What the Audiology Conference REALLY is….
With AAA 2018 right around the corner in Nashville, I wanted to take a moment and share with you what I feel is so important about our national Audiology conference. I have so many positive and wonderful memories from past AAA conferences. As I look back and recall each conference with a grin, the value of each experience really crystallizes for me. Without a doubt, my highlights of the conference are:
Supporting my profession in a very enjoyable way. I have always viewed the annual conference as the heartbeat of the Academy. The conference takes a tremendous amount of planning and work from volunteers like you and I, and the successful unveiling of it represents those efforts in a powerful way. From the sponsors that make it possible to every presenter who shares something valuable, everyone brings their best and I really enjoy seeing that; it recharges my batteries!
Catching up with friends and colleagues. Every break, intermission, and meal is planned with classmates, former students, colleagues who I don’t get to see that often, as well as people that I have been planning to meet (perhaps to their dismay, lol). There are so many great stories and laughs shared with folks who have the same passion and purpose as I do and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world. I so look forward to the conversations at the upcoming conference.
Meeting the research and advocacy leaders in our profession. Everyone is so approachable and pleased to meet you. Introduce yourself to the person who wrote the pages you had to study so closely in your graduate program. Shake hands with the board member who said something that inspired you or made you pause and think. Have a drink with the volunteer who is representing our profession to legislative leaders at the state and national level. The annual AAA Conference provides an invaluable opportunity to network and expand your professional circle as well as share your opinions.
Taking in the sights and sounds of the expo hall. I love the expo hall! With demonstrations of the latest technology, the most recent textbooks in my area of practice, interactive listening demonstrations with our manufacturing partners, and posters that highlight the outstanding research activities so many people are engaged in, the expo hall is erupting with activity! I was blown away with the expo hall at my first AAA as a student, and it still never fails to impress me in a big way.
Talking with and listening to the future of the profession. I am always so very impressed with the caliber of students that I see and meet at the conference. The energy and the ideas that they have to share are inspiring and leave me feeling excited about the future of the profession!
The annual AAA Conference is a great way to earn continuing education, but it offers so many more great opportunities. It is an avenue to engage your profession outside the walls of where you practice, and the experiences are so worthwhile and memorable. I hope you are like me and make the annual AAA Conference a tradition that you and your Audiology friends attend every year to catch up, have fun, and learn about what’s new in our profession!