Navigating a New Reality Conference: Three Actions You Should Take Now

By The SHSMD Team posted 25 days ago


Disruption has been a common theme in health care for the last several years, but 2020 raised the stakes to a whole new level. Disruption this year has occurred with all aspects of our lives, including how SHSMD is engaging members through virtual conferences.

For me, a highly effective professional conference delivers the following: inspiration, useful content and networking opportunities. The recent Navigating a New Reality virtual conference – offered in partnership by SHSMD and the American Hospital Association – provided all three.

With COVID-19 impacting travel and in-person gatherings, virtual conferences are here to stay for at least the next few months and likely well into 2021. For those who attended the Navigating New Reality event there are a few actions you might want to think about taking to ensure you get the most out of your experience.

3 Ways to Activate What you Learned

1. Build your content bank: Recordings of the presentations are available for 90 days. I encourage you to go back and catch any of the ones you missed. In addition, many of the event sponsors provided excellent reports, whitepapers and other resources. Those are available for download by visiting their booths.

2. Schedule follow-ups quickly: If you virtually met solution providers or new colleagues during the conference, schedule your phone calls, product demos or follow-up virtual meetings ASAP. Waiting increases the likelihood that you will forget about why you wanted to do it in the first place or simply miss out on the opportunity.

3. Share your knowledge: Hosting a meeting – by Zoom or WebEx of course – to review key takeaways, sending your favorite event recaps to staff and peers and sharing a conference summary by email for your boss and other leaders are just a few ways to get even more value for the time you spent. You can also show one of the conference presentations during a meeting to dig into more detail on specific topics or set expectations for strategies that you plan to implement or explore.

Preparing for SHSMD Connections Bytes

A second opportunity is coming up from SHSMD on October 27 and 28. SHSMD Connections Bytes will focus on skill-building through online workshops, seminars and safe social networking to help you shape the rapidly evolving health care landscape and promote health in your communities and organizations. Here are three steps for staying engaged during the two days.

1. Networking: Safely connect with other attendees through various virtual networking opportunities. Join interactive virtual tables to engage in focused conversations, make new connections or visit with colleagues. You can also participate in live chats during breakout sessions and post to various discussion forums throughout the event.

2. Social media: Follow the event’s Twitter hashtag (#SHSMDbytes) and make sure to contribute content. Post daily highlights or recaps on LinkedIn or Facebook. Here is an example.

3. Focus: One of the best things about a conference is being able to be away from work/home and focus on the conference. That’s more difficult to do well with the virtual format. Try to block your schedule and minimize distractions as much as possible. Here is a great resource article from Carrie Bennett for additional pointers on how to get the most out of your virtual experience.

Closing Thought

Attending conferences – virtual or in person – is a significant time commitment. By taking the proactive steps above, I believe you will get the most out of your investment. Add your suggestions for success in the comments below.

This blog post was written by:

Alan Shoebridge
Director of Marketing
Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System
Monterey, California