Posted on October 1, 2017
Visiting the CPhI? Check out these 10 tips
With just a few weeks to go it’s time to start preparing for the CPhI Worldwide in Frankfurt. I’ve spoken to some CPhI-die hards and have some handy tips that’ll help you survive the CPhI:
1. The visit
No matter what the purpose of you visiting the CPhI is; whether it is finding the perfect new supplier, finally meeting face-to-face with that relation you’ve been working with for years, or just to add to your already sizeable collection of free pens and post-its, it is important to schedule your visit. Time flies at the CPhI so make sure you have a daily or even hourly to-do list.
2. The time schedule
The CPhI is huge! That supplier you’ve been meaning to visit is in hall 2 right? Or was it hall 7? Make sure you map out where you want to go and consider making appointments with people you don’t want to miss out seeing at the CPhI.
Doors open at 09:30 but don’t be fooled by this early hour, sometimes it’s better to set appointments a bit later as it can take some time to get through the mass of people. Consider taking along your Nordic Walking poles for all the hiking you’ll be doing from stand to stand.
3. The cultures
Good afternoon, Guten Tag and Namasté. The CPhI is a melting pot of cultures from all over the world, which makes it fun to meet new people! However different cultures mean different ways of connecting with people. Take some time to read up on the culture of the people you’re planning to meet, it’s the polite thing to do.
4. The conversation
See something at a booth that sparks your interest? Don’t hesitate, just go ahead and ask whatever comes to mind. The people behind the booth are there to inform you about their product, and you are more than welcome to ask questions at most booths. Clearly tell them what you’re hoping to find out from them, it’ll help them to get to the point sooner rather than later.
5. The business card
You’ll leave the conference with way more than you’ve brought yourself: business cards. Still though it is key to bring more than enough business cards and to always hand one over after a conversation/meet-up. Finding people and being able to be found after the conference is over, is very important. You could write down some keywords of what you’ve discussed on the back of the business card as to not forget what it was even about!
6. The weight
As with every conference, the booths are well-stocked with promotional material, flyers and magazines. In addition, the people at the stand are always very keen to hand these out. Think about the weight you have to carry around all day though! Be selective with what you accept and don’t feel bad to refuse a flyer, only accept what you’re actually going to read. Mother nature would also be very thankful if we don’t waste any paper.
7. The comfort
Climbing a mountain is nothing compared to a day at the CPhI. You’ll spend most of your walking and standing, so make sure you’re comfortable. Don’t wear those shiny new shoes that aren’t broken in yet, but wear the pair that makes you feel like you’re standing on a cloud.
If you plan on taking lots of merchandise or promotional material, you could even consider bringing a trolley case.
8. The device
These days, life without a smartphone is unimaginable for most people. Use your personal device to your benefit at the CPhI, for example by taking pictures of any info at booths you’d normally write down. Also don’t forget to snap a quick selfie for the people back home. You might need a portable charger though! If you feel like sharing bits about your company or the company you work at you could prepare a small presentation or show your companies’ website to the person behind the booth.
9. The evening program
And now for the good part: dinner! Some suppliers will invite you to dinner before the CPhI even starts, but you could also be invited at the conference itself. Take a moment to forget about work and to enjoy the local cuisine. Why not get to know the person behind the company? If you don’t feel like dining with suppliers take some time beforehand to find local restaurants by checking out Yelp or TripAdvisor.
10. The end of the journey
You’re back home after the CPhI and have taken some time to rest again. Now what’s next? Why not add people you’ve spoken to or accepted business cards from on LinkedIn? Follow up on conversations or proposals you’ve discussed, now is the time to achieve what brought you to CPhI in the first place.
As co-founder of Pharmaoffer.com I do believe in the benefits of a digital environment. However, in my opinion, meeting your partners face to face will always be extremely valuable.
And there you have it! These are our ten tips on getting through the CPhI conference. What have you learned from your past experiences at the CPhI yourself? Feel free to share any tips you find useful for others, or to comment on the tips we have given you above.
See you at the CPhI!