"Hey, are you attending the (delete as applicable) conference in (Jan-Dec)?" Is a conversation you will find yourself having multiple times over the year if you work in Aesthetics. Not only are there the 'big name' conferences such as Aesthetic Medicine Live, ACE, FACE and CCR, more and more smaller conferences are popping up left right and centre focusing on more specific topics. Hair, complications, beauty..... you name it, there's a conference for it and that's before you even take into consideration the European and International conferences. It's a full-time job getting to every single one, not to mention the costs involved and the amount of time off you'll need to factor in. So how do we know what conferences are worth attending and what can slide? It all depends on your requirements.
1. The Exhibitions.
Are you looking to invest in new equipment or skincare for your clinic? Then look for a conference that has a well-attended exhibition where device manufactures, Pharma companies and skincare specialists have stands. Do your research before you visit and shortlist the ones you are seriously considering, contact the companies and arrange a meeting on stand. That way you get to see what you're looking to invest in without having to arrange a visit to clinic (& time out of your day), ask more in-depth questions and even get to speak to others who visit the stand who may already have that technology or product? Often the companies have 'show deals' so be aware that you may be able to negotiate some savings.
2. The Lectures and Seminars.
The main reason for going...to expand your education and knowledge. Most conferences have their agenda online so you can take a look at it and plan in advance what you would like to attend. If there are less than two per day that interest you it may be worthwhile skipping that conference and focusing on another more beneficial one? Oh and check to see if they offer CPD points. Some conferences bestow you with CPD points just for showing up.
3. The Networking.
Never underestimate how valuable it is to attend a conference for networking purposes. Whether it's to meet likeminded peers, catch up with friends and acquaintances and even to get yourself seen by companies who may be looking for a new Key Opinion Leader or Speaker, conferences can be very beneficial to your career simply because you showed up. The Aesthetics Industry is small and friendly so enjoy your career and use networking to help develop it further.
4. The Location.
Where is the conference? Will you have to travel a long way to attend and stay overnight? Look at how that eats into your time and wallet. It may be worth waiting for something nearer? When should you make an exception? When the agenda is filled with fascinating seminars and features professionals known in their field who you've always wanted to meet. Oh, and when it's somewhere fun and glamorous.... there's always a reason why people are keen to attend IMCAS Paris, AMWC Monaco and any of the Las Vegas conferences!!
5. The Cost.
How much will it cost you? Is the ticket expensive? Can you choose a more affordable option or do they insist you pay for a three day full access ticket? What about transportation and accommodation costs? How much time will it take you away from your business and will you lose out financially or is there someone else who can stand in back home so you don't lose revenue?
Once you've taken all of these things into consideration shortlist your top conferences and make a plan. Time is money so use yours wisely and enjoy the circuit.