, but the place where you initiated a key partnership that will help your company grow in the future.

I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco on November 10-11!