How to Maximize Your Time at the 2019 RAPS Convergence
The Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) provides neutral, non-profit support for the regulatory profession. Offering education, training, standards research and publications since 1976, RAPS is the largest global organization of and for those involved with the regulation of healthcare and related products, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biologics and nutritional products. The regulatory function is vital in making safe and effective healthcare products available worldwide.
Is a regulatory function a part of your responsibilities? Do you know what is needed to excel within regulatory affairs? How can you contribute to making safe and effective healthcare products available internationally? Job functions such as compliance, the preparation of submissions, clinical affairs and quality assurance are all considered part of the regulatory profession. If one or several of these responsibilities are within your domain, the RAPS Convergence is the one event you won’t want to miss in order to stay up to date on the latest developments and issues.
Mark Your Calendars
The RAPS Regulatory Convergence will be held in Philadelphia, from Sept. 21–24. For more information visit: https://www.raps.org/convergence-2019/home.
If you plan to attend, the following are a few important Convergence events to add to your calendar:
Sign up for the dine arounds. When you get your badge, ask where the sign-up sheets are posted since you can only sign up onsite. Spots fill up really fast.
The scheduled departures are: Sept. 23, 6:00 pm and 6:30 pm
Welcome Reception – Sept. 22, from 5:45 pm – 7:15 pm in the RAPS Solution Center (Exhibit Hall A)
Closing Party, to support Philadelphia’s Veterens Hospital, Sept. 24, 5:45 pm – 7:30 pm
Before You Go
Work Backwards, Look Ahead
How can RAPS Convergence help you meet your end-of-year goals?
Do you have any outstanding KPIs, solutions or data that need to be delivered by year end?
What are your goals for 2020?
With this in mind, visit Convergence’s website to discover how the 2019 topics align with your professional goals: https://www.eventscribe.com/2019/RAPS/agenda.asp?pfp=FullSchedule
Define Your Goals
Define your goals in advance to tailor your RAPS Convergence activities to meet your personal needs.
Do you want to meet people from a specific company, regulatory body or institution?
Are you interested in finding out about certain roles or the specific responsibilities of a position?
“Convergence is the place to speak to leaders in the regulatory world. Someone you may be interested in meeting is presenting, and in my opinion, there is no better way to learn from their knowledge than by hearing what they have to say.”.” Peter Muller – Director, Schlafender Hase
What topics do you want to learn more about? What questions are on your mind?
Know what you don’t know: Speak with vendors and exhibitors to find out about the regulatory challenges you never knew existed.
Share Your Achievements
When was the last time you reviewed your resume? Now is the best time to sit down with a coffee and update your LinkedIn profile.
What achievements can you add or expand on?
Does your title and introduction adequately reflect the value you bring to your company?
Is there something missing from your profile that you should add?
One example of an update would be adding volunteer work to your experience. You can find out about relevant regulatory volunteer opportunities at the Solution Center by visiting the RAPS Convergence Central booth. This would also be the perfect opportunity to meet a representative of the Regulatory Affairs Certification Board to have any RAC questions answered. Visit https://www.raps.org/rac-credential
Are any of your current contacts attending RAPS Convergence?
Have you posted about your RAPS Convergence travel plans to your social media outlets?
Have you checked the RAPS Convergence attendee list?
Have you connected with your local RAPS chapter?
This is a great way to familiarize yourself with regulatory people that are both close to and far from home. RAPS Convergence is the perfect setting to seek them out and let them know your interest in becoming more involved in local and global regulatory demands.
An excellent way RAPS Convergence encourages you to expand your connections is through the Convergence Mobile App which was released on September 9, 2019. This app will give you the opportunity to research and learn about delegates’ backgrounds and current projects.
As a RAPS associate once said to us “The regulatory world is large, but they are also tight and it’s important to know everyone.”
At the Convergence
Allow Time to Arrive Early
It is important to make time to explore: chat with people in the hotel restaurant, the elevators and the gym.
Do you know why RAPS deliberately reserves large hotel blocks in several hotels close to the venue? They do this to encourage attendees, presenters, solution providers (exhibitors), and RAPS employees to mingle with each other. Yes, talk to strangers.
If you are an exhibitor, arriving early will allow you time to rest and not rush any last-minute work or changes to your booth.
Have you considered that your fellow exhibitors are just as important to chat with as the attendees? We have made some great partnerships by doing this.
“One of most valuable opportunities at the Convergence will come from the people you meet here. As crucial as it is to express your expertise and insight on professional social media outlets, there are no number of likes, online commenting, emails or even telephone calls that can replace the connection that is built from speaking to peers face to face.” Peter Muller – Director, Schlafender Hase
What do you have in mind when you shake hands with people?
Finding a mentor?
Taking on an apprentice or intern?
Meeting new colleagues?
Learning who the new players are is as important as reconnecting with old friends or regulatory pioneers.
Experience the Spectrum
Don’t limit yourself and your goals. Keep in mind the indirect and sometimes surprising methods to solutions:
Maximize networking by going to workshops and Dine Arounds.
Attend the opening and closing parties.
Ask questions not only to the presenters but the person you are standing with in line at the lunch buffet.
Make the Most of Your Experience
RAPS Convergence is the world’s largest annual conference for regulatory professionals working in the healthcare product space. You will be surrounded by regulatory pioneers and experts as well as global regulators and regulatory bodies. This long-standing organization provides an accessible platform for the exchange of ideas, questions and information. Now that you know you are with the best of the best, immerse yourself and take advantage of this opportunity and have some fun at the same time.
If you cannot make the Convergence this year, block your calendars for the future:
2020 RAPS Convergence San Antonio, Texas, September 12–15, 2020
2021 RAPS Convergence Nashville, Tennessee, September 11–14, 2021
2022 RAPS Convergence Phoenix, Arizona, September 10–13, 2022