Going to a conference like SYNC can be a value-adding experience, improving both your professional abilities as well as operations at your pharmacy. While that is usually the case, you could probably look back at a time when you attended a conference and came back from it feeling as if you didn’t get the return you expected. Conferences are, if anything, an investment—of not only your time but money (airline tickets, hotel, registration, etc.). Like any investment, you should expect an ROI in the form of new skills, best practices, and/or strategies for improvement.
Before you come to SYNC, you should create a plan that helps make sure you get the results you want. In this blog, you will learn basic planning strategies to help you get the most out of your SYNC experience.
Write Down Your Goals in Advance
Start by jotting down some rough ideas about what it is you hope to get out of the SYNC conference and what you plan to achieve by attending. You have already chosen to invest your time, energy, and funds into attending SYNC, but now you need to figure out your goals before you show up for the event. You should arrive on site with a better plan than simply to show up, pick a few sessions, and see how things pan out.
Next, you should list out your SYNC goals by answering the following questions:
- What skills or information do I want to learn at SYNC?
- What activities do I want to participate in?
- What are my goals for personal or professional growth?
- What are some improvements or areas of focus that need attention at my pharmacy? Are there any sessions that could help me address these?
Take Advantage of Conference Resources
At SYNC, we want our clients and attendees to have the best experience we can provide. We sincerely hope that our conference becomes an annual tradition for our client pharmacies, one that we all look forward to and just gets better with every passing year. We want you to come back, which means making sure you have all the resources you need for a seamless and headache-free event. Before you leave for the conference, you should go ahead and download or locate as many of the following resources as you can find (don’t worry, all of these will be provided for you when you arrive if you are unable to acquire them in advance):
- SYNC Mobile App: This app will go live in the days before the conference. Simply download it to your phone from the app store for easy onsite access to schedule changes or event notifications, venue map, itinerary planning, and more.
- Venue Map: Be sure to familiarize yourself with the venue map in advance. This will save you time and help you avoid searching for a room at the last minute.
- Session Agenda: Go ahead and look at the available SYNC sessions and compare them to the goal list you’ve already created. Find the ones that will help you meet your goals and add them to your planned itinerary (either in a notebook or on the mobile app).
- Support Station: Find this area to participate in face-to-face meetings with TDS’s team of product experts and support personnel. If you have educational goals on your list that aren’t covered by a session, this is also the perfect place to find the answers you need.
Please be sure to take advantage of the resources listed above so you have all the information and guidance you need. Once you’ve done all the above, you’ll probably think you’re all set. But there’s one more thing we need to cover.
Pack Your Things (Appropriately)
You need to pack the right stuff. This cannot be stressed enough. That does not mean you should pack everything but the kitchen sink. This is a trip to a conference for three days, not a weeks-long tour of the Mediterranean. Keep your baggage manageable by only packing the things you’re actually going to need. Anything else is just going to force you to lug around heavier luggage for no reason.
Here is a list of items we recommend bringing with you:
- Footwear: One pair of comfortable walking shoes, one pair of sandals/flip-flops (for the beach party), and one pair of dress shoes. Do your feet a favor and be smart with your footwear choices.
- Clothes: An appropriate amount of clothes for each day, including one nice outfit (for attending parties or a nice restaurant) and a swimsuit if you want to enjoy the hotel pool. You also might also bring a light jacket or hoodie, as session rooms are sometimes kept at a chilly temperature.
- Toiletries: These items will vary by individual but should include whatever you usually need to make yourself “presentable” each day.
- Notetaking Materials: A pen and paper or a mobile tablet, whichever you prefer. Just something that allows you to record important notes from each session.
- Electronic/Charging Items: Bring whatever gadgets you need, and be sure to pack all essential accessories—chargers, extra batteries/power packs, power cords, etc.
Okay. Now you have everything you need for SYNC. Enjoy the conference! But wait…
What About When You Go Back to the Pharmacy?
Before you hit the dance floor and cut loose on the last night of the conference, you still have one thing left to do. You need to define what you plan to do when you get back to the pharmacy. How are you going to show everyone back home that the SYNC conference was worth the investment? What do you plan to change when you go back? What changes do you plan to implement? What new skills have you learned that you will want to teach to your staff when you return? Are there any best practices you’ve discovered that you think would benefit your practice?
Before you go out on the final night, take a moment to scribble these down and put them in a spot where they won’t be forgotten or thrown out when you’re unpacking. A useful method for doing this is to send yourself an email with your list of actionable SYNC items. When you open your inbox upon returning to the office, it will be right there waiting for you.
When you return to your pharmacy and finish catching up on everything (as we all do after being away), you should open the email you sent yourself on the last night of SYNC. Use these notes to create an action plan that you can then present to everyone at your pharmacy, showing all the skills and ideas you’ve brought back with you. Then you can discuss what should be immediately implemented or planned for the near future.
Attending SYNC will be a value-adding, fun, educational, and rewarding experience. With the planning and preparation discussed in this blog, you’ll be able to have the best conference ever. We can’t wait to see you there!
Register for SYNC today and use the discount code MEETATSYNC to get $150 off your registration price!
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