Attending a CME conference can be overwhelming at first glance: a long agenda with plenty of speakers, a confusing map of the conference floor, figuring out where your hotel room is, figuring out travel and packing – the list can go on. To help you make the most of attending a CME conference, we have put together a quick list of some key tips.
Also, look at our list of CME conferences to attend, including podiatry conferences from PRESENT Podiatry.
Look up the speakers beforehand
If a speaker you’re interested in watching is giving a lecture, then chances are they have given lectures in the past. Sometimes these lectures are available on YouTube or their personal website. Watch these past lectures, as well as research the speaker to learn more about him/her. This will help you get a better understanding of how they are going to give their presentation during their course and, most importantly, whether attending the course is in your best interest or not.
Read about the topics that will be covered
Leading up to the conference, it’s best to get a basic understanding of what topics will be covered, especially if it’s a new and emerging topic in the medical field. Read an article or watch a video to get acquainted with what will be presented so you can get a jump start when you’re finally sitting down in the conference hall.
Look at the conference map ahead of time
Entering the conference hall for the first time might be a bit overwhelming and confusing. Look at the map online before you go to the conference and map out where you want to go and when. By doing this ahead of time, you’ll save yourself from wandering the conference not sure where to go.
Review the conference agenda and make a schedule
This may seem like an obvious tip, but plenty of attendees show up to conferences with no plan whatsoever, thus missing out on important presentations and meet-ups to help them network and acquire the necessary CME credits to meet their requirements. Plan your day out ahead of time from start to finish, including breaks and time to network with peers.
Use the conference #hashtag
Despite a CME conference being held at a physical location, there is still plenty of activity happening on social networks. To keep track of this activity, conferences will usually have their own hashtag to easily follow what’s going on. Search these hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to stay up to date on impromptu meetups, events, and other networking activities found throughout the conference. Also, by using the hashtags in your posts, you’ll connect with peers and other people who share the same professional interests and goals as you which can be beneficial as well.
Bring a business card and network
By bringing a stack of business cards with your contact information, networking with professional peers will be easier than ever. It’s much simpler to hand out a card than to type your information in a phone or write it down. Also, while it is important to focus on activities and events that will you CME credits, networking is vital. By meeting like-minded peers, you’ll build meaningful connections and friendships and hold conversations that might give you new insight as a medical professional.
After returning from the conference, review what you’ve learned and how you can apply it to your own practice. Whether you’re a physician, nurse, or physician’s assistant, listing the key takeaways from your time at a conference can help you organize all of the information you took in at the conference. Also, keep track of your CME and make sure to organize and print your certificates and to keep in order.