Drug Discovery Digital:
World-class science,
fantastic networking and
career opportunities

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a year like no other. With the world still gripped in the midst of a pandemic, face-to-face events exist only in memory. However, the benefits of networking, meeting with vendors and hearing about the latest scientific research remain.

This year, our Drug Discovery event went digital to ensure the community continued to have access to the same world-class talks, exhibitors and workshops they’ve come to know and love. Through engaging presentations by thought leaders and innovative technologies presented by exhibitors, over 1100 individuals had an immersive experience.

Below, we bring you some of the highlights from the digital conference, as told to us by attendees:

World-class scientific talks delivered from around the world

This year, travel constraints meant that some of our speakers and attendees joined from much further afield, but that didn’t cause any difficulties or pose any limitations. In fact, attendees such as Julie Sanchez, commented on the quality of the talks, “I really enjoyed the talks I attended and thought the quality of the data presented was great, in both non-sponsered and sponsored presentations!”

The wide range of scientific talks ensured that delegates gained immense value not only in topics of their own interest but also in parallel research topics in drug discovery, fostering interdisciplinary research. The Q&A component of each session also meant that attendees received the same interactive experience they would receive at an in-person event, in fact, Lee Page of the BPS commented on how engaged delegates were, “Drug Discovery Digital was really well managed and had fantastic attendance. I chaired the BPS/ELRIG training session of Safety Pharmacology led by Chris Pollard and found it to be engaging and fun. In addition to the excellent attendance, participation through the training exercises was ensured using Zoom polls and regular Q&As. This worked really well.”

The inside scoop on the latest technologies

The exhibition hall, looked somewhat different this year, but it was still jam-packed with companies from around the world showcasing their latest grounbreaking technologies in drug discovery. One exhibitor booth after another, delegates enjoyed numerous opportunities to level-up current methods, alleviate challenges, or even pick up quick tricks to get better results and save time.

Kevin Moore, a retired life science professional and member of the ELRIG general committee enjoyed the virtual exhibition hall in particular, “I really enjoyed the first ELRIG digital Drug Discovery conference, like everyone, I missed the opportunity for face-to-face contact with the drug discovery community. However, the virtual show was impressive and I thought the vendors did a great job in showcasing their offerings.”

Navigating a virtual exhibition hall can in some ways feel more intimidating and challenging than at a physical show, however, many others, like Julie, found the platform easy to use, “I found the set up easy to navigate and thought the set-up helped make it feel like an in-person conference. The companies I spoke to were very helpful and happy to discuss their products as well as my work. In fact, I discovered new products that I might use later in my research that will help me address several unanswered questions.”

Another way to stay updated with the fast-moving world of drug discovery is through the work of peers. The poster sessions facilitated a welcoming environment to learn while the platform made striking up a conversation easy, helping pave the way for new collaborations.

Expert career advice and practical tips

Drug Discovery also provides a strong platform for early-career professionals (ECPs) looking to advance their careers. This year saw more attendees attend the renowned CV workshops and ‘Network like a boss’ events than ever before, gathering key insights on how to make their CV standout and establishing new, valuable connections.

Julie, an ECP herself, made great use of these events, “Both the ‘Your CV for industry’ and ‘Network like a boss’ events were fantastic! I got great feedback that has helped me improve my CV as well as insight into various industry jobs, potentially even more than I would in a ‘normal’ conference.”

As the event drew to a close, attendees and exhibitors already started to look to next year’s Drug Discovery meeting, which, all being well, will take place at the ACC in Liverpool 19-20 October.

“I’m really proud of the value we delivered to attendees and exhibitors via our Drug Discovery Digital event”, commented Chris Williams, Managing Director of Questae Coaching & Consulting and ELRIG Board Member. “It highlights that our first quarter meetings can still be exciting and beneficial, despite being virtual. Obviously we’re hoping to be able to run Drug Discover face to face by the end of next year, but what we now know is that our digital platform can add value to the whole community with global reach.”

Make the most of this opportunity to learn, collaborate and attend for free next year. Register your interest in our 2021 events.