How to Make the Most of AAST’s 2018 Annual Meeting
The AAST 2018 Annual Meeting is quickly approaching. Whether it’s your first conference or you’re a veteran, everyone could use help maximizing their time. Savvy conference-goers know this: While sessions are valuable, the conversations between them are invaluable. Face-to-face networking with your peers is the No. 1 reason why you should attend any conference.
Education rates a close second, sure. CECs count! But getting to know the people inside your field opens up realities — both good and bad — of working in our specialized healthcare niche.
Our work, especially if it’s all at night, can be lonesome and invisible. If we meet and bond with others who do the same thing, we all stand to benefit from their support, ideas, camaraderie and expertise even during the loneliest shifts at the lab. If you’re attending the conference in Indianapolis Sept. 28–30, here are some surviving and thriving tips:
- Make a plan. Consult the schedule in advance, highlight all that interests you, then write in these events on a daily calendar to identify any overlap. Prioritize them to prevent making last-minute decisions you may regret later. You can always change your mind.
- Sample everything. The 2018 Annual Meeting offers a wealth of networking opportunities. Besides the breakout sessions, there are pre-conference sessions, keynotes, distinguished lectures, panel sessions and much more.
- Get bonded. Look for chances to get to know your peers better by stepping out for meals or post-conference drinks.
- Respect the sponsors and vendors. Vendors pay big money to sponsor meetings, many of which can’t take place without this investment! Let them show you new technologies, even if you’re not currently using them (i.e., oral devices).
- Fill out your forms. CECs are a key reason why you attend, right? Most live events offer a year’s worth. It’s easy to skip a visit to the host table, but you must remember to follow through on paperwork so you can receive your credits.
- Be present. Don’t check email or play games during sessions. Do your cellular business between sessions, then put away the smartphone, turning off ringtones and vibrate features. Eye contact cannot happen if your baby blues are trained on a handheld screen.
In the rest of this article from the Q3 2018 issue of A2Zzz, Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH, provides more tips for conference-goers.
This article is one of four designated CEC articles in this issue of A2Zzz. AAST members who read A2Zzz and claim their credits online by the deadline can earn 2.00 AAST Continuing Education Credits (CECs) per issue – for up to 8.00 AAST CECs per year. AAST CECs are accepted by the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) and the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM).
To earn AAST CECs, carefully read the four designated CEC articles and claim your credits online. You must go online to claim your credits by the deadline of Nov. 30, 2018.
After the successful completion of this educational activity, your certificates will be available in the My CEC Portal acknowledging the credits earned.