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Who can argue that life is a little crazier, that our schedules seem packed with work, errands, kids, sports, friends, and on and on. Slipping in some time for a continuing education class might seem problematic, but make it easy on yourself with the Chicago Dental Society’s second Virtual Reality Meeting.
On Sept. 19, participants can log into a “classroom” to hear a speaker and notch a CE credit. Here’s the beauty: you can do it from your own computer and it’s free. No travel, no time away from the office, no registration lines. Log onto CDS.org to register and check out the lineup of speakers and topics aimed at the whole staff. There’s even an Exhibitors Hall and Networking Lounge.
If a virtual reality meeting seems like an oxymoron for the dental staff — where hands-on contact is the rule — the tech-driven meeting is in fact a widely used corporate tool for meetings and training. Add the explosion in the use and abilities of cell phones in the last five years, and the audience is primed to participate digitally.
“About four years ago, I saw an article in the Chicago Tribune on virtual reality meetings,” explained David Fulton Jr., CDS president-elect. “I felt that if CDS was to stay on the forefront as ‘The Respected Leader in Scientific Dental Meetings,’ we needed to push the boundaries of our successful Midwinter Meeting.”
Looking to connect with dentists — especially younger dentists — on the digital platforms they’ve already incorporated into their practice of dentistry, “I felt that this could offer an inroad for them with technology that they are much more familiar in dealing with,” Dr. Fulton said.
It’s a view endorsed by one of this year’s exhibitors.
“We see attending shows such as the Virtual Reality Meeting as a way to market ourselves to the younger dental market,” said Nicole Moreno, marketing manager for Skokie-based Bosworth Co., which produces an array of dental materials. “As the younger dentist enters the industry and the Baby Boomer dentists retire, younger dentists are getting their information online, through apps, etc. They want their information quickly.”
Increasingly Bosworth is using E-blasts, social media sites, digital ads in email newsletters and even industry smart phone apps to reach that growing audience, Ms. Moreno said.
To be sure, last year’s Virtual Reality Meeting struck the right chord.
“Those doctors who attended last year’s meeting had nothing but accolades for the event,” Dr. Fulton said. As the word spreads, Dr. Fulton said he likes what he sees in the Virtual Reality Meeting’s ability to meet the continuing education needs of CDS’s membership as well as bring together members and exhibitors.
“Its attendance should grow exponentially in the years to come,” he said.
“It opens up a whole new market of customers to us,” added Ms. Moreno. “Customers attending virtual shows like CDS’s benefit because they are able to gain the same knowledge without ever leaving their home or office. It is a more cost-effective way for them to participate in a tradeshow and still experience similar benefits.”
There are some upgrades to this year’s Virtual Reality Meeting, Dr. Fulton said, including a new platform that guides what the viewer sees on the computer screen and how it navigates though the virtual meeting. Improvements also simplify how exhibitors can construct their virtual booths, he said.
So put Sept. 19 in your phone’s calendar and check out CDS.org for all the details.
A tradition of working for the dental profession. The Chicago Dental Society was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1878. The objective of the Chicago Dental Society is to encourage the improvement of the health of the public, to promote the art and science of dentistry and to represent the intrest of the members of the profession and the public that it serves.
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