Veterinary conferences are a time to get out of the monotony of the every day veterinary clinic drama and into a world of lectures, news, trends, gadgets, freebies, and food. Follow these simple tips to make sure you get the most out of your next veterinary conference:
1. Plan ahead
Look through the conference guide thoroughly. Find the lectures that you definitely want to attend, and make sure to arrive early as some of them will fill up fast. The last thing you want to do is scramble through the venue and miss out!
Take adavantage of any lectures that include food. There will most likely be lunch and learns, or a breakfast reception setup. By reading thoroughly through your guide, you will be to sure to catch a few of them! Also look for the evening venue invites, conferences often have special dinners for technicians, exhibitors, or international attendees. It's a great way to get some drinks, food, and meet others in our field!
3. Find the freebies
Whether the freebies are handed out in a lecture or in the exhibit hall, grab them all! Just be sure to remember that if you grab early, you will be hauling them around all day long.
4. Learn at the exhibit hall
Besides all the freebies in the exhibit hall, be sure to actually engage with the exhibitors. Especially if you are a decision maker for your company, you can usually score some deals if you are interested in the products.
New exhibitors are always circulating through conferences, so be sure to see who is there. Ask a tonne of questions, sit through some of the presentations, and grab a brochure!
Just make sure whatever freebies you do grab will fit into your luggage or carry-on bag. Those freebies can fill up a bag real fast. If you have extra room for goodies, visit the exhibit hall during the very last hour of the conference because many exhibitors are willing to get rid of a lot more so they don't have to carry it back with them.
5. Dress nice and comfy
While you finally get a break from the clinic, be sure to still dress appropriately. Wear comfortable shoes as many conferences will force you to do some walking.
Also, don't be a slob. You can dress down a little bit, but make sure you are not wearing your torn jeans. I for one, enjoy the fact that I can be out of my scrubs and have the excuse to wear some nice, pet hair-free clothes!
6. Fill out a survey
I know surveys are boring and time consuming, but it is a good way to get your feedback heard.
Your feedback can only help make sure that future conferences will continue to be fun and exciting. It is ok if the feedback is negative, but just make sure you help with some suggestions to make it better.
Also, make sure you thank your sponsors and exhibitors! The sponsors for the conferences invest thousands of dollars to make the events fun and interesting for all the attendees. Seek out any reps or exhibitors you may know, as they always appreciate when customers stop by to say hi!
What are you favorite part of veterinary conferences? What do you want to see more/less of?