I spent last week at the Pinnacle EMS Leadership Forum and the National Association of EMS Educators Symposium. It was a long week of travel that gave me the opportunity to fly through Minneapolis-St. Paul, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Washington Reagan, and Detroit before returning home to the cozy confines of the Central Wisconsin Airport.
I had a few personal highlights – swimming twice in the Atlantic ocean, dinner with a friend from high school (Green Bay Southwest Class of 1989), meeting with a friend from Camp Manito-wish (A Camp That Kicks Ass), and a walking tour of the National Zoo (admission is always free).
Professionally highlights included co-presenting at Pinnacle with Chiefs Kirkwood and Rodriquez, presenting two sessions at NAEMSE, and inspiration to conduct EMS education research from Heather Davis and oral abstract presenters at the Prehospital Care Research Forum.
Three details, in my opinion, that can make an EMS conference top notch.
I always prefer to use a person’s name in conversation which means I either need to know their name or be able to read it off their nametag without putting my head 10 inches from their chest. The Pinnacle nametag was the best I have seen. Large and easy to read font.
Fresh Fruit and Veggies
Both conferences featured food in the exhibit hall. The centerpiece of the Pinnacle evening social was a massive spread of fresh vegetables. The centerpiece of the NAEMSE brunch was an equally massive spread of fresh fruit, including my favorites-blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Well done!
Many times during a conference I want to have a conversation with a colleague. In my opinion the best option is comfortable chairs, close enough together to be able to hear without shouting, and a bit of distance from main traffic. Although this is somewhat a function of the venue I think it can really improve the conference.
If comfortable chairs aren’t available a standing height bistro table is a good alternative or a venue could simply deploy groups of Aldo Leopold Benches.