George Adams, Vaccine Program Manager, EMD Millipore tells us why he sponsors the World Vaccine Congress.
EMD Millipore (known as Merck Millipore outside of the U.S. and Canada) is the Life Science division of Merck KGaA of Germany and offers a broad range of innovative, performance products, services and business relationships that enable our customers' success in research, development and production of biotech and pharmaceutical drug therapies. EMD Millipore serves as a strategic partner to customers and helps advance the promise of life science.
What was your motivation for sponsoring the World Vaccine Congress 2012?
The World Vaccine Congress has grown steadily over the years and has become a reliable opportunity for business networking and getting our messages out. Although the congress has evolved to include more technical content, for me, the main motivation for sponsoring is that it brings a wide range of policy and business people together. This opportunity does not exist in other places. There are "boutique conferences" that provide the technical stuff, Terrapinn provides the business stuff!
The World Vaccine Congress is important to our business, as our customers know that this is where they can expect to see us. Sponsorship has proven to be more cost and time effective, for example, when you compare the time and money needed to visit 25 companies individually. In advance, we make use of the attendee list and seek out our customers. This works both ways as our customer also seek us out. Participation is vital to our planning for the events. Terrapinn understands this and helps us to identify our client base, by helping us to distinguish between industry participation and vendors. The Terrapinn folks have come to understand my questions over the years. If there are 375 attendees, I want to know who the industry people are, not the vendors, as this is my client base.
In terms of how many contacts we aim to meet at each event, it varies between conferences as our business objectives change. We base this on each event. In 2012, we focused on translational research. Through our close relationship with the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, we are working towards producing new and novel vaccine technologies. The World Vaccine Congress allows us to detail our participation in early vaccine development. EMD Millipore brings vital technological resource and knowledge to universities producing vaccines. For us, this partnership gives us an up-close and personal view of how the industry works. Our organization learns from this partnership. The World Vaccine Congress has enabled us to achieve our business objective to promote translational research, by providing us the opportunity to showcase. Alongside EMD Millipore, the conference features speakers from the University, allowing our customers to get to know more about this research, not just from our viewpoint and helps us to get our message out.
How else did you try to achieve this? Why didn't it completely solve the problem?
I have attended several other conferences: some don't work, some work for different purposes. For me, each event has its own purpose. Some concentrate more on technical content, almost to the exclusion of business and policy discussions. I rely on three Terrapinn events each year – World Vaccine Congress Lyon, Washington and Singapore. The manufacturing stream at the World Vaccine Congress has developed. In the first year, frankly it wasn't very good, but it has since innovated and improved! It takes a while for a conference to become established. I use other events for different purposes. The Terrapinn events provide technical content, but most importantly, the unique opportunity for business networking. Other conferences offer less networking with business people so I rely on the World Vaccine Congress for this activity. It provides the opportunity to meet executives from our primary client base and the major players in the vaccine industry, for example, from Novartis, Sanofi Pasteur and GSK.
The most influential element of Terrapinn events for me is the access to the high calibre of speakers. The networking facilities, such as speed networking, are extremely helpful, but the real benefit is being able to learn more about the industry from those who have come to speak.
What did you achieve at the World Vaccine Congress 2012?
The World Vaccine Congress provides a good forum to meet industry experts and our customers in a relaxed setting. It is also an opportunity to touch base not only with my partners, but also with the other members of my team. It's a nice location to do business and makes for an enjoyable few days.
The networking not only enables me to touch base with existing partners, but also to meet potential new partners. Our tactical plans for these conferences begin with the signing of the contract! We do this early, as we are not only looking for a booth space, but also for space in the agenda and the chance to influence the agenda.
Have you got any tips for future sponsors with the same motivation for sponsoring?
My tip to prospective sponsors is to invest in World Vaccine Congress for multiple years to learn how to use the opportunity and for your client base to expect you to be there. One year is not enough.
I would advise prospective sponsors to invest in the conference: be an influence so that the conference works best for you. Get to know the Terrapinn team, build a relationship with them, build a mutual standing. It is important to understand that both organisations in the partnership are trying to grow their business, and by working together, there will a successful outcome. To make the conference valuable for attendees, Terrapinn need to know what's important to your business. I have had a relationship with Terrapinn for around 5 years and they deliver enriched content that people in the industry appreciate.
What is your motivation for sponsoring 2013?
My motivation for sponsoring 2013 is much the same as 2012. I first attended the World Vaccine Congress about 6 years ago and due to the value we derived from it in terms of networking, delivering our message to our clients and acquisition of market intelligence, we continue to sponsor each year.
The vaccine business is robust and growing. The industry is spreading throughout the world and more and more, international participation is becoming important. Terrapinn helps us on a business level to facilitate our customers with the expansion of technology and expansion into emerging markets.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank George for taking the time to speak to us.
EMD Millipore is sponsoring the World Vaccine Congress in Washington 2013. For more information about the congress please visit the website. For more information about sponsorship, please download the prospectus.