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Thursday, 20 March 2014 07:53

What do art, wine, a brand new Ford Mustang and dentists have in common? The Oregon Dental Conference! Featured

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post 85 picWhere else can dental professionals go to learn updated clinical strategies, see and touch the latest technology, network with other dental professionals, buy a bottle (or two) of wine and win a 2014 Ford Mustang? 

You got it!  The Oregon Dental Conference is upon us once again April 3-5, 2014 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.  

I have attended ‘a few’ dental conferences in my professional lifetime, mostly on the west coast. 

But I have yet to see a dental conference that offers the fun side of dentistry right along with valuable educational opportunities packed into a three day session such as we see at the ODC. 

And yet, each year it seems that they have more to offer to enrich your practice (as if the Mustang wasn’t enough?). 

I have seen tremendous new offerings in the available courses with fresh information that is applicable to the various roles within the dental practice.  Kudos to the ODA for bringing in speakers to present cutting edge dental practice education, as well as a variety of fun things to participate in!

Conferences have been developed to give dentists, their staff, students and other dental professionals the opportunity to meet existing suppliers, learn new strategies, network with others and investigate new products and technologies. 

It is much to your benefit, and the benefit of your business, to plan ahead and have a strategy by knowing what you want to learn about during the conference, and what information you would like to bring back to your practice. 

However, the gathering of information is just the beginning.  Like all action plans, the information must be shared and tasks must be assigned and followed up on, as a team.

Before attending the ODC, do some planning and check the vendor list to see which vendors you want to visit, what your inventory needs are and which new product lines you would like to see. Doing this can save you money by grouping your orders to take advantage of discounts and special offers, while keeping you within budget.  

Let your peers know that you are attending and find out who else is going to the ODC, and which courses they are taking. 

This is a great opportunity to meet face to face with your referral network and re-establish professional relationships over coffee or while discussing a class.  Bring plenty of business cards and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to others.  

Determine who in your office will be attending which courses and ask them to bring back some specific information from the class, as well as their impressions of the information and if and/or how it could benefit your practice and teams.  The handouts are available online and can be downloaded or printed prior to the event for use.

Don’t forget to take advantage of social media during the conference. 

Download the ODC app by searching for ‘Oregon Dental Conference’ in the app store.  If you are tweeting, use #2014ODC to follow and stay up-to-date on the latest information.  

Check out the ODC program guide on page 42 for the QR code to the app, links to Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube and blog. 

If you are ready to learn more about using social media in your practice, you can attend the course that is being offered “Defining, Integrating Social Media and SEO into the Dental Practice”.  

During the conference, sporting your comfortable shoes and complimentary bag, don’t hesitate to ask for literature and take advantage of the wealth of information that exhibiting companies are willing to share about new products and show specials.  Also, many vendors are happy to mail the literature to you if requested. 

Be sure to have something to take notes on to jot down what products you are interested in, who you spoke with and to track what orders have been placed.  

All attendees should take notes at the classes they attend and be prepared to share key points and ideas with the team upon returning to work the following week. 

It is crucial that this collaboration takes place the week following the conference while ideas are fresh and can be explored as a team as to what may benefit the practice.  

Any post-conference tasks should be assigned to a point person so that nothing falls through the cracks, such as orders placed, contacting vendors to get additional information on products being considered, and schedule reminders to follow up with contacts whether they are other dental professionals, referral sources or vendors.

Most of all enjoy yourself. 

Balance the educational side of ODC with having some fun!  Gather the trinkets and chocolates that vendors are so willing to give you, participate in “Crack the Code”, get a free massage or participate in the American Red Cross blood drive. 

This year they will offer an Art Show, a new addition to ODC. 

And last but not least, buying a raffle ticket for an opportunity to win the 2014 Mustang and visiting the Wall of Wine is always a right click.


Read 3879 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 March 2014 08:29

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