Three Mistakes to Avoid When Attending a Conference

Are you ready for the HBMA Fall 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas?

Even though Labor Day has passed and summer is over, there’s still much fun to be had in fall conference season. Conference season is the best time to brush up on your industry knowledge, sharpen your skills, and network with key professionals you've only met on LinkedIn.

Of course with the excitement of conference season comes some unique challenges. Which conferences should you attend? Who from your company should go? Can you afford the plane tickets, and hotel rooms, and rental cars and…?

Well, each year the Healthcare Billing and Management Association (HBMA) hosts many conferences for their medical billing company members. The most anticipated upcoming event is the Fall 2014 Annual Conference at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, NV. The three day conference will focus on tactical-level implementation aspects of healthcare and billing management best practices. Members who attend the conference can participate in up to 10 educational sessions, providing the knowledge to grow and succeed their businesses.

But even with all the opportunities to learn, and the cool guest speakers to look forward to, without proper preparation you could make any of three key mistakes when attending this, or any, conference.

So how can you stay ahead of the curve? Here are three things every medical billing company should do before heading to Vegas this year:

1. Avoid confusion by creating clearly defined goals

Attending a conference without clearly defined goals, one key mistake companies make, costs time and wastes revenue. If you can’t identify why you are going to a conference, then you can’t identify the true ROI of attending. Before attending a conference, answer questions such as: “Why is my company attending the conference?” “What does my company hope to gain/learn/offer?” “What is the true value of this particular conference to my company at this time?” After defining goals, your company will be able to track successes of what the conference achieved.

2. Avoid anxiety by developing a receptive attitude

Getting motivated before a conference is expected, but avoid becoming too stressed. Keep a positive attitude before and while attending the conference in regards to meeting new people and learning new industry trends. No one can deny the importance of “networking.” But the term also creates a sense of uneasiness in even the most outgoing professionals. To complicate matters further, the healthcare industry evolves and changes constantly, so keeping up with developments can be overwhelming. But, creating excitement about the conference within yourself or your organization can eliminate these stressors. Research the keynote speakers and exhibitors who you want to speak with at the conference. Start conversations before the conference online via email or LinkedIn. Remember that conferences are a place to learn about the state of the industry today. You will learn from sessions and from other professionals, and also offer your insight.

3. Avoid lost opportunities by reflecting on the conference

After attending a conference, it’s easy to want to move on to the next one without a period reflection. But avoid that key mistake by reflecting on what you learned from the conference. Revisit the goals you created; did you achieve them? Identify how you will implement what you learned at the conference in your organization. Add professionals you met at the conference as connections on LinkedIn, or at the least email them to follow-up on the ideas you discussed. Create an action plan with members of your team to strategize how the company can improve. Reflecting on your takeaways from the conference will help you grow as a professional and improve your business.

We hope you come to see PracticeAdmin in booth 526 at the HBMA 2014 Fall Annual Conference!

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