You can’t miss the grandfather clock in the front lobby of the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco because the ornate monster is about 10 feet tall.
During this week at the 28th Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference the clock represents the single most important meeting point for the thousands of conference attendees.
About 10 minutes to the hour the crowd begins to congregate, eyes down searching their Blackberry’s or iPhones looking for new messages and canceled meetings.
Half of the people have badges, half don’t, so as people pair up you can be asked your name several times as many of the meetings are first time meet-ups.
At 10 minutes after the hour the clock crowd has substantially thinned. Those remaining look like they’ve been stood up for a date and they begin frantically dialing their cell phones. After all, you are likely to have another meeting soon and can’t afford to be running behind schedule.
If you stand there long enough you are certain to run into your colleagues from all points. In the biotech industry the ten square feet under the clock is perhaps the single most important piece of real estate in the world.
Time is up. See you at the clock.