As the pandemic continues to change the way we work, networking has largely gone digital. Online events might lack the physical connection we’re used to, but they bring people around the world together and encourage us to look to the future.
Over the course of 2020, a lot of our activities as a CRO had to change, and much of that change was centered on going digital. Clinical monitoring, regular meetings and site visits have all happened via the internet since March.
Forging new relationships has always been a multifaceted part of the business, with face-to-face conferences leading to emails, phone calls, in-person meetings and so on. But for now, this process is entirely digital, and events like Biotechgate Digital Partnering are supporting it.
In November 2020, Siron Clinical CEO Jan Balemans attended Biotechgate, an event that connected company representatives in pre-arranged one-to-one Zoom meetings. The event was “designed to support the business development of Biotech, Medtech and Pharma companies.”
Insights from the Digital Partnering Event
Over the course of four days, Jan met with US and EU Biotech companies and colleague CROs in Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. “In today’s challenging world, especially with the pandemic, we appreciated the opportunity to make new contacts, exchange information on planned upcoming projects and share our service pack,” Jan said.
The objective of attending was to meet with biotech companies looking for a vendor to support the management of their clinical trials – both for the short and long term. Discussions covered the things companies are now busy working on, such as biotech activities on in- and out-licensing, and raising money to get funding for development activities. Outsourcing of clinical trials is part of future development planning, but in the current challenging climate, these plans are largely on hold.
“One positive thing to note is that there was a feeling of starting up these activities again,” Jan said.
The Value of Online Networking
Jan reflected that digital events like this are vital today for networking and bringing the various stakeholders together to discuss and review opportunities in the research and development arena.
All the while international travel remains restricted and lockdowns and quarantines are in place, these events provide the crucial opportunity to connect. This is not just valuable in terms of business growth, but for building relationships and fueling innovation.
However, the situation isn’t ideal, and Jan, like many others, is hopeful for the future. “Although virtual events will remain part of our work, everyone is looking forward to the possibility to participate in ‘live events’ again,” he said.
Jan already has two virtual events in the calendar for 2021 – be sure to register and make an appointment to meet if you’re planning to attend.