Good morning all! We just returned home from our trip to San Francisco where we attended the J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference. We made several observations and thought we would put them down here to spur a little conversation (possibly).
1- Thank you to the Warburg Pincus team for the hospitality at your mixer on Sunday night. We had a great time and the wine was delicious! (During the mixer, I may have been slightly distracted by Tebowmania. As an AZ Cardinals fan, thank you Tim for ensuring that the Pittsburgh Steelers will not make it to another Super Bowl!)
2- The best value of the conference still seems to be outside of the presentation rooms. Everyone who is anyone in finance and senior management spends at least a minimum amount of time at the conference and it offers a great venue to engage in conversations and meet new acquaintances that you may otherwise not have. The schedule agenda certainly has value for a lot of people, but there are so many going on at any given time that you have to really pick your poison and try to navigate through the herds of people with some sense of urgency to change rooms effectively.
3- Security was TIGHT!! I have been to the conference in prior years and don’t remember such strict security. There were about 4 bouncers in front of the hotel at each entrance and you had to show your credentials just to get in the building. If you wanted anything other than coffee in the lobby cafe, you’d better not put your badge away. Heck, I only have to show my boarding pass and license like 2 times at the airport. I had to show my badge 5 just to get upstairs at JPM. The rumor was that there was added security to fend off any potential Occupy JPM protestors, but I think they hit their alarm snooze bar because I didn’t see a single one.
4- Presentations skills matter! It is amazing to me how poorly some senior executives are at giving presentations. Not that I would fare any better, but heck, I haven’t signed up to give one either. A senior executive that is polished and eloquent can make a marginal presentation sound great, while a script reading, word stumbler can make great content sound depressing.
Now, we would like to hear your thoughts. It is still going on for 2 more days so if you are in the Bay Area, I suggest you find a way over to the Westin St. Francis and get your meet on!