By Lerin Madole, Editorial intern
The mile high meeting should continue to grow, as it has in past years. Jason Mauterer, director of marketing and communications for Metro Denver Dental Society, tells me that this is expected for 2014, despite the devastation to surrounding areas due to the recent floods in Colorado. With a brand new facility, hands-on CE credit opportunities, and several big names scheduled to speak, the RMDC promises to be a meeting you won't want to miss.
LERIN MADOLE: What do you expect this meeting's numbers to look like?
JASON MAUTERER: We expect to crack 9,000 total attendees. That should include maybe 2,500 or 2,600 dentists.
LM: How many vendors do you expect at this meeting?
JM: Last year, we had about 280. I would suggest it would be close to that again. We hope to have 300 or more.
LM: Has attendance been on an incline or decline in recent years? What do you think has caused that trend?
JM: The meeting, overall, has been steadily growing from year to year, and we hope to see that same trend continue.
In 2010, our show's numbers were fairly low. We began a new marketing campaign and began to rethink what we wanted to accomplish. We took charge of our brand and brought our design in-house for the rebranding process. We've been going to other shows quite a bit more to have a more outward presence. We broadcast our own show at three shows per year now, at least.
We've got some huge headline names this year, giants in the teaching realm. Some of the big speakers will include Drs. Tarnow, Kois, Christensen, and Edwab.
LM: How does the RMDC stand out to vendors and exhibitors, specifically?
JM: It's fairly well known that our show has a really fantastic expo floor. All of the exhibitors are always incredibly pleased. We drive attendees through the floor really well. On Saturday, at every show, we invite the vendors for an open forum to give us feedback. We really take that to heart. We prefer the face-to-face feedback to the typical, standalone survey at the end of the convention. Our forum has been growing, as well. We have regulars, of course, but more come and talk with us each year. Usually, if we can make the requested changes, we will.
LM: Have the recent floods in Colorado made any effect on the meeting plans?
JM: We really don't expect it to affect the meeting at all. Everything is up and running. Everybody has really pulled together. Even the highways that were destroyed are rebuilt and open now.
LM: The RMDC boasts to be the largest continuing education event for dental professionals in the Rocky Mountain region. What kinds of exclusive CE credit opportunities can be expected at this meeting?
JM: I'm so glad you asked about that. We have a really cool new addition this year. The Metro Denver Dental Society just, in September, opened the Mountain West Dental Institute. We relocated ourselves very close to the convention center and have a brand new facility. There is now a full clinic with four chairs. We can do hands-on CE courses in a whole new way, with broadcast capabilities as well.
It's a whole new experience that will be carried forward as part of our show. This year we've got the Dawson Academy doing hands-on courses in the new facility. They've been part of the convention for several years now, and said they are making this their "mountain home." When the ADA comes in 2016, they'll be taking advantage of the space as well. Attendees can earn up to 18 CE credits at the 2014 RMDC.
LM: Are there any vendors expected to stand out at this meeting?
JM: One of our major sponsors, Henry Schein, will probably really showcase everything they put into the new MWDI. There may be some exciting things to see at their booth at this meeting.
LM: Will there also be family fun for professionals who bring the whole family?
JM: We're in the "golden triangle" now, so it's just a few blocks shy of the metro downtown area. People love to come get some "mountain time" in while they're here as well. The ski slopes will be up and running. The resorts work with us to help facilitate any desired ski trips and offering transportation to our attendees.
LM: What do the social events look like for this meeting?
JM: Friday night, open to all attendees, we have a party up at the Hyatt. Then there's the after party downtown at Chloe. These are designed to be "unwind-style" events. The first 750 people at the party get two free drinks. We usually have 1,000 or more people come to the party, and then we still have a huge turnout at the after party downtown. It's been a massive success, so we'll definitely be doing that again. The Friday night party at the Hyatt is a big dental mixer. Some people bring their families, but we see lots of dentists bringing their whole office staff for some team bonding time.