Membership Pro Tip: Keeping Members in Business—Virtually

A system designed to connect members to in-person business opportunities morphed into a way to connect virtually.

How does it work? The Biotechnology Innovation Organization launches its BIO One-on-One Partnering system at its events—both in person and around the world—to help companies in the life-science community find potential collaboration partners and investors.

The system, a web-based platform, has existed in various forms for more than 15 years. Then the pandemic hit.

“We realized very quickly that we needed to adapt it, to help people meet virtually,” says Willie Reaves, BIO’s director of partnering products and services.

The system provides a searchable database of companies and investors across a wide therapeutic area, which allows conference participants to message each other, share files, exchange contact information—and now schedule virtual meetings.

Why is it effective? “Our system meets people where they are—whether that is in their home office or their living room—to bring business to them since we can’t do it the same way in person,” he says.

What’s the benefit? BIO has been able to engage an even broader segment of the life-science and healthcare community—especially startup biotech companies—who may not have been financially able to travel to conferences and events in the past.

During BIO’s healthcare conference last month, there were 62 percent more attendees than in 2020 and a nearly 400 percent increase in scheduled meetings.

“That really speaks to people’s need for business development and innovation to continue,” Reaves says.

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(Oleksandr/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Lisa Boylan

By Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. MORE

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