Happy Thanksgiving!! Last week, we wrote a piece on planning ahead for the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. Unsurprisingly, it addressed investor relations related topics. This week, we address some of the lighter, non-IR, areas around planning. Preparation here can have a surprisingly meaningful impact on the success of your week at the conference. Outside of the investor relations realm, here are our top 10 suggestions for planning a successful week:
Top 10 Suggestions for Planning A Successful Conference
1 | Pack comfortable shoes. We have a few colleagues that wear fitbits and track their steps. Apparently, one of them averaged over four miles of walking last year at J.P. Morgan (absent real exercise). While this may sound OK, bear in mind that since everyone is running late for, well, everything – all that walking is at a brisk pace. Be prepared and wear comfortable shoes. See #2 below.
2 | Bring an umbrella. And we mean a sturdy one. And while you’re at it, pack a raincoat. Every year it seems that there is a torrential downpour on one of the days between Monday and Thursday. While more pleasant than New England, it’s not warm in San Francisco in January.
3 | Pack business cards. And a lot of them. In fact, we would suggest you bring twice as many as you think reasonable. See #5 below.
4 | Pack an extra phone and/or computer charger. There are charging stations at the St. Francis, but many of your meetings will be elsewhere. If you can walk around with a charger, it will come in handy to charge your phone or computer while in meetings. See #5 below.
5 | Send materials in advance. We suggest you send as much as possible as advance (or have your IR firm print materials locally), so you don’t have to carry a heavy load. This includes things like investor presentations, business cards, an umbrella, snacks, and extra phone chargers.
6 | Be prepared to run into work-related colleagues on your flight and everywhere else you go. You will likely be traveling to San Francisco over the weekend, and depending on your city of origin, plan to see a plane filled with work-related colleagues. You can decide what this means for you.
7 | Arm yourself with snacks and mints. Eating is a challenge between meetings. We suggest you bring a protein-packed snack with you in the morning. You can also stop by our reception area any time for a quick bite to eat, some water and a mint!
8 | Make dinner and lunch reservations. Finding time for full, healthy, meals can also be challenging. We suggest you leverage meal-time with longer lunch and/or dinner meetings…your IR firm can handle this also.
9 | Build in some downtime. At some point each day, we suggest setting aside a block of time. As the day progresses, phone calls and emails stack up. This gives you a chance to respond and regroup.
10 | Register for J.P. Morgan on Sunday. The lines to register can be very, very, long. We suggest you register on Sunday afternoon so you can start Monday morning with your first meeting. Better yet – have your IR firm pick up your badge and materials on Sunday and deliver them to your hotel!
Whether this is your first J.P. Morgan conference or your 30th, we can help make the week run smoothly. In addition to helping with the more strategic aspects of planning, we are happy to help with the logistics so you can have as productive of a week as possible and best leverage your time. We also have space two blocks from the St. Francis and are happy to serve as your hub – both for hosting meetings or in between them. Feel free to contact us.
Lynn Lewis, Founder & CEO