2018 The Bio International Convention

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), which represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations, is the host of “The Bio International Convention 2018”.

This highly acclaimed event has been setting records for more than 25 years and this year’s Boston event did not disappoint. Nearly a 2,000 booth tradeshow and one of the world’s most extensive and comprehensive conferences hosted more than 16,000 global attendees.

Key Biotechnology luminaries, scientists, analysts and executives from more than 74 countries descended on Boston; the “Hub of the Biotechnology Universe” to discover new trends and create an environment for technology-leading companies to partner on efforts which could lead to new discoveries impacting lives around the globe.

Why Boston?

Massachusetts also continues to far outpace the nation in biopharma manufacturing employment growth. In the last 10 years, Massachusetts biopharma manufacturing employment has grown by 33.6% to 10,616 jobs statewide. In the same time period, the United States lost 24,000 biopharma manufacturing jobs, a 7.9% decrease.

Massachusetts is a leading biotechnology cluster due in large part to its unique cooperation between industry, government, and academia.  Mass Bio and the Massachusetts Life Science Center collaborate in ensuring a strong life sciences ecosystem, making Massachusetts an obvious choice for life sciences companies to grow and thrive.

The Tradeshow

The types of exhibitions/booths were as diverse as the 74 countries that were represented. There were many unusual designs, sizes and shapes which mirrored the creativity of a leading-edge industry.

Nearly all the booths on display were significant in size and as expected and for many, cost was not an issue. Most of the exhibiting companies were very significant in size and stature and their booths clearly represented the authority and relevance of their organizations.

Though there has been a trend over the last several years for exhibitors to find ways to “go-light” in materials and textures while trying to maintain levels of design and creativity, many exhibitors at The Bio International Convention “broke ranks” and spared not expense on their displays. Custom builds were clearly the direction that many companies went: there was nearly nothing present that fit the “standard” category of exhibitory.

I spoke with one of the largest tradeshow services companies responsible for a large number of exhibiting companies on the move-in and he related that this show is one of the more difficult events hosted by the BCEC’s calendar. Transporting to the facility and loading and unloading were just the beginning of dealing with the daunting task of moving a show of this size and magnitude into a world class facility such as the BCEC.

Installation and dismantling was also a challenge requiring more labor than usual to get some of these mega-structures in and out of the building. An extra call for labor was necessary to deal with the pressures of getting these premier exhibiting companies into the show.

The international pavilions (and there were an extraordinary large number of them) also avoided the typical “bland” look and feel one normally sees at international shows. The pavilions were significantly more exciting and fit in very well with the generally high-end displays around the show floor.

Individual countries that broke rank from the pavilion-type setting stood tall at the show. Many spared no expense and certainly represented their country’s investment in the Bio-technology industry.

A “contemporary look and feel” was what most exhibiting companies were looking to accomplish with their booths….and I can attest that they were all able to achieve it. Very creative designs were the norm. Very tall trusts with an unusual amount of high-flying signage certainly became a “tease” for the BCEC’s ceiling heights.

For a show that floored nearly 2,000 booths: it was one of the more attractive shows, if not one of the most expensive shows to floor at the BCEC so far this year!!

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