I just got back from a whirlwind trip to San Francisco for the JP Morgan Healthcare Investor Week and I would highly recommend that anyone in digital health attend next year! While it’s still fresh, I thought I would share my learnings on making it a successful week.
- Plan ahead but be flexible
- Don’t pay for anything
- Talk to everybody
Plan ahead but be flexible:
- If you’re going to go then commit early and book your flights and accommodations. So many people come to the city for JPM that booking flights late can cost double and normal hotel rooms can easily be $800/night.
- You likely won’t be going to the main conference and the summarized list of satellite events (100+) won’t come out until mid-December so start by planning coffee meetings with everyone you’d like to see while you’re there. Their schedules will fill up quickly, especially investors. Be flexible if the meeting needs to be moved around as event schedules come out.
- When the list comes out, sign up for as much as possible but stay open to changes as you hear about more interesting events that may not be on the list
Don’t pay for anything:
- I’m not saying this just because you’re a broke ramen eating founder, but also because I paid for a couple events and they were the worst ones. The best ones were the free ones or the ones I found out about at the last minute from other people (hence “talk the everybody”).
- All the events have catered food and open bar so that won’t be part of the budget for your trip. Thank you to all the event sponsors!
Talk to everybody
- This is the only way to gain value from JPM week. There aren’t really keynotes or sessions, so the only way to make the trip worthwhile is by meeting new people and figuring out how you can help each other out.
- Everybody is working on really interesting things and willing to help each other, especially in the digital health community. But also, this is the best way to find out about the most interesting events.
- The city is flooded with JPM attendees so I actually mean talk to everybody! Of course I mean talking to as many people as you can at the events, but also in line at the coffee shop, in your hotel lobby and even your carpoolers in your Uber Pool or Shared Lyft rides are likely attendees. You never know who you’re going to meet.
These are my thoughts after my first year from a digital health perspective. It may be different if you’re in pharma, med device or biotech. If I missed you at the event and you want to chat, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a meeting here. I’d also love to hear if others have better or different advice, especially those who have many years under their belt. Looking forward to seeing you next year at JPM week 2020!