Tricks of the Trade from Ann & Sarah
Take the podium and become an expert in the eyes of your peers and your patients.
When you look at the faculty of a given meeting, do you often consider that the speakers are ill equipped or unqualified to talk on that topic... or is the natural conception to assume he/she must be an expert in this topic? My prediction is the latter.

Don't get me wrong; by no means am I suggesting that the faculty members of our professions' meetings are not worthy or providing misguided information. Instead, I'm merely pointing out that we tend to not even question it. We know and understand that the professionals who are providing continuing education content are, in fact, experts.

Why not you? The goal of this "trick of the trade" is to simply challenge you in taking a new, potentially uncomfortable step, to share your own expertise at an upcoming meeting.

Obviously, your topic and research is based on your experience and expertise. As a physician you are a teacher and a scientist!

Getting yourself on the podium has the potential to set you apart - on a higher level - in the eyes of your peers. This then provides an opportunity to showcase your achievements with your patients and others in your community.
Learn more about the importance and benefits of public speaking for yourself. Additionally, if you find you are suffering from a fear of public speaking - take a look at the slides here for some useful tips and tricks to overcome your anxiety!
TIP FOR: Vendors
You can't reach your exhibiting goals if you don't establish what they are.
At the end of each year, we tend to reflect back on the work we've completed throughout the last 12 months and determine whether or not that work is deemed successful. While it can be easy to give a general statement of whether or not you feel you've performed at a high level over the year, it is not uncommon to realize that we let our goals go by the wayside and started acting without a plan based on our goals - especially when it comes to tradeshow performance.

When I look back and think about the different companies I've worked for and reflect on the performance at tradeshows, I realize we often went through the motions without establishing any real goals. Then, when we returned to the office on Monday and had to report on the show... the results were underwhelming. So underwhelming, in fact, that there was often talk about eliminating tradeshows from the marketing strategy all together.

That "solution" would ultimately be a disservice to your B2B operations. (check out this article to learn more about why exhibiting at tradeshows in B2B is still highly viable!)

OK, so why are tradeshows sometimes going wrong when we look back at our goals. There are a handful of reasons, but below are the three main reasons I've had personal experience with which created a sense of tradeshow disappointment.
One: the goals are set on only one measurable item (i.e. dollars), vs. a few measures that could exemplify success.

There have been many shows I've attended that result in little IMMEDIATE dollar transactions - but that doesn't mean it was a failure. If the marketing & sales teams had established other goals, we could say it was a success. Other goals cold include:
  • Ratio of quality conversations over quantity of conversations
  • Amount of email addresses that were acquired for future email marketing campaigns
  • Quality of networking opportunities established for the possibility of future partnerships (including business aspects like distribution or new product/service development)
  • Conversion of leads within 90 days, 6 months, or a year (vs. within a week of the show)
Two: lack of planning.

With the amount of money spent in completing a tradeshow (booth expenses, travel, meals, time away from the office, etc.) it's fair to state that it's astonishing how often sales and marketing teams put nothing but last-minute effort into achieving a successful meeting.

Often we make the booth arrangement, hotel and flight plans, set a budget for meals and then leave it up to one to three unprepared sales reps to make the most out of a marketing effort that costs thousands.

I have personally witnessed sales reps be shocked at what was packed for them in terms of booth display and collateral. So the fact that the team meant to make a huge impact doesn't even know what they have as "sales weapons"... management teams shouldn't be too terribly shocked when the dollars spent were merely a very expensive 3-day advertisement.

The point I'm making here is you have to plan - no less than 90 days before a show - to make it really work. However, it goes back to goal-setting.

If your goal is to gain 50 new email addresses.... how do you plan to do it? Just grab people from the vendor hall aisles and force them to write down their information? That's a little off-putting. Instead, maybe you could plan on having some content (like a new patient education video for their practice marketing/education resources) that they can only view if you send the link to their email address... so then they give you their email address in anticipation of seeing your great video!

Strategies like this and all others take serious, involved planning.
Three: establishing no goals at all and showing up with your fingers crossed.

This pitfall follows the same general narrative as No. 2.

With the issue stated above however, there may have been goals set, but the plan to achieve those goals was not thought through in advance.

What may be even worse, is setting no goals at all. The only reason I say, "may be" worse, is because if you don't set any goals, then at least you can walk away saying you didn't fail. But you also didn't do anything.

Just like any task, simply going through the motions is not going to be enough to make the result great or successful. If it doesn't fail completely, it will only be mediocre.

Set your goals. Determine the strategy to meet those goals. Put the elements in place to achieve them in enough time to meet your meeting deadline!

... and most of all - don't half-@$$ it.
TIP FOR: Meeting Planners
Think outside the profession... put a motivational speaker on stage.
One of the best feelings when leaving a meeting is feeling inspired to do new and exciting things... you know, having that surge of energy where you feel like you can take on the world!

While DPMs are required to obtain continuing education credits to remain in practice, it's fair to say that many DPMs are also seeking inspiration to re-ignite their daily patient care and practices. One way you can provide this experience is to consider hiring a motivational speaker for your keynote. Clearly these types of speakers and their presentations will not be providing educational credits, but they could provide that experience that really sets your meeting apart.

Start by finding a speaker that will suit your goals; ask your peers for recommendations or consult a speakers bureau. Think about some events you have attended. Were there any speakers that stood out to you?

We (Ann and Sarah) attended a business conference in 2019 and were lucky enough to see several amazing speakers. The standouts for us at that meeting were Trent Shelton and Brendon Burchard. Google both of them and take a look at the types of presentations they're providing audiences around the country. Check out their online presence and watch their videos of previous speeches.

You will quickly gain a sense of their unique styles and how they're able to give thousands of people a new, positive outlook on their lives, businesses and goals. By doing so, you can determine what type of speaker you would like to hire to take your meeting to a new level of excitement and progress.
Voice of the DPM
November QUICK POLLS Results
Last month we asked our DPM readers:

What Drives You?
Exhibit halls are notorious for offering prizes to DPMs who visit exhibitor booths. We want to know...
What types of prize opportunities are more exciting to you?
GIFT CARDS (i.e. Amazon)
Vendors - take note and make your next conference offers and prizes something to look forward to!
DPM Quick Polll
What's For Dinner?
We see it all the time.... companies taking groups of physicians to dinner in hopes of building stronger relationships... and yes, hoping for increased sales.
We want to know... do corporate dinners truly help your vendor relationship - AND - does it impact your product/service selection?
Yes to both parts of the question (relationship & purchasing habits)
No to both parts of the question (relationship & purchasing habits)
It may help the relationship but not my inclination to buy.
It may help my inclination to buy but not the relationship.
Vendor Short Survey
It's probably been a year or more... but when was the last time you/your company took a group of DPMs out to dinner at a conference?

We want to know if dinners are still a thriving relationship/sales tool... or if they've become a thing of the past.

90-Day Meeting Outlook
Click below to see events calendar for the given month:
The following meetings for January - March, 2021 have been reviewed/rated by either a fellow DPM or Exhibitor on the survey pages of

Check out ratings below and provide your own feedback for these meetings and others you have attended in the last year!
Featured Meeting: Diabetic Limb Salvage
An Interview with Longtime Faculty Member:
David Armstrong, PhD, DPM
Credits You Can Access Online NOW
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