Recently, after 2 years of virtual conferences and online connections, Theralink had the chance to go to the 2022 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in person. We caught up with our representatives Senior Research Specialist, Brian Corgiat, and Senior Director of Biopharma Commercial operations, Michael Fanelli.
What was the main goal of going to AACR?
BC: I think it was kind of twofold. One was to meet existing clients that we already have, to meet them in person. Theralink opened up in 2019, so we’d been operating for about 6 months before the pandemic. We really haven’t been able to be face to face with a lot of clients. So, we thought that it was extremely important to let them meet us and talk about all the products they’re working on. It’s a lot easier when you’re hanging out over drinks and having a few laughs. We also wanted to see what was out in the field and how we can be helpful towards them achieving their goals.
MF: Yeah, I would agree there. We wanted to also see if there were other partners out there that would be able to leverage our platform. The uniqueness of having an in-person event is being able to have conversations you can’t have virtually. There is flexibility to ebb and flow in-person versus online where you curate your experience so that you are only exploring a certain niche, which means you miss out on other things.
Would you say this experience was more valuable than last year when we participated online?
BC: Well, I didn’t really participate last year because I thought it would be hard to connect with people. From a science guy point-of-view, there really weren’t any booths to go see or any posters where we could walk up to the presenters and have real time conversation and feedback. I know Michael and the BD team participated though.
MF: Yes, we did. I would certainly agree that connections were much harder to make. We tried to search for some interesting posters and reach out to the presenters that way. That ultimately ended up being a lot of cold emailing. This time we were able to walk up to people and capitalize on human connection.
BC: Yeah, definitely! AACR wasn’t quite a full capacity as it was before, still people were happy to be back!
What was your biggest takeaway from AACR?
MF: I think we were able to share a new way of looking at mechanisms of interest with a new technique to examine cell signaling that is translatable for precision oncology. Ultimately, we were able to share information that would be able to help our clients. I think that’s the biggest benefit to us with going.
BC: Yes, as Michael alluded to earlier, in the online world people curate their experiences. You end up remaining in a bubble where you don’t know what you don’t know. With this experience, we opened clients’ eyes to the different ways our technology could benefit them and add value to the precision oncology space.
The world is changing and we’re finding new ways to connect and share information. Here’s to more in-person connections in the future!