Planning already underway for next year's May 1-3 event
As INTERPHEX 2011 wrapped up its March 29-31 run at the Javits Convention Center in New York City the emphasis was on "up." Attendance was up, traffic was up, and so was the sense of optimism first seen at last year's show.
"In 2010 we felt energy levels were up from the uncertainty of the previous year," said R.J. Palermo, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, "and this year we definitely saw that trend continue. There was a renewed sense of business activity in the air."
This was echoed across the show floor:
"The traffic and the number of qualified leads were even better than last year," said Carsten Lau, marketing communications manager for cell culture and bioprocessing at Thermo Scientific. "We were seeing individuals with specific interests."
"INTERPHEX this year was a great show for us," said H. McCoy Knight. National Sales Manager, Pharma Systems, at GEA Process Engineering. "Not only did we have good traffic -- it was quality traffic, with new projects showing up. A very successful event."
"There was good traffic and quality of leads was significantly better than in past years -- we talked to people who had projects," said Jeff Wigan, National Account Manager, Burns Engineering and, according to Ronald Stern, Director of Sales, U.S. Commercial Packaging, Catalent Pharma Solutions, "The quality of the people I saw was good; they were qualified leads looking to do business."
The event is the industry's largest and this year brought together more than 11,200 professionals - up one percent from 2010 - from 48 states and 47 countries plus the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where INTERPHEX Puerto Rico will run from October 20-21, 2011, with the INTERPHEX Medical Device and Latin American Supply Chain events. It also honored the winners of the seventh annual Facility of the Year Awards, sponsored by event partner the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE) and Pharmaceutical Processing magazine, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Award winners.
The heightened activity was not limited to the show floor, but moved throughout the conference sessions and the Main Stage programs.
"Attendance at the conference sessions was much better than in previous years," said Jaspreet Singh Sidhu, Ph.D., Vice President of Business Development at Molecular Epidemiology. "There was far more interest, livelier discussions, and attendees stayed throughout the entire sessions and asked lots of questions."
He went on to say that "last year I said the industry would adapt under adversity, and this year has borne that out - austerity drives innovation, as well as lean practices and quality. INTERPHEX and those attending it were driven by quality."
INTERPHEX 2011 innovations included a continuation of initiatives launched last year, including the development of industry segments that resulted new exhibitor zones - Facilities, Manufacturing, Automation Systems & Controls and Sourcing & Services - an increase in biopharmaceutical programming, and the Signature Series Main Stage programs moderated by Michelle Hoffman of Pharmaceutical Technology. This year's Series included what one trade publication called a "fascinating presentation" on continuous processing by Moheb Nasr of CDER at the FDA, Alex Cheuh from Pfizer and Fernando Muzzio from Rutgers; China's pharmaceutical industry with Xiong Yu of CIPI and John Choate and Fong Li of Advanced Pharmaceuticals, and the popular outsourcing update by PharmSource's Jim Miller, with Mark Scheftel of Merck and Peter Bigelow of Patheon. All of this was in addition to the Conference Roundtable luncheon presentations presented by BioProcess International, on-site interviews and this year's more than thirty conference sessions.
"Twenty years ago when I came to INTERPHEX it was all tablets, capsules, and equipment. Not so today. It's bigger and much more diverse. I'll be back," said David Fischer, Sales and Business Development, Paragon Bioservices.
"The show was good; I accomplished what I came for, and having the staffed VIP lounge and the shuttle service were very helpful benefits. In addition, the INTERPHEXConnects reception was even better than last year," said Darin Bost, Engineering Manager for filling and packaging at Talecris Biotherapeutics.
"INTERPHEX 2011 was a well-managed, exhibitor friendly show. The VIP program and online pre-event lead management system enabled us to make the most of our presence at the show. Booth traffic and the quality of leads was impressive," said Shelby Brown, Marketing Specialist, Global Marketing, Patheon Pharmaceuticals. "From an exhibitor's standpoint, INTERPHEX offers great value with a positive ROI."
The value to exhibitors is also showing up in the numbers: show organizers report that space reservations for INTERPHEX 2012 are already up ten percent over last year.
"I was very impressed with the turnout of vendors and realized a lot of benefit from attending," said Robin Boodhoo,
Manager Continuous Process Improvement, Sanofi Pasteur. "INTERPHEX is a beneficial forum for exchanging new ideas and developing solutions in the industry and making connections with like-minded individuals."
Also popular were the show floor tours led by Integrated Project Services (IPS), which provides technical consulting, engineering, construction and commissioning and qualification services. IPS chose INTERPHEX to host technology tours focused on Advanced Aseptic Processing Technologies and Single-Use (SU) Bio-processing Technologies. The tours incorporated case studies that involved companies exhibiting at the show and during the tours their subject matter experts showcased state of the art technologies and the latest advancements in processing equipment.
"IPS believes that technology is key to achieving manufacturing excellence," said Sterling Kline, RA, Advanced Aseptic Technology Expert, Integrated Project Services. "As such, we are proud to continue our relationship with leading equipment suppliers, partnering on our Single-Use and Advanced Aseptic Tours, which were designed to provide the tour participants a view of the latest in equipment technologies and their applications. INTERPHEX provided the venue and all the necessary supports to make the tours a tremendous success. We are excited to be affiliated with INTERPHEX, one of the most reputable and respected pharmaceutical manufacturing shows in the world."
Another well-received new offering was the INTERPHEX Sourcing & Services Meeting Center, sponsored by Contract Pharma. The service connected attendees with sourcing needs with contract manufacturers and other service providers exhibiting in the Sourcing & Services Zone, through meetings arranged in advance and on site. This year also saw the continuation of exhibitor new product videos, which were produced the first day of the show by INTERPHEX and Pharmaceutical Online, and broadcast on the show floor screens during the event and posted online.
"We were just as invigorated by this year's event as our attendees and exhibitors were," said Bob Stewart, INTERPHEX Industry Vice President. 'It's an energy level that's going to propel us through INTERPHEX Puerto Rico in October and next year's event on May 1-3 at the Javits Center in New York. We got a lot of good feedback during the show and we look forward to continuing the conversation during the upcoming months."
The conversation will be continued at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and at www.interphex.com and the new INTERPHEXConnects blog, which provides timely commentary relevant to biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, with reader conversation and feedback.
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