When you decide to attend a medical conference you will certainly want to get the most out of it. These conferences can be filled with very valuable information and can be a great chance for networking. There’s a difference between showing up for a conference and getting the most out of it.
Getting the most out of a medical conference means you need to go in with a plan. You need to be prepared and ready to learn, network and have some fun. Here are some of the things you will want to do if you want to get the most out of the next medical conference you attend. We should know, we run CME Science, where we host radiology continuing medical educations around the United States and World. Learn more about our radiology courses here.
It doesn’t matter if you’re attending a large conference on the other side of the country or a smaller one in your own backyard, you need to be prepared. Find out what the conference will include, pre-registered for anything you can and be prepared to show up and learn. Make sure you have supplies to take good notes and even consider recording the audio from any of the speakers for later.
Do your Research
Another part of being prepared is doing your research in advance. Find out about the host of the medical conference, the sponsors, the speakers and the attendees. When you go in with information about these people, you’ll be better prepared to get the most out of the conference.
You should start following some of these people on social media and reach out to others to make connections ahead of time. If you want to set up meetings, do it in advanced to ensure you get the opportunity speak with those you want to speak with.
Before you head off to a medical conference, you need to know what the expectation for wardrobe will be. Will there be a formal event? Do you need to wear a specific type of clothing for the educational or social events? Make sure you know and plan your packing accordingly.
Map Out the Venue
You can usually get a map of the venue and conference set up in advance. It’s best to study it, map out where you want to go and where things you’ve signed up for are found. Having a plan ahead of time and familiarizing yourself with the layout will put you ahead of those just showing up and winging it.
Set Conference Goals
Do you want to meet specific people? Are you trying to learn about some new advancement in medicine? Set your goals for the event and make sure you go into the event with a plan to meet those goals.
Be Ready to Network
You’ll want to have your nametag on, business cards ready and your networking face on. It’s important to meet the right people at these events and they can lead to a big payoff later. Maybe when you’re ready to move from one position to another, you’ll have the right contact. In addition, networking can lead to collaboration between you and another on a project you’re working on or have coming up soon.
Don’t be afraid to take the lead and introduce yourself to those around you. When it’s a social or networking event, this is expected and you should lead with a smile and a strong handshake.
Review Your Notes
After the conference, your job isn’t done. If you want to get the most out of a medical conference, you need to review your notes and take actionable steps based on those notes. Try to create a few takeaway points from each speaker and take the time to thoroughly go over your notes before moving on to anything else.
Follow Up with New Contacts
A new contact is a waste if you don’t follow up. Find them on LinkedIn or other social media channels and send them a quick message letting them know you’re glad you met them. Any way you can get in contact with them to follow up is great and the more connected you can become, the better.
Medical conferences can be a great place to make connections, learn new information and have some fun. You don’t want to go into one of these conferences blind or you won’t get nearly as much out of it as you should. Take the time to be fully prepared and pre-register for the sessions/events best suited for you.
In addition, make sure you take the time to review all the new information you learned after the conferences. Create a list of any books recommended by speakers you need to purchase and any key points they made that you want to remember or further research. Having a plan going into a medical conference is a great start, but getting the most out of the conference really comes from the plan of action you use after the conference has ended.
Interested in attending a medical conference in Las Vegas? Learn more about Things to Consider When Visiting Las Vegas for a Conference. We host multiple continuing medical education conferences in Las Vegas every year. If you have any questions about our conferences or CME credits, please contact us here.