The world’s best dermatologists, plastic surgeons, oculoplastic surgeons, aesthetic physicians, aestheticians, and business experts will convene to teach their art and medicine in May in Music City (Nashville, TN). This is the best gathering of cosmetic medicine professionals happening in the United States in 2019. These experts from all over will give talks and demonstrate products and procedures on the most cutting edge technology. They will demonstrate new techniques for using what has been tried and true for better results. Every one of the 50+ faculty and hundreds of vendors are there to help you focus on being a better provider of service in a way that helps you be more profitable. In order for you to get the most out of your experience as a conference attendee, there are a few steps that you should take.
Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, famously said “success is never accidental.” There are no words that better articulate the approach we suggest you take at SCALE 2019 Music City. We recommend using your time to network with other professionals in your field and be very intentional in what you choose to attend based on your personal skills, interests, and passions. This will guarantee the very best return for your investment in attending SCALE 2019.
Advice from a Doctor
The vast majority of our attendees do not work in the ocular field, but enough do that we find the advice given by the Review of Optometric Business apropos for everyone in our field.
- Plan in advance. Conferences are about education, which is necessary to maintaining licensure and staying current (and competitive) in the field. Planning to maximize the amount of learning and accreditation you get is simple. Look at class schedules and speakers and pick those that work best for your specialization, or interest in adding to your skills, as well as what works well for your schedule. Use the technology available to keep notes, etc. rather than loading yourself down with paper that is harder to maintain.
- Leave time for impromptu meetings. By not scheduling too many classes back to back you leave gaps in your conference schedule that can accomodate ‘serendipitous interactions with ease.’ Also, maintaining flexibility can allow for the career growth that tends to happen at conferences when people leave themselves open to opportunities. This may mean the opportunity for you to consult with someone at their practice on something you are an expert in, or even an offer for other partnership, collaboration, sponsorship, or employment.
- Use online resources to plan your conference and stay plugged in with the conference on Social Media. The website for major conferences (including SCALE 2019 Music City), has FAQs, conference highlights to plan your travel schedule and logistics, and a section where you can preview the exhibitors and decide from brief descriptions if you want to check out new instruments or products. You can connect to more people before, during and after the conference via social media than is possible using email. For more professional or personal reasons it can, however, be better by cell phone or e-mail to set up meetings and stay directly in touch.
- Stay in touch with the other doctors you meet. It is said that ‘Connecting with other doctors helps us improve as clinicians and as a profession’. This advice applies to other professionals in the cosmetic and aesthetic world as well. Also, ‘Good relationships with vendors are also important to help grow practices.’ Collect and exchange business cards, follow up with those you meet and network with via a personalized email, hand-written card, or use a professional social media service like Linkedin.
Business Advice from The Pros
Forbes Magazine, the leading all around business publication, concurs with these points and makes a few additional points about the Return on Investment from conferences.
- Understand Why You’re Attending. Why is it worth your time and money? “Be clear about what it is you hope to gain by attending. Set 2-3 goals for yourself so that you can measure the impact of your time, effort and expense. This may include meeting X number of people, learn about a new trend, or connecting with a specific person or company.” – Vaughn Farris, Senior Manager Strategic Programs, WBENC.
- Don’t Simply RSVP. ‘You can simply RSVP for an event or you an actively RSVP. Once you commit to attending, really commit by making your own personal event plan.’
- Use the Tools Provided. ‘Conference apps aren’t just a convenience, they lay the groundwork for your event (networking) experience. It can be a contact list, a job search lead, and a media channel (if social channels are incorporated). Explore the tools conference organizers provide and fold them into your pre-conference (not just day of conference) prep.’
- Pay Attention to Name Tags. “At most events you will find that the organization’s leadership will have a nametag with some sort of differentiator on it such as a ribbon or a different color ink; ask the person manning the registration desk how you can spot those in leadership positions as they will be primed and ready to welcome a newbie into the fold – that’s their job!” – Jennifer Scalzi CEO, Founder, Calibrate Legal and Board Member, Legal Marketing Association.”
- Take Time Post Event to Reflect. ‘One of the biggest mistakes (other than planning) in networking is the failure to follow-up! Not just with people you met at the event but with friends and colleagues who may not have been there. Find ways to share your experience and insights with them after the event.’
SCALE 2019 Music City’s Approach
SCALE 2019 Music City is designed to be a an amazing educational opportunity for you to learn new skills and sharpen the ones you have. That, coupled with the introduction to technology and procedures that are demonstrated and shown in our product theaters, make the several days in May the best time and place to enhance your practice. The networking opportunities surrounding these demos, however, are just as important to increasing your practices bottom line as the demos themselves. Neither of these should be missed by anyone looking to accomplish more with their practice next year.
We’ve shared the advice from experts who make it their business to ensure you have a successful conference experience, and we hope you can use those pointers at our upcoming event. We look forward to hearing from you about how you increase your bottom line thanks to SCALE.