My amazing experience of BACD 2016 and my top 5 tips to implement your learning after the conference.
One of the reasons the BACD is the most inspiring dental conference in the UK is due to the delegates who are the best of the best. The organisation brings the most innovative leading clinical experts from over the world, helping you to be on a forever-learning path with the greatest. It’s because if this you are able to get motivated and inspired to do the amazing dentistry you do and therefore be able to do the very best for your patients.
In my experience from past BACD conferences the ‘Americans’ brought a lot of advances and energy to the UK and a lot of what they taught us was ahead of the game at that time and still is today in a lot of instances. How we work evolves, consumer behaviour evolves and if we don’t get involved in this digital movement we will be left behind. The BACD for me today showed how we have utilised advanced digital technology and woven it in to today’s world-class dentistry. It was also very refreshing to see some of the UK leaders in the digital revolution that we live in.
When attending these conferences sometimes you have to make a hard decision regarding what lectures to attend because often, the great ones clash. My experience was a bit like that on the Saturday because I wanted to hear Dr Florin Cofar and also Gary Takacs so I weaved myself into both of them.
Both Dr Florin Cofar and Dr Elaine Halley were early adopters of DSD, which is such an innovative technique and philosophy created by Dr. Christian Coachman. On Thursday Dr. Elaine Halley and Luke Barnett ran the hands on treatment planning and gave the delegates an opportunity to practice running through the workflow. To get a hands-on learning experience really cements a deeper layer of learning; a colleague I was speaking to, told me, the day was so valuable even though he had done it before and he is now determined to make it work in his practice.
Dr Florin Cofar really got the point over beautifully in demonstrating emotional dentistry. He showed us how DSD is sexy, modern and uncomplicated. He also made a valid point of not confusing complicated with uncomfortable. He really simplified this with stating how difficult it is to unlearn something. That difficulty to unlearn makes us uncomfortable which, we often interpret as complicated and may conclude ‘we tried it but it didn’t work’. Sound familiar?
I also attended a small part of Gary Takacs lecture because I follow him on twitter and was interested in what he had to say; he shared some interesting facts such as:
• Over 1/3 of dental practices don’t have a website!
• 56% of website searches were carried out on a mobile device
• The algorithms of Google change around 2.5 times per day
• Video should be 30 – 60 seconds and no longer
All of these experts were educational, inspiring and motivational and that is why we all attend.
What happens next? You will return home inspired, motivated and possibly a little exhausted if you partied hard. You know who you are! So how do you even begin to implement?
Here are my top 5 tips to get the most out of the conference
1. Revisit the vision you have for yourself as a dentist or for your business. Note where you are on your journey so that you know the key areas you need to focus on in order to get closer to it.
2. From every new technique or insight you have learned or were inspired about, consider what the one big thing is you want to work on, that fits in with your vision. Lets face it you will want to implement everything so you need to figure out the most pressing area that requires action so you can achieve your goals and vision.
This is so important because for many delegates, they will get so inspired with so many things, then get back to work and possibly back to a team who have not been exposed to the magic you have. Very quickly your enthusiasm is dipped and it’s common to return to what you have always done.
3. Once you know what that one big thing is consider what you need in order to cement that new technique, service or strategy into your practice. Schedule time to speak to your team so that you can share your learning, your enthusiasm and how it fits into your vision. They need to embody your excitement and motivation to change or else may not support you, and may result in you doing what you have always done. I would recommend you actually block out a couple of hours the first week you are back to share with your team.
4. Brainstorm with your team how this ‘new thing’ integrates with your business and clinical processes, do you need to integrate this into your marketing, how are you communicating it with your patients and do you need additional in house support to help you integrate it into your practice.
5. Find resources to support you and your team’s learning. Block time out for training, evaluate your progress and possibly even take some team members with you for additional training. When you get closer to achieving your vision and goals then celebrate.
How do you implement your learning after a conference?
How do you get your team motivated with your vision when they haven’t attended?