Your meeting schedule is full, your hotel booked; all that’s left is to get to the venue. Simple, right? Not necessarily.
For many, getting to BIO-Europe® 2015 took new forms of dedication, strategy and stamina as dense fog at Heathrow sidelined more than a few travelers this year. But for one delegate, neither rain, nor sleet, nor fog, nor innumerable cancellations could prevent him from getting to Munich.
Andrew S.M. Dean, Director of Present Value Ltd, a life sciences business development firm working on licensing and M&A for small to medium pharma, has been a regular attendee of BIO-Europe since the Milan meeting in 2009. His unusual experience gives credence to both the dedication of Dean to his profession, and the value he puts on partnering meetings at BIO-Europe. Here is Dean’s story, in his own words.
“The backstory was that I turned up at London Heathrow to take my 1415 British Airways flight to find it was cancelled due to dense fog… Then its 1930 replacement was cancelled. So I switched terminals and booked a Lufthansa flight.. which was cancelled… then its replacement was cancelled… I spent 10 hours at Heathrow just being cancelled,” said Dean.
“The airport was a mess and getting information was impossible. On the way back to the car, an airport driver told me that fog was going to paralyze the airport until Tuesday. So I thought, just go for it… I left Heathrow at 2000hrs and booked a Eurotunnel on route, drove through the night and arrived in Munich at 0745 the next morning. My hotel gave me some food and wine and I went to bed until 1300 and was at the conference by 1400,” said Dean.
“Going back was a little easier… I left Munich at 1500 and was back home by 0130! The crazy thing is that I used my 20-year-old BMW which I just use for airport or station runs, instead of my normal car as it was in the garage getting fixed. As I was being paid to be there by my clients, I thought I had better get there!” explained Dean.
“Not only that, but my colleague, Andrea, lost her luggage so she was in borrowed dresses throughout—but thankfully was reunited with her own clothing within a few days. Out of our delegation only one failed to brave the delays and cancellations, we’re a tenacious bunch!” said Dean.
Heavy fog, four cancelled flights and an all-night drive couldn’t stop Dean from getting to his partnering meetings. Dean prepared a report that examined the ROI in attending five BIO-Europe and BIO-Europe Spring® partnering events. His results showed that he and his colleagues each had an average of 32 meetings, the majority being preclinical (23%) and Phase II (16%), followed by “on market” (13%), lead optimization (11%) and discovery (9%).
Dean calculated his typical results (see graphic), and return on investment, for investments to date, as ~GBP 30,000, broken down as 160+ opportunities screened, 30 investigated further, x to RFP/HoT etc., resulting in contract deals each with 6, 7 figures, and license/acquisition deals with 7,8 figures. Those kinds of returns give meaning to Dean’s perseverance, and speak to the unique high-level of deal activity that happens at EBD Group partnering events.
The next big European life science partnering event will be BIO-Europe Spring held in Stockholm, Sweden, April 4–6. What will it take for you to get there?