A great example is START ART which is an annual REI Nursing Congress. START ART stands for Scientific & Therapeutic Approaches to Assisted Reproductive Technology. (Every August) I found this great seminar about 15 years ago (when it was called SMART ART). It offers CNE’s (Continuing Nursing Education Certification.) Although I don’t need the nursing credits I know that this is a great learning experience for me and my peers. The networking opportunities are wonderful as well! This is a two and a half day seminar in Las Vegas. Is it worth the time and money! Yes! Do *I* come back to my office with useful information and energized by those I interacted with? Again, Yes! Am I getting paid to promote START ART? NO! But you should attend next year! (I will announce it on my blog. Subscribe so you won’t miss it!)
Personally I tend to lean toward the mental health portion of this meeting. I also belong to the Mental Health Professional Group and will be attending their usual Saturday evening welcoming dinner. (Again, meeting people in person where, for most of the year, we might only interact via the Internet). I don’t want to forget to mention Postgraduate Courses on both Saturday and Sunday before the conference.In 2011 I was a part of the faculty focusing on The Psychology and Ethics of Marketing a Mental Health Practice in Infertility with the chair being William Petock, Ph.D. and Jeffery Barnett, Psy.D. It was a very rewarding undertaking!
Ok…so is your business going to FAIL if you don’t attend these (or other) conferences? No…you can get by without traveling a half a continent away. Learning about what’s happening in the legal arena, the clinics, and in the ART world of mental health is always educational. But attending these and other seminars and workshops will reassure your clients that you invest in yourself and your agency and are knowledgeable about what is going on ‘out there’ in the field of Infertility today! (Plus you get out of the office! See the world! And meet new people! A win-win situation!)