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Reminiscing 101: Why I Enjoy Attending Industry Meetings

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 9:00 AM

BSM News, The BSM Way

Written by: Derek Preece

Derek Preece
Executive consultant

I’m about to head out to another major medical association meeting in a few days, and I’ve been reminiscing about past meetings. My first industry meeting was quite a whirlwind — and quite a while ago. It was in 1985, and I was working for a surgery center company. It was a busy, fun meeting, and I expect the same for this one I’m about to attend for BSM.

Similar to past meetings, I will be speaking at the podium. After presenting a course, it’s always fun and rewarding to have doctors and administrators come up to me and explain their situation, requesting specific advice. Others approach me to add to a discussion point made during the session, and that’s always helpful. Some just come up to say, “thank you.” Many new doctors and administrators attend these meetings to learn something and develop contacts. It is particularly gratifying to help them learn a little about the business because they are so appreciative.

While meetings are an excellent opportunity for me to meet and foster relationships with newcomers, they also give me a chance to meet up with old friends. It’s always a little startling to be walking down a hallway or through the exhibit hall and hear my name called out by a longtime acquaintance. Some friends I see almost every time I attend a meeting. For example, I have one client whom I’ve known for 30 years, and we always contact each other before a meeting to schedule a breakfast. We used to plan changes to his practice over those early morning feasts, but in recent years, as he has cut back to part-time work, we mostly just catch up and enjoy each other’s company.

As for other colleagues, I may not run across them for a decade or more. Last spring, I met with a wonderful lady who had been away from the business for several years due to illness, and it was inspiring to see her be able to join us again. It’s always a pleasure to reconnected with old friends and learn what they have been doing in the intervening years.

These meetings also allow me to spend time with BSM associates and hobnob with my fellow BSM consultants. Unfortunately, since we are all so busy working in different offices and traveling for business, I don’t get to see them as much as I would like. These meetings help remedy that situation. As a team, we man the BSM booth in the exhibit hall. In addition, we always set aside one night to have dinner together and that’s always a meeting highlight for me.

An added bonus of these meetings is they are often held in major cities. I’ve had a chance to visit the French Quarter in New Orleans, the historic Faneuil Hall in Boston, ride a cable car in San Francisco, and go whale watching in Hawaii. One year after giving a presentation, I was invited to speak at an association meeting in Tasmania, Australia! The trip was paid for by the association, so I had a wonderful vacation with my wife before and after the meeting.

So, if you get a chance to attend an industry meeting, or if you’re inclined to give a presentation on something you’re passionate about, I encourage you to seize the moment. Meetings are a lot of fun. Also, who knows, maybe I’ll see you there.

YOUR TURN: Why do you enjoy attending industry meetings? Please leave your response in the comment section below. Thank you.

1 Comment

  • Danielle Copeland, senior management consultant with the Allergan Practice Consulting Group said

    I love your post! I agree with so many of your points ... I also like attending the meeting to learn from the many other vendors, not just the speakers. I like taking the time to walk the vendor area and ask questions and learn. It is amazing what I can pick up!

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