I’ve escaped the cube farm long enough to share a few thoughts from BIO-Europe Spring in Turin.
Quality vs. Quantity
Finding the sweet spot between busy and busy work at a partnering conference can be a challenge. The theoretical benefit to casting a wide net is that you are more likely to catch someone’s interest. Downsides to this approach include overuse injuries. If meeting thirty one was your best prospect, you may not have pitched with the same energy as pitch five.
It only takes one good meeting to make a conference worthwhile but…
Things, They are a-Changing
The trouble in aiming for one good meeting is that (in case you hadn’t noticed) the pharma/biotech industry is changing all around us, whether that is pipeline strategy, disease focus, staff changes or M&A. Deals fall through for reasons that have nothing to do with the deal. You can lose a lot of momentum if you go radio silent and the term sheet you’re negotiating doesn’t end up a done deal.
Keep people engaged until the check clears.
I Could Tell You But Then I’d Have To Kill You
Private companies aren’t bound by the same regulatory constraints as public companies. Since that is usually who we’re talking to, you won’t find generally find any pharma/biotech companies interested in naming names before the deal is done. For a real world example, here’s what happened when BioWorld tagged along with Avaxia Biologic’s Barbara Fox at BIO 2013 partnering meetings. “The fourth meeting almost ended before it began when the representative from a U.S. big pharma spotted the “media” sticker on my badge and prepared to walk away. Instead, I did.”