Posted 06 July 2017
By Zachary Brousseau
This year, RAPS’ annual signature event, the Regulatory Convergence, will return to the Washington, DC, area, taking place 9–12 September at National Harbor on the DC waterfront. The Convergence is the largest annual conference anywhere in the world for regulatory professionals working in the healthcare product space.
RAPS works hard to make the Convergence a highly valuable, stimulating and enjoyable experience for all attendees, speakers and exhibitors who gather to learn, network, discuss hot topics and help drive regulatory excellence. There are some great sessions, speakers and networking opportunities to get excited about this year. With that in mind, here are seven things to love 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. As RAPS announced earlier this week, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb will deliver this year’s opening keynote address, marking the third time in the past eight years that the Convergence has featured the current FDA commissioner among its speakers. Overall, there will be more than 200 speakers this year, including regulatory experts, executives, pioneers, leaders and regulators. In addition to Commissioner Gottlieb, there will be more than 20 other FDA speakers, as well as representatives from the European Medicines Agency (EMA); the World Health Organization (WHO); the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Health Canada and more. It truly will be the place to be for global regulatory thought leadership.
2. Connecting With Others Who Really Understand Regulatory
There are other events that include regulatory topics on the agenda, but 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 seen as a highly valued, mission-critical function within life science companies, but not everyone understands what you do or the issues you’re dealing with on a daily basis. 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 10 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 take on the experience 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 industry observer worth paying attention to. Be sure to tag your tweets and posts with the #2017RAPS 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 Convergence 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 and dine-arounds and really get to know your fellow attendees. Go out in the evenings. There are great restaurants, entertainment and attractions conveniently right at National Harbor, or make the short trip to downtown Washington, DC. Yes, this is a professional conference, but it can be a pretty fun one too. Those two things 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 #2017RAPS hashtag. We look forward to seeing you at National Harbor!
For more information or to register for the Convergence, visit RAPS.org/Convergence2017.