CDA Presents the Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim attracted more than 28,000 attendees in April and CDA is gearing up for the next show in San Francisco later this year.
CDA Update staff spoke with Del Brunner, DDS, chair of the CDA Presents Board of Managers about the highlights of the Anaheim show and what attendees can expect at CDA Presents San Francisco, which will be held August 15-17 at the Moscone Center.
Below are excerpts from the interview.
Update: What were your overall impressions of Anaheim?
Brunner: I was really happy with the attendance. It was the second largest attendance number we have ever had and this meeting was in April, a month earlier than usual, and we still hit that mark. We also had the largest number of hygienists in attendance in the last 10 years, which is great. The meeting ran smoothly overall. We didn't have any real hiccups and we did a much better job on room assignments because of the new overflow seating and reserved seating options for select courses. Each meeting should get better and better.
Update: What was new at the show?
Brunner: The International Symposia was the biggest new thing in Anaheim and it was well received. Drs. Takashi Watanabe and Kiyokazu Minami are very bright professionals and the material they presented was not entry-level, beginner topics, it included high-level, advanced techniques and I believe attendees appreciated that. We’re pleased that they are retuning to lecture at the San Francisco show. They’re familiar with us and we are familiar with them and that will enhance the attendee experience in San Francisco.
Another element we enhanced was more staggered class schedules to allow attendees more time to conduct business on the trade floor. Our goal was to create a situation where the exhibitor floor midday foot traffic was less overwhelming for attendees and exhibitors. We changed the start time for some of the classes to 8 a.m. This gives more people an opportunity to see all the great dental products available.
Update: What do you think separated the Anaheim show from previous shows?
Brunner: The International Symposia really separated it from past shows. This was the first time we have ever done this and we wanted to see the response. We got a great response, so next year we are going to have more international speakers. We're looking at speakers from Mexico and Germany. We want to expose members to international dentistry, and CDA Presents is one of the few shows in the country that is now offering this experience.
Update: What were your impressions of the CDA Party in the Plaza?
Brunner: It was well attended and the band was good. The food was great; the food trucks were absolutely awesome and gave attendees a chance to experience different types of foods. Between the band and the food, I thought it was great and a lot of fun.
Update: It seemed like attendees were pleased with the show app. Talk a little bit about its functionality and what it adds to the CDA Presents experience.
Brunner: Each meeting we are getting better and better with our app. It’s great that attendees have access to the booth numbers and class times right at their fingertips. You can find specific things on the trade floor and you can also get a list of vendors. It makes vendors happy as well because it is easier for attendees to find their booths.
Update: The CDA Committee on the New Dentist recommended several courses that new dentists should attend in Anaheim. What can new dentists get out of CDA Presents?
Brunner: If I am a new dentist, I am looking at it like this: You have your education and that’s great, but this is an opportunity for you to see new techniques and new materials in person. From world-class lectures to the exhibit floor and the products there, CDA Presents has everything you will need to know as you start your career. You can learn about practice growth and also interact with colleagues in the same age group and those just a little older. We dentists tend to get isolated sometimes in our offices, and this is a great opportunity to meet others in the profession.
Update: What can San Francisco attendees expect?
Brunner: The International Symposia will be there; the CDA party is at the brand new Exploratorium, which is down by the wharf, so I think it is going to be a lot of fun. Also in San Francisco, we will have some very good workshops on implants. We'll have a live patient implant demonstration at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and the list of speakers for the show is great. The Essay Committee has done an excellent job assembling speakers on a broad range of topics. On Saturday (Aug. 17), there will be a panel on ethics and the chair of the New Dentist Committee is on that panel, so new dentists will want to make sure they check that out.
Update: What sort of things can San Francisco attendees enjoy outside of the show itself?
Brunner: San Francisco has a wealth of wonderful restaurants. The Giants are out of town, but the A’s are in town if you want to catch a game. San Francisco is one of the greatest cities in the entire country.
Update: In your opinion, what does CDA Presents represent as a member benefit?
Brunner: I think CDA Presents is a great member benefit. Almost all of the other meetings charge for classes and things in addition to their dues, but we offer free classes and world-class speakers. And it is very well run; not all meetings run as well as CDA Presents does. We try to focus the meetings on the needs of the members and making sure they have a positive experience.