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Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > 2020 > 9 > First virtual RAPS Convergence draws nearly 1,500 participants, earns praise

First virtual RAPS Convergence draws nearly 1,500 participants, earns praise

Posted 21 September 2020 | By Zachary Brousseau 

First virtual RAPS Convergence draws nearly 1,500 participants, earns praise

RAPS last week wrapped up its first RAPS Convergence conference to be held completely online. RAPS Convergence is the largest annual gathering of the global healthcare regulatory community and the only US event exclusively dedicated to the regulatory profession.

RAPS completely redesigned this year’s conference, transforming what has traditionally been a face-to-face event in a different host city each year, into a live, virtual, interactive experience for the nearly 1,500 registrants from around the globe. Despite the unusual circumstances, attendees and exhibitors alike praised RAPS for hosting a successful virtual meeting.

"Although I miss the energy and meeting with everyone, somehow you managed to convey that through this amazingly well orchestrated [event]," wrote attendee, Nancy Gertlar, MS, MBA, IMBA, RAC, FRAPS, principal owner of Crossroads Regulatory Consulting LLC, in comments posted in the Convergence virtual event platform.

Without a physical exhibit hall, the 40 participating Convergence exhibitors used virtual booths and online video chat capabilities to connect with attendees and discuss the products and innovations they offer for regulatory professionals. "Fantastic event and your support is beyond expectations," wrote Amin Osmani, founder and CEO of Biotech Square Inc. "My favorite virtual event so far and by far!"

RAPS Convergence featured more than 180 expert speakers taking part in 80+ education sessions—including a record 43 health authority speakers from 10 global organizations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other regulatory agencies. In keeping with the popular format of previous years, RAPS 2020 Convergence also included inspirational plenary sessions and collaborative “Solutions Circles.” The event also closed each day with an entertaining wrap-up experience, including a DJ dance party, magic show and a music duo from Nashville.

“The planning committee, volunteers, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and RAPS staff really rose to the challenge of putting on the first-ever, virtual Convergence. I am so proud to have been part of bringing this exciting event to fruition,” said planning committee chair, Margaret Mucha, MJ, RAQA, FRAPS, RAC, executive, quality management system medical devices for IBM.

Planning committee vice chair, Kimberly Belsky, MS, executive director, regulatory policy and intelligence, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals added, “What an amazing experience, and a great way to meet the business needs of the global regulatory community.”

Next year’s RAPS Convergence is planned for 11–14 September 2021 in Nashville, TN.

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