The Value of Bumping Into People in the Hall: A Lesson from the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference
Twitter and Facebook have taken social networking to a higher level on the web, but I just got a reminder about the power of actually meeting people in person. I’m talking about the kind of interactions that happen when attending a jam-packed professional conference and bumping into a lot of smart people with similar interests. This was one thought that struck me this week on my way home to Seattle from the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.
Like most everybody else there, my calendar was a relentless series of 30 to 45-minute meetings from dawn to dusk, followed by more networking at receptions late into the night. My official plan was to come away with a bunch of exclusive interviews, and help plan coverage priorities through the year.
But when I had a little quiet time on my way to the airport yesterday, I started thinking about what else happened during the trip, besides the planned stuff. And I started tallying up the names of all the people from Seattle biotech who I saw even though I didn’t schedule anything with them. I came up with 24 people I bumped into accidentally and chatted with briefly—and I didn’t have to tweet them or list my status. They are all working on newsworthy things, and a few of these chance meetings gave me a few new story ideas and insights.
So I decided to list the names of the people I met serendipitously, although my sample was admittedly concentrated over four days at San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis. If you have any similar experiences from this meeting, or any other like it, and found some surprisingly valuable connection happened this way, please don’t hesitate to post a comment at the bottom of the story.
Stacie Byars. Director of membership, Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association. Met in hallway at St. Francis after SonoSite talk.
Meenu Chhabra. CEO of Allozyne. Met at the elevators in the Clift.
Tom Clement. Chairman of Pathway Medical. Met at the BioCentury reception.
David Fanning. CEO of Theraclone Sciences. Met at Canaan Partners reception.
Ken Galbraith. Managing director with Ventures West in Vancouver. Met on Powell St in front of St. Francis.
Carol Gallagher. CEO of Calistoga Pharmaceuticals. … Next Page »