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Virtual Conference

When will we be able to go to dental conferences again?

Aug. 24, 2020
Most of you are probably missing live meetings. When will you be able to meet with your fellow dental professionals in person again? Dr. Chris Salierno has some thoughts. But in the meantime, DE's Profit Summit on October 2 will be virtual.
Chris Salierno, DDS, Chief Editor, Dental Economics

Last week we announced that DE’s The Profit Summit had to move to a virtual-only event. Believe it or not, we still had a lot of attendees who wanted to go to Las Vegas and learn about practice cash flow and overhead management, but the continued rise in virus cases, as well as the travel restrictions that are in place, forced us to make the decision to go online.

We’re keeping all of our speakers and packing it into a single-day virtual event on October 2. If you want to see our list of live speakers and roundtable discussions, you can check out the schedule here. We’ll also be giving away a ton of raffle prizes throughout the day, but if you can’t make it on October 2 then you can watch the whole thing and earn your CE credit up to one month after the show.

I wrote about the live meeting dilemma in June. That was when Dentsply Sirona World and DE’s Profit Summit were still optimistic about the chances of live events. But a lot has changed since then. The one major conference that hasn’t officially dropped out in 2020 is the Greater New York Dental Meeting. New York City continues to demonstrate encouraging COVID data. It remains to be seen how mandatory quarantines and less favorable statistics from other parts of the country will influence plans for GNYDM 2020.

So, when will we be able to go back to a live dental meeting? Next year we have the Yankee Dental Congress in January, the Chicago Midwinter in February, and the IDS in March. Even if they decide to press on with in-person events, carrying on will still depend on exhibitors and attendees being (1) able to attend and (2) comfortable traveling and showing up.

I predict one of two scenarios will occur that will allow us to finally meet again in person. First, of course, would be the availability of a vaccine. I’ve heard discussions about people only being allowed to attend events if they can show proof that they’ve been vaccinated. The second possibility would be if the number of COVID cases nationally (or globally) were to plummet beneath some tolerable level. In that scenario we would theoretically be allowed to meet in person with masks and social distancing.

Chris Salierno, DDS, is the chief editor of Dental Economics and the editorial director of the Principles of Practice Management and Group Practice and DSO Digest e-newsletters. He is also a contributing author for DentistryIQ and Perio-Implant Advisory. He lectures and writes about practice management and clinical dentistry. Additional content is available on his blog for dentists at thecuriousdentist.com. Dr. Salierno maintains a private general practice in Melville, New York. You may contact him by e-mail at [email protected].