RAPS’ signature annual event, the Regulatory Convergence, is a unique opportunity for the regulatory community to gather, reconnect, examine important issues together and exchange ideas face-to-face in a setting completely dedicated to the profession. It is the largest annual conference anywhere in the world for regulatory professionals working in the healthcare product space. For many, it is the one event they prioritize above all others to attend each year.
This year, the Convergence will be held in Canada for the first time ever, taking place 1–4 October in Vancouver, BC. As always, there are great sessions, speakers and networking opportunities planned, as well as some new things in store. And although the location, agenda and amenities may change from one year to the next, the essence of the Convergence and the reasons that keep veteran attendees coming back, and that compel first-time attendees to return in following years remain pretty consistent. Here are seven of the things attendees love most about the Regulatory Convergence.
1. Hearing From Top Regulators and Thought Leaders
> The Convergence gives you the opportunity to hear from some of the world’s top healthcare regulators and thought leaders. The agenda will feature more than 200 speakers, including regulatory experts, executives, pioneers, leaders and officials from the US Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada and other global regulators. Presenters will provide updates, case studies and discussions of key topics in biopharma, medical technology, IVDs, health-related foods, business and more.
2. Connecting With Others Who Really Understand Regulatory
There are other events that include regulatory topics on the agenda, but unlike most others, the Convergence is completely dedicated to you and your needs as a regulatory professional. It is 100% for and about the regulatory profession, and gives you a chance to connect with others who really get it. Regulatory expertise is increasingly valued as a mission-critical function within life science companies, but not everyone understands what you do or the issues you’re dealing with. At the Convergence, you are surrounded by peers and experts who do.
3. Getting Face Time in an Increasingly Virtual World
One of the best things about virtual networks, social media and global professional societies like RAPS is that they allow you to easily connect with others without having to be in the same place physically. But as great as it is to have instant online access to your personal and professional networks, it cannot replace meeting and speaking with people face to face. In this increasingly virtual world, events like the Regulatory Convergence are more important than ever for meeting new people and re-connecting with old friends and colleagues.
4. Learning, and Exchanging Ideas and Best Practices
You never know where those key takeaways might come from. It could be the unique insight of an expert presenter, a new perspective on familiar topic or the opportunity to get a regulatory official’s take on a specific issue. It may come from a conversation you strike up with another attendee, or maybe you will derive the most from a deep dive on a particular topic at one of the 11 pre-conference workshops
. Wherever they come from, learning a few new things that you can put into action right away in your job will make the Convergence well worth your time.
5. The Opportunity to Share Your Take
Go to just about any event these days and people will be live tweeting, blogging and posting pictures to share their experiences with others in attendance and around the world. Go ahead and share yours. The Regulatory Convergence will offer a multitude of tweet-worthy speakers and presentations. Giving your perspective can help spotlight your own expertise and position you as a keen observer worth paying attention to, or your company’s status as an important player in regulatory circles. Be sure to tag your tweets and posts with the #2018RAPS
hashtag and use the conference mobile app so you can be part of the running conversation.
6. The Fun and Energy
The biggest draws of the Convergence are certainly the learning and networking opportunities. But the experience is comprised of so much more than just speakers, sessions and handshakes. Walk the floor of the exhibit hall when it’s buzzing with energy. Attend the cocktail hours, meet-ups and dine-arounds and really get to know your fellow attendees. Go out in the evenings. There are great restaurants, entertainment and attractions conveniently located near the Vancouver Convention Centre
and conference hotels
. Yes, this is a professional conference, but it can be fun too. The two do not have to be mutually exclusive.
7. Getting Inspired and Re-Focused
Don’t discount the inspiration factor. Getting out of the office to freshen your perspective with new knowledge and different viewpoints can help you re-focus your efforts when you return to your daily routine. What excites you about the Regulatory Convergence? We would love to hear from you. Have you attended before or will this be your first time? Share your thoughts or questions with us in a tweet using the #2018RAPS hashtag. We look forward to seeing you in Vancouver! For more information or to register for the Convergence, visit RAPS.org/Convergence2018