Attending a medical conference comes with a particular type of etiquette, a personal branding as others would like to call it. Experienced physicians who have been to tons of different conferences most likely already know these things. But as someone who is new to the scene, it's good to know the pleasantries of medical conferences.
Here's what you need to know to prepare yourself for attending your first medical conference:
Always Carry Business Cards Around With You
It’s been a trend for doctors (all people in general) not to bring business cards around with them when they attend conferences. Probably because it looks old fashioned. But, you can't expect everyone you meet to remember your name. Remember that there will be thousands of doctors on the CME river conference and you're just one of them. If you want to make a lasting impression on the people you meet, hand them a business card. Not only will they remember your name but they will also have a way to contact you for collaborations and meetings.
Engage in Conversations at Dinner Time
Normally, the organizers have a seating arrangement during the medical conferences at dinner time. So while you're at the table, put in some effort into engaging in conversation with the people you're sitting with. It is, after all, a networking event and by keeping to yourself, you defeat the purpose of the conference. Not only that, you will come off as unapproachable and rude. A simple 'hi' or 'hello' and 'in what field do you practice?' should be good enough to start a conversation.
Being well dressed is a form of good manners, and in a place like a medical conference, you're expected to look your best. Don't walk around in flip flops and a tank top in the day time. You should be in a blazer and a proper pair of shoes. During conference hours you're expected to dress the way you do when you're attending to patients in your clinic. Save the casual wear for your tour excursions.
Be Fiscally Responsible
This may be an all-expense paid continuing medical education conference the hospital sent you to, but don't order the most expensive thing off the menu and have glasses of wine delivered to your suite every evening. Unless the company offers that they pay for these things, don't make them unnecessarily spend for it. Keep tabs on your account balance, if you think you're going overboard, then you probably are. And don't forget to send a thank you note to whoever sponsored your CME cruise.
Going on a medical cruise for the first time can be intimidating, but if you remember these pointers, you'll look like a conference natural.