BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations.
At the core of BIO’s mission is the goal to foster collaboration to advance scientific innovation to conquer disease. Each year, the organization hosts the BIO International Convention that draws 18,000 people. In 2017, the organization decided to launch a new digital BIO Pavilion to expand the collaboration between patient advocacy groups and BIO member companies.
Pavilions at the event are clusters of biotech companies from the same country, state or interest area grouped together on the exhibit floor. At the 2017 show, there were over 50 kiosks in the Patient Pavilion taking up valuable space on the trade show floor while many organization representatives were elsewhere, attending sessions or participating in one-on-one meetings. The space was tremendously underutilized, participants tended to feel tethered to their physical kiosk, and it was not ideal to try to hold private meetings in the middle of a trade show floor at a podium.
The physical kiosks in the Patient Pavilion were replaced with a digital kiosk to facilitate the collaboration between patient groups and BIO member companies. The kiosk enables patient groups to identify partnering opportunities for BIO member companies to engage with them. Contact information for patient group staff identifies the staff that were in the one-on-one partnering system and on site at the convention to facilitate in person meetings. An emailing function enhances on-site communication and collaboration at the show and ongoing throughout the year.
The space that was freed up from the physical kiosks is now used for one-on-one partnering meetings. The kiosk app is also being utilized at other BIO events. The patient groups now have exposure year round, not just at the annual BIO conference, furthering their mission of fostering collaboration.