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BIO 2018 Convention draws 18,289 global biotechnology industry leaders; sets Guinness Record for maximum partnering meetings


Setting a Guinness World Record for “The Largest Business Partnering Event,” BIO 2018 hosted 46,916 partnering meetings, facilitated by BIO’s One-on-One Partnering system — a 13% increase over 2017.

By Team ABLE

The 2018 BIO International Convention (BIO 2018) was wrapped up after four days of programming under the theme of “Make History.” Hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), BIO 2018 attracted thousands of U.S. and international attendees, celebrated innovations that have shaped the past 25 years and recognized the companies, patient groups, academic centers and investors that continue to advance novel solutions to the world’s toughest challenges.

The Convention drew 18,289 biotechnology industry leaders – the most attendees in the last 10 years – from 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 67 countries.

“This year’s 2018 BIO Convention demonstrated, more than ever, that partnering and collaboration will drive cutting-edge advancements and propel the industry forward,” said Joanne Duncan, President, Membership and Business Operations at BIO. “With 46,916 one-on-one meetings held during the last four days, we know that the knowledge exchange and partnerships forged this week have the potential to transform our world for the better.”

To encourage students to attend BIO and learn more about careers in the biotechnology industry, BIO 2018 included the first Free Student Day. Eligible participants got a one-day Exhibition Access registration and the opportunity to meet with representatives from the biotechnology community. The breadth and depth of offerings and the networking opportunities afforded to thousands of industry stakeholders and students continues to make the Convention the premiere event for the biotechnology industry.

BIO 2018 drew companies, academic centers, patient groups, researchers and investors working to advance innovation in key areas such as drug development, brain health, digital health, oncology, opioids, renewable fuels and agriculture. Celebrities also made a presence at BIO, with stories of triumphs over illnesses such as cancer and addiction. Robin Roberts, a cancer survivor and an award-winning journalist, and Rob Reiner, an actor, director and advocate, delivered keynote addresses that emphasized the challenges faced by patients, the importance of patient advocacy and the need for continued innovation to address unmet needs.

This year’s International Convention was held with the support of BIO’s state affiliate organization MassBio.

Setting a Guinness World Record for “The Largest Business Partnering Event,” BIO 2018 hosted 46,916 partnering meetings, facilitated by BIO’s One-on-One Partnering system — a 13% increase over 2017. These invaluable connections form the foundation of innovative industry collaborations and scientific breakthroughs.
BIO 2018 also included over 1,800 exhibitors, more than a thousand speakers, 180 sessions, 17 plus super sessions and fireside chats and 19 education tracks. Special programming, such as the Start-Up Stadium, also provided a forum for up and coming companies to receive invaluable advice to accelerate their growth and potential.

The 2019 BIO International Convention will take place in Philadelphia from June 3-6. In 2020, the Convention returns to San Diego for the fourth time from June 8-11.