SCOPE 2020 - Exhibiting, Collaborating & Learning
A couple of thousand delegates, hundreds of exhibitors, peers, old colleagues or friends and a whole host of sunshine! That pretty much summarises the SCOPE 2020 conference last week in Orlando, FL. A gathering of some of the most experienced and innovative minds in Clinical Research where we as a PHARMASEAL team set about exhibiting to showcase our Award Winning Engility platform; and notably our CTMS offering.
As with any conference, you get to see what the hot topics in the industry are and at SCOPE this was no different. Here are my main takeaways from an industry perspective:
- Patient centricity is a hot topic in the industry right now, in particular virtual and decentralised trials
- The SaaS vendor market continues to grow with new entrants and existing businesses expanding their product offerings to increase competition and stop any one company from resting on its laurels - that includes us!
- There are many people that feel that certain targeted, standalone software offerings no longer make sense, and that an element of consolidation is the way to go.
- Trials are continuing to get more complex and more expensive, yet the industry is still not nimble enough to adapt and adopt new processes/technologies quickly.
- AI is continually being mentioned as the game-changer for this industry, but there is an inherent problem of data quality that make adoption of AI / machine learning extremely difficult.
On top of these things, there are some definite learnings after exhibiting at a major industry conference. The first being that at a conference in February, where people are still being health conscious early into the New Year, it might not be the ideal time to give away Jelly Beans as a gift 😂.
But in all seriousness, we took away a lot from SCOPE - not just pens and notebooks! Simple things like the layout of our stand and how we engaged with those passing through the exhibition hall to how we actually want ourselves to be perceived in the market compared to other vendors in the same space. The latter being something we only could think more about after the fact when reviewing the conference like I am doing now.
One thing was really clear - delegates only visited the stands of vendors/partners that they wanted to see. They did not typically just stop ‘for the sake of it’ or ‘just to grab some ‘freebies’. This was different to other conferences that Daljit, Mike and I have all attended before. It demonstrated that the delegates in attendance were very much focused on ensuring that they were not hounded by everyone that was exhibiting and that they could have targeted, good conversations with those that they actually wanted to speak too. For a company as young as ours, that can make things difficult as we might not be as well known as others. However the positive side was that we did have people specifically come and find us, and so the conversations that we had were meaningful and engaging. It shows that PHARMASEAL is being recognised in the industry!
What this also tells us as a business moving forward is that our marketing and messaging needs to always be on-point, and that we cannot just expect people to come and see us because we have a team of experienced individuals that have a reputation in the industry. It shows that this ever growing market is getting even more competitive and it is imperative that we demonstrate the value that PHARMASEAL brings but also showcase our strengths of being a modern, SaaS business.
Looking to the future…🔮
With the leads that we acquired, I think we can certainly consider our attendance at SCOPE a success. It was extremely rewarding to spend a few days as a team as well as with a lot of friends that we have all made over our years in this industry. We come away feeling positive about our place in this industry and what we have to continue to do to help life sciences companies do great research to bring novel products to market. I for one, am looking forward to our next conference outing and further conversations with our industry peers.