Educational opportunity if YOU are prepared to take it as such..
Within a conference we can get out of it as much as we put in.. we have to get involved and also make sure we are not blinded by imposter syndrome to get true value. In my early years I would attend and hide away, feel embarrassed and a little out of my depth to interact- intimidated by those all grouping together and chatting. If there was a Q and A I often wouldn’t contribute because I felt invalid.
BUT the reality is this judgement or perception, stems from imposter syndrome rather than anything about the conference or its speakers!
It’s important to take as many opportunities to network and interact, to ask questions and to get involved. In life you get out what you put in and it’s so important that we feel the confidence in ourselves both in terms of who we are as individuals, professionals but also clinically: we are defined by so many factors that are outside instagram followers, clients or the postcode of our clinics and the quicker we learn that, the quicker we realise we deserve a seat at the table we are hovering around..
I also see this habit of people hiding in packs and not interacting! Speak to each other, say hi! That is what it is about, we can all learn so much from each so next time you’re at that conference make sure you say hello to me- I’ll look forward to it x
I have been to some amazing conferences but then I have also attended some not so amazing conferences. I personally choose to attend a selected few as it can be an opportunity to leave with good knowledge! As the majority of the conferences I have been to I have ALWAYS taken at least one new snippet of knowledge or one new contact away. Sometimes conferences can be more about industry boasting, they can also feel ‘clicky’ or ‘awkward’. However some of the best practitioners I now follow or know are as a result of a conference! I think a lot of my hesitance to attend conferences does come from my earlier days and feeling inadequate to the other attendees. I wasn’t a prescriber initially, I was young & new to the industry. I couldn’t help but feel judged! Everyone was familiar with each other, everyone had such strong opinions on new practitioners, techniques and what qualifications are perceived to be the best. I was scared to even say my name let alone join the debate! I sat and listened and took a hell of a lot of knowledge and experience away, without popping my head too high to risk being shot back down. Over the years I’ve learnt that conferences are what you make of them, you can rush straight in and get involved or you can quietly observe the action. As long as you leave with something! Maybe more knowledge, a new industry contact or even feeling a little more inspired, it served its purpose!
We all love a conference! Don’t we? Well actually, I don’t … I have found lots of conferences rack me with nerves before I go. It may be my ‘newness’ to the industry but sometimes this industry has a habit of making you very aware of just how ‘inexperienced’ you are. All of which can be highlighted at a conference. I love to learn don’t get me wrong and I am definitely a self confessed geek! I just prefer to do my learning from an online journal, in my pyjamas from the comfort of my own home (or I even love gaining knowledge or insight from Instagram lives). Conferences can help you to grow and network but I can’t help but feel the undertone of people just there to showboat their new injection technique that is taking the world by storm because Instagram said so…maybe I just love my own four walls too much or maybe I’m just a little bored of being made to feel I’m not good enough because I don’t have a big enough clinic.