27 May 2022
A whirlwind trip to Bio€quity Europe Conference 2022 in Milan – Maya Bennison, Associate
5am: Wake up. Don’t worry, this isn’t my every day wake up call for work, as today we are heading to Milan for the Bio€quity Europe Conference 2022!
7:15am: I arrive at the airport and meet with Amber Fennell, Partner and Co-founder of Consilium Strategic Communications, who I am joining for this trip. We grab some breakfast before boarding the plane – the novelty of flying for work after almost two years due to the pandemic is definitely still there!
8:30-11:30am: On the flight we review our packed schedule for the next 24 hours, discuss final preparations for our upcoming meetings that day, and I get a chance to practice my pronunciation of some surnames ahead of my presentation debut (more on this later…).
12pm: Touchdown in Milan! It’s a scorching 30 degrees so the air-conditioning at the conference provides welcome relief. We make our way to Hotel Meliá Milano, host of this year’s Bio€quity Europe. Upon arrival, the atmosphere is buzzing and it’s amazing to see hundreds of people networking and catching up.
1pm: After a quick freshen up and buffet lunch, it’s time for the first of many meetings of the day. It’s great to see so many of our clients in person after so long of it being online, as well as meeting prospective clients and contacts.
1:30-3pm: I rush off to the presentation room as I have the honour of introducing a number of company presentations in the Hot Topics #2 presentation session. I managed to get through the session without butchering any names too badly (I hope) and got to enjoy watching a range of presentations from companies in immuno-oncology, to rare diseases and ageing. A common theme: everyone is trying to raise money. Even in the current challenging market conditions, investment in European biotech is plentiful and I can certainly see it ongoing.
3-6pm: The time flies by in a blur as Amber and I walk and talk between meetings, more company presentations (and lots of coffee).
7pm: After a quick break to freshen up, we head into the centre of Milan for dinner with a couple of our clients. We head to Ratana, a great recommendation by Consilium’s resident foodie and regular visitor to Italy, Matthew Neal, Partner. The food is delicious and a real taste of Milan – the goats cheese tortellini and risotto alla vecchia Milano are real stand-out dishes, so if you’re ever in Milan, definitely give it a try!
9:30pm: Once we’re fueled up, we head to our final destination of the evening, Old Fashion Club in Palazzo dell'Arte, for the Sofinnova + Forbion Cocktail Party. The garden party is full of biotech executives, bankers and advisors and we have a great evening catching up with everyone and enjoying the warm Milan evening. By midnight, however, the exhaustion of the day catches up with us and we head back to the hotel to rest up, ready for another busy morning.
7am: We head down to breakfast in the hotel lobby and prepare for our final meetings before flying back to London. We run through the in-person meetings and catch up with a few more clients before jetting back to the airport for our flight back to London.
What a whirlwind trip to Milan – it’s been a great experience meeting so many of our clients in person, and the conference is a real showcase of the exciting things that are happening in the European biotech sector – it’s going to be a busy second half of the year for Consilium. Until next year, Bio€quity!