Last week I had the chance to go to the EMS Today Conference in Washington DC. While It was only for the day, I got to experience some great things, look at new products and get to see some old friends.
One of the best things about conferences is learning. Sure looking at apparatus and freebies on the exhibit floor are cool, and year that “Aint Skeeeeerd” shirt is well it’s not for me but if it is for you then by all means buy 50 of them, but the main goal of any conference is for you to come back smarter than when you left, or at least have been inspired to think. FDIC, Firehouse EXPO, Firehouse World, state fire and EMS conferences all have things to offer other than t-shirts and beer. However EMS Today is a little bit unique.
They may realize that not everyone can afford a conference package including all of the classroom sessions. Or they realize that maybe people have limited time and want to be able to maximize the one day they may have at the conference. So they offered a unique but not untried tactic.
They offered several 30 min mini classes on the exhibit floor! The classes were varying topics and where all day long. A few years ago FIrehouse EXPO tried something similar offering a few hour-long classes during the exhibits. I personally LOVE this idea. Especially only having one day this allowed me to get some education and some networking/exhibit hall time.
I sat in this class, and while only 30 mins it was top-notch. I learned a lot about new trauma techniques that are being used in the military and may be coming to am ambulance near you very soon. Also learned some new traumatic fluid resuscitation techniques.
Every one of these sessions was packed, every time I looked over there was no seating room available, some people sat for all of the classes, others like me picked the ones they wanted then moved on but usually they were standing room only.
I personally think this adds ALOT to someones exhibit hall only ticket value. Now they have the chance to get education and exhibit viewing all at the same time. I think EVERY conference needs to be trying something like this. Based on what I saw it was obviously a popular place, and a good selling tool for instructors. I know after I was done and talked to my wife about it, she was interested in getting the instructor to come teach at the Virginia EMS symposium. This would allow a conference like FDIC who is heavy on education to give more value to the exhibit hall pass, and still have the primary focus as education. FDIC is so big they could have multiple spots with varying topic tracks in different locations.
For a conference like Firehouse EXPO who places (in my opinion) a little less emphasis on education this could again give more value tot he exhibit hall pass, and put more focus back on educating firefighters.
Needless to say I thought EMS Today was great.It will be back in DC next year but this time in early February, check out www.EMStoday.com for more info. I hope to be attending again and hoping to take even more classes this time.
If you attended let me know what you think in the comments section, or on twitter.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!