Sometimes the best laid plans are best abandoned!

I have had the pleasure of working in the business conference industry for some years. Despite all the advances in technology, there is still a huge demand for people to meet together to discuss topics that affect their work.

Having said this, most delegates attend events on their own, and therefore breaking the ice at the start of the conference is essential in helping people start the conversations.

At 10:30 on Tuesday February 27th, I stood ready to start the ‘speed networking’ icebreaker at the DTx West event in San Jose, CA. I looked across the room, neatly arranged with high-tables, fresh coffee and pastries all laid out. But something wasn’t right.

Typically I would expect to see people face down, looking at their mobiles whilst they waited for the icebreaker to start. A slight murmur the only noise I needed to overcome when announcing the activity. Instead, I saw 120 people energetically engaged in conversation. The volume of chatter was almost deafening.

It was at this point that I realised that I didn’t need to run the planned activity. This group of people were so keen to talk they didn’t need any help networking. This set the scene for the rest of the two days. Frank and open presentations and panels, open questioning from the floor and animated conversations at every networking opportunity. The leaders of the digital therapeutics and digital medicine sector had found their forum.

Everytime I spoke to an attendee they enthused about the conference and the majority asked us to produce at least 2 events per year where all stakeholders could come together. It was following this inaugural meeting that the idea of the DTx Hub was born.

4 months later and we are delighted to launch the DTx hub. The hub is designed to provide a one-stop shop for stakeholders to continue the discussion. Supported by two main events, (DTx East and DTx West), the hub provides news, comment and information. In the coming months we will be adding content from our founding partners and others, with lots of exciting additional functions planned to help this emerging sector meet virtually as well as face to face.

The next meeting takes place in Boston this September, and as you would expect we have abandoned ‘speed networking’ from the programme. Yes, there will be plenty of networking opportunities during the two days – we simply won’t need to organise them!

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