Networking has changed the way companies are managed even though the foundation, creating and maintaining contacts, has always existed. The difference is that now this can be done using various tools available online, which make this task much easier and improve results. However, “building trust, which is one of the key elements of business relationships, is more difficult online and, in fact, human contact is still the best way to build and consolidate trust.” To this end, participating in fairs and congresses is important because “it lays the foundation on which to build this mutual trust online and is becoming more common in new business strategies,” explains the author of the book Networking, which will be available in Spanish this fall.
Companies in the BioRegion of Catalonia share and confirm this opinion, having applied networking for some time now. Thus explains Marta Palicio, Project Developer atOryzon, one of the top Catalan biotech companies that attends the most important international biotechnology fairs in the sector and always makes sure that, at these business events, “there are systems in place to organize our agenda beforehand in order to ensure that fairs with networking platforms are much more effective from a business standpoint.” And, she adds, “Meeting face-to-face in a networking session isn’t the same as exchanging dozens of e-mails. After this first contact you can write e-mails, which are also important for maintaining and consolidating a mutually beneficial relationship.”
In fact, most companies that apply networking initiate professional contact at international fairs and explain that, nowadays, this is an essential tool. Ignasi Belda, CEO of Intelligent Pharma, explains that, for him, “networking is key to any business, both in the search for new clients, suppliers or collaborators and in hiring new personnel.” And, in fact, Belda’s company is a good example of this: “We participate in a variety of networking events each week and even have people devoted almost exclusively to this task. So much so that we have recently increased our international and digital networking budget substantially in order to grow our client base in the United States and Central Europe.” In the same line, Marta Palicio of Oryzon says, “We couldn’t imagine our company nowadays without networking, both that done at international fairs and that we carry out on a day-to-day basis in the company.”
In addition to Intelligent Pharma and Oryzon, we find many other examples in the sector, as networking is becoming one of the most effective ways to do business in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical technology, and partnering and networking spaces are becoming ubiquitous at congresses and fairs in the sector, with a high degree of satisfaction among businesspeople. A good example of this interest can be found in the Catalan companies that participated last June in the BIO Washington 2011 convention, the top global biotechnology event, as 54% of the companies that responded to the survey carried out by Biocat confirmed that they had participated in the partnering sessions and 71% considered these sessions highly useful in reaching the goals they had set for their participation in the convention. As such, it must be noted that the 2012 BIO congress in the United States will incorporate the partnering/networking space into the commercial exhibit area.
Photo: The Biocat Forum bring together representatives from companies and organizations in the biotechnology, biomedicine and medical technology sector in Catalonia.