Kicking off on the 15 June, the BIO International Convention is the world’s largest biotechnology gathering.

The annual BIO Exhibition is in Philadelphia, USA, this year, and brings together biotechnology companies and researchers from around the world for four days of exhibitions and events.

Are you going to BIO this year? If so, we have a quick guide to the best of Philadelphia. And to say we’re jealous is an understatement!

logoDid you know?

The Philadelphia Metropolitan Area is home to more than 1,200 bio companies, ranging from the biopharma industry’s largest multinational companies to its fastest growing firms? The region has a vast array of leading universities and research institutions, and in the past 10 years alone it has drawn nearly $4 billion in venture capital funding!

While you’re in town

If you plan to go to all of the events on offer at BIO 2015 you’re not going to have a huge amount of spare time, with sessions kicking off at 7:30am and evening entertainment including a concert, a live block party at Reading Terminal Market, and a whole load of networking opportunities.

However, when you do have a spare five minutes, Philadelphia has a lot to explore.

Odunde Street Festival

If you’re planning to get to Philly early, you have to check out the Odunde Street Festival taking place on Sunday 14 June. Taking place on South Street, one of Philadelphia’s oldest, historically African-American neighbourhoods, the event will feature a huge variety of entertainment, food, drink and festivity.

Night Market

After events finish at 5pm on Thursday 18, if you’re not rushing off for a flight home pop along to Callowhill Night Market. The event is a is a seasonal celebration of food, music and community held in the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, and attracts thousands of visitors from around the region.

City Pass

If you’re really short on time and want to see as much as possible, the Philadelphia CityPASS is your ticket to discover as much of the area as possible. Why not learn about the Founding Fathers’ passion for freedom at the National Constitution Center, take a walk through a giant heart at The Franklin Institute, or even explore the famous Eastern State Penitentiary.

Eating out

When in Philly, you must have a Philly Cheesesteak! A cheesesteak is a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed ribeye beef and melted cheese. Generally, the cheese of choice is Cheez Whiz, but American and provolone are also common choices. Check out this guide to the top spots to get a good Philly Cheesesteak, and also to learn how to place your order!

So if you’re off to Philadelphia this weekend for BIO 2015, make sure you let us know, keep us up to date with the event on Twitter (the hashtag is #BIO2015) and send us pictures of your Philly Cheesesteak to make us really jealous!

– Matt and the CiteAb team