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DIA 2011: A report from the Windy City

Well, here I am again, blogging about my recent attendance at the 2011 DIA Annual Meeting. It's hard to believe a year has passed since I reported from Washington DC. This year's event went from June 19th – 23rd and was held in the Windy City of Chicago. From my perspective, the conference was a success in that I learned a lot and met some great new people.

The location was great! Chicago is a wonderful city and they have a huge facility to host a show of this size (7,000 attendees, 300 exhibitors). The McCormick Center is gigantic. I am told it can host nearly 100,000 people. Based on the size, I would not doubt this.

The Annual Meeting provides learning and networking opportunities. For learning, each day was broken down into four sessions, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Each of these four daily sessions had many individual sessions. The individual sessions were categorized into 18 separate tracks (learning areas). The tracks included clinical, planning, outsourcing, pharmacology, advertising, technologies, regulatory affairs, public policy, health economics, medical devices, and professional development, to name a few.

My approach was to attend two learning sessions each day, with the remaining two session times focused on networking and personal meetings. To me, the balance between the learning and networking worked well.

I learned an important lesson last year: join a Special Interest Area Community! There are 28 separate SIACs, covering everything from Medical Writing, Statistics, and Clinical Pharmacology to Outsourcing and eClinical. I joined the Professional Education, Training and Development (PETD) SIAC. This was a wonderful choice for me. I met and networked with a number of great people.

The PETD SIAC, is an active participant in shaping the personal and professional growth of DIA members. We sponsored 13 separate sessions including ones on "Pharmaceutical Medical Education", the "Revisions in Medical Device Directives", "Personal Stories from Top Pharmaceutical Executives", and "Tips, Tricks and Advice on Making You and Your Presentation Unforgettable". We also sponsored sessions for students training in the medical field and a daily workshop to help the dozens of presenters polish their speaking skills prior to going on stage. I was particularly interested in this last area. I spent an hour each day listening and coaching upcoming speakers get comfortable with their upcoming speaking stints.

Next year's event is scheduled for Philadelphia. I'm certainly looking forward to it. I hope to see some of you next year! And, I'd love to share more info on this past event. Just ask!

ForeignExchange provides specialized medical translations for clinical trial applications, protocols, informed consents, patient diaries, INDs, patient recruitment, and health economic research. Contact us for more information about our clinical translation services.


  1. Mary Shillue said...
    Interesting post! I attended a networking skills workshop yesterday with the Boston Chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association, and one of the key takeaways was in order to build effective networks, you should begin by asking yourself what you can offer, and sharing value before making a request. It sounds like you put this into practice by coaching speakers on their presentation skills.
    Bob said...
    You are right. I am also working to attract newcomers to our SIAC. That's a skill I can help with. Each person has his/her own specialty.

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