How to Get the Most Out of
APMA’s The National


If you are going to be at “podiatry’s must-attend event,” you will undoubtedly want to get the most amount of value from the experience, right?

Since VMD Services is also attending The National this year—our first time ever!—we’ve been thinking about this quite a bit. In doing so, we realized that it might be beneficial for you if we put together a guide of what you can do when you’re in Salt Lake City for the conference to start getting the best possible ROI.

Not going? As you’ll see, we’re going to start with tips that are more general in nature and can be used for other conferences—like if you’re going to Summit in September, next year’s National, etc.

Why Attend Conferences in the First Place?

When it comes to the best things you can do for your career and practice, attending industry conferences ranks higher up on the list than you might realize—even if you’ve made the wise decision to attend an event like APMA’s The National.

Okay, so why is this such a smart career move?

Well, perhaps the most obvious value is the education you receive. After all, industry conferences are typically full of lectures and workshops conducted by experts and leaders.

(At the risk of blatant self-promotion, an example of this was when the VMD Services team led a podiatry marketing workshop at Top Practices’ Summit last fall.)

Naturally, the various presentations and (especially) workshops at conferences like The National can help you to refine existing skills—and even develop new ones.

But this is only a starting point!

Another outstanding source of value provided by conferences is peer-based networking. In fact, some conference attendees find that the insights they receive from fellow colleagues can be even better than the lessons provided by industry leaders—and those lessons are reason enough to attend.

An ancillary benefit here is that, while networking, you might find a mentor—someone who once was wherever you are on your journey and has advanced to the point you want to be (or at least is close).

Of course, the reverse could also be true, and you find yourself in position to mentor a younger podiatrist in need of guidance.

Either way, mentor/mentee relationships can be quite impactful and rewarding on various levels.

At the same time, all this learning, development, and networking doesn’t have to fall squarely on your own shoulders. See, many podiatric conferences also have valuable opportunities for your team members to develop as well. When they do, it means you’re able to strengthen your entire practice.

Even better, going together can be awesome for team-building purposes. Time spent together outside the office—and, in all likelihood, the conference isn’t taking place at your office—allows staff members to learn more about each other and strengthen friendships.

That’s important because people who enjoy working together are more productive—which is better for you AND your patients!

Get the Most Out of Any Conference

Having sufficiently covered why these events offer you so much value, let’s switch gears and get down to the nitty-gritty:

How can you maximize your ROI?

(And it’s worth keeping in mind that industry conferences—much like marketing, training programs, equipment, etc.—are investments in your practice!)

There are several ways for you to get the most out of your time and money:

Create a plan of attack. This is an especially important consideration when you’re going to a larger event, like The National. Since there can be so much to do (and your time is finite), you simply must review the schedule/agenda in advance and determine which sessions and workshops you and your team should attend.

When you get down to it, this is a lot like how you need to develop a strategy for your podiatry marketing if you want to achieve objectives—instead of randomly running around all over the place.

Speaking of marketing strategies, have you taken advantage of our latest offer? If not, take a moment right now to grab your copy of our complimentary, no-obligation guide containing the 24 questions you need to ask…if you want your podiatry marketing strategy to actually work!

One more thought here:

Don’t view your conference plan as ironclad. If you’re in a session and it’s not exactly what you were thinking it would be, there’s nothing wrong in leaving to attend a different one. (If anything, it’s probably more “wrong” to stay in a session that isn’t giving you enough value.)

Network like a pro. If you’ll recall, the opportunity to network was a key reason for attending industry conferences in the first place. Now you need to take the next step—doing it.

This is generally a lot easier for the extroverted set than it is for introverts, which should make sense. If you do fall in the latter camp, keep this in mind:

Everyone else at the event is in similar shoes as you are. They want to learn, grow, and use the experience to make their practices better. So, you have a lot in common with them. Additionally, you can figure that somewhere around half (give or take) of fellow attendees are also introverted.

Something worth keeping in mind (no matter if you’re introverted or extroverted) is that one of the keys to successful networking is to ensure that your interactions are two-way streets, or at least as close as possible. And if you’re going to err on one side of the spectrum, make sure it’s the “listening” side.

Visit the vendors. When VMD Services attends events like Summit or The National, we bring along swag and valuable offers for you—and we’re certainly not the only ones who do this!

If you want to take advantage of free goodies, drawings for exciting prizes, etc., then you need to reserve some of your carefully planned time to visit vendors. Plus, in doing so, you might find products and services that can make a game-changing impact on your practice.

Remember everything you learn. There can be a lot to take in at conferences and industry events, so you need a system. More specifically, you should use a system of recording notes that works best for you.

Sure, you can try to remember it all on your own, but that’s just not realistic. Even if you mentally capture most lessons and insights, you’re bound to forget other things—and any of them could prove to be exceedingly valuable to you.

Basically, you can’t get the best return from your investment if you aren’t retaining information. But using external systems—smartphone, tablet, laptop, or even good ol’ fashioned pen and paper—can help.

More Than Gifts and Giveaways!

In addition to everything we’re bringing along to The National, here’s another great reason to come by and see us:

As the nation’s leading podiatry marketing agency, we can answer questions you have and offer advice on how to make sure your practice is getting found online—the crucial first step in filling your waiting room with patients.

Want specific kinds of patients? No problem!

Our expert marketing team uses the best current practices and technologies to target specific markets, all so you treat more of the patients you want to treat!

You have a couple of different options to learn more about how we can help you achieve your practice goals:

1. Visit our booth (#926) at The National this year.
2. Stop by and see us at any other podiatry conference we attend.
3. Contact our office directly by calling (833) 823-3335 or filling out our convenient online form.



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