The Urgent Care Association of America’s National Urgent Care Fall Convention is soon approaching. To get you ready for your journey to Nashville, Tennessee, we have some tips for making the most of your 2016 UCAOA experience.
1. Decide Who Should Attend
Spend some time thinking about who should go to the convention. If you have something specific you wish to learn or improve on, consider selecting staff who would benefit the most. A fun idea? Buy an extra ticket and hold a competition for your staff to win the spot. Discounts are available for big groups and students so check to see if you qualify.
2. Strategize Your Sessions in Advance
So many sessions, so little time! If you’ve seen the convention schedule at a glance, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options. How do you and your staff choose? Read up on the speakers to make sure you can attend the sessions that interest you. Don’t be afraid to branch out and explore unfamiliar topics. Be strategic with your colleagues by splitting up into different sessions and compare notes afterward.
3. Make a “Must-See” List of Exhibitors
Sessions are just one part of the UCAOA experience. Remember to carve out some time in the day to hit the exhibition floor. If you have any specific vendors in mind, do some research ahead of time on their websites and think of some questions you’d like to ask. Who knows, you may even make some new connections and win some prizes. Make sure to stop by the DocuTAP booth #816 and say hi!
4. Take Notes and Ask Questions
Chances are, you’ll want to scribble down a thought or piece of inspiration while listening to a speaker. Laptops, tablets, phones and notebooks are all great options to take notes. Write down questions that arise, as most speakers allow for Q&A time afterwards. Try dividing your notes, categorizing the action items for your clinic from general tips. Organized notes will be much easier to go through when you’re home.
5. Get Social
Many groups and exhibitors host social events long after conference activities are done for the day. While it may be tempting to crash in your hotel room, don’t forget to take advantage of social events to make meaningful connections. Use the time to unwind, chat, and meet other amazing people in the urgent care industry. If you’re on social media, use #UCAOA16 on Twitter.
6. Download the UCAOA App
Did you know UCAOA has a mobile app for the convention? If you’re not inclined to paper, you can stay in the loop with a digital event schedule on your smart phone. The app also includes speaker information, slide decks, notes, and presentations for later reference. To download the free app, search UCAOA Meetings in the Apple App and Google Play store.
7. Wear Layers for Indoor Sessions
It may seem odd, but consider dressing in layers while indoors. Temperature may fluctuate as you move from various meeting rooms throughout the day. An extra sweater or jacket will help keep you comfortable while sitting for an extended period of time. As you carry on with your day, you can always adjust your layers.
8. Link With Connections
Time flies at UCAOA! You will want to keep in touch with the connections you’ve made once you get back home. Save their business cards. Connect on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter. Write a note to say hello. Developing relationships in the industry can help you make the most out of your clinic. You never know when a connection will come in handy.
9. Bring Training Back
What did you learn? Odds are, you will be feeling refreshed with new ideas to implement right away. Your clinic staff will be curious to know what the main takeaways were from the conference. On the trip home, categorize topics to share. If you are responsible for dispersing information, remember to communicate them to your staff. While it may be unrealistic to apply everything you learned at a conference right away, try focusing on a few takeaways at a time.
10. Get Advice from Vendors
Curious about something you saw on the exhibit floor? Don’t be shy! If you didn’t get a chance to give exhibitors your contact information, feel free to ask them to follow up with you. Don’t have anything specific to ask? Exhibitors are great sources for general industry advice. Most have been in the industry awhile, so feel free to take advantage of their expertise.
Have your own tips for attending UCAOA this year? Share them with us!