Patrick (PG): I am really getting tired of video calls. The technology is great, but half the time there is a technology issue to deal with. Slow internet or muffled sound, but most of all, I miss meeting in person.
Sarah (SS): I know what you mean. Do you know where we won’t have to worry about zoom issues and Internet connections? The Academy annual meeting in St. Louis. It is where audiologists can have a real-life connection with colleagues, not just an Internet connection.
PG: That sounds great. I am looking forward to the meeting. Everyone has been working so hard to make sure this in-person experience is a safe, educational, and enjoyable. I have heard from many members who are looking forward to the educational sessions and the in-person networking.
Are there particular aspects of the meeting you are looking forward to?
SS: There are so many things I want to do! Since we have not been able to meet in person for two years, above all I am looking forward to reconnect with friends and colleagues in person.
We have an awesome keynote speaker at General Assembly who I can’t wait to hear—Paul Smith, an expert on organizational storytelling. The educational sessions are always a highlight, and this year is no exception. We will have robust educational offerings presented by leaders in the field as well as emerging leaders.
Since the Academy is the professional home for ALL audiologists from ALL practice settings and specialties, there will be something for everyone.
What about you, Patrick, is there something in particular you are looking forward to?
PG: I am looking forward to actually meeting members I have only seen on my computer screen during zoom calls.
I’m also looking forward to anew session that will allow attendees to discuss particular hot topic issues and share best practices and get to know one another. The HearTECH Expo will have some fun activities and also more educational sessions such as the Future Forecast where leaders of the hearing aid industry will be speaking.
I am looking forward to Celebrate on Wednesday night, where attendees will have an opportunity to stop by and meet with Academy Board members, and also Board members from the AAA Foundation, Student Academy of Audiology, American Board of Audiology, and Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education.
What about someone who doesn’t know anyone on the Board, or maybe they are new to the profession or new to the Academy? Should they stop by and introduce themselves?
SS: Absolutely! We especially want to meet audiologists we haven’t met before or are new to the Academy. I hope they stop by and say hello and they should feel free to ask us about the Academy and why it really is the professional home for all audiologists. It’s like that quote, “There are no strangers at the Annual meeting, only friends you haven’t met.”
PG: That reminds me that the Friday night event at the Biergarten at Anheuser-Busch. The brewery sounds like another opportunity to catch up with colleagues and make new friends in a lively social setting. I know audiologists like to have fun, and this event is guaranteed to be just that. View all the fun events and activities.
Also, I heard a rumor that the Budweiser Clydesdales live there.
SS: Speaking of rumors, I have heard a rumor making the rounds on social media that the Academy might cancel the meeting and therefore some are reluctant to register.
We need to get the message out that we are NOT cancelling the meeting.
PG: I thought everything on social media about the Academy is factual. I’m shocked. Yes, we need to be very clear in our messaging that there is no reason to hold off in making plans to come to the annual meeting.
SS: We are committed to having a safe and meeting and will be implementing a number of measures such as enhanced cleaning, and we are asking attendees to wear masks and be vaccinated.
There will be so much to do, and it is the perfect opportunity to get your continuing education (CE). We are trying a different approach with CEs this year. To give attendees greater choice, there is now an option to register for the conference and not receive CEs. If you want to receive CEs one must add the CEs when they register. We will be following up with attendees to see if they like this unbundled approach.
PG: Good to know that CEs this year are not bundled into the price of the conference but can be added to registration.
Everything one needs to know about the conference can be found on the AAA Annual Conference website. There is information on pricing, registration, covid mitigation protocols, schedule of events, hotel and travel information and information about St. Louis.
There is more to the city than BBQ and the Blues. There are a number of world class museums and top-rated restaurants. In fact, if you wanted to try some signature dishes such as butter cake and fried raviolis, AAA 2022 is the place to do it.
SS: We should really think about how we can let members know about all this good information so they don’t miss out on making plans to head to St Louis for AAA2022.
How about if we make a video for members?
PG: That sounds good. I think I finally have this video thing worked out.
SS: I can’t wait to see you all in IN PERSON St Louis!
Please visit www.AAAConference.org to register. Don’t miss out on the best opportunity to learn about the latest in your profession and reconnect with friends and colleagues at the largest meeting of, by, and for audiologists!
Register by March 1 and Save.
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