Monday, February 2, 2009

AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly Preview - Overview

In 2007 and 2008 I posted previews for the AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assemblies. I started doing the preview because one of my favorite things about conferences is talking to other people to see what they are interested in, so feel free to comment on which sessions you are excited about. If you are giving any of these talks, I encourage you to leave some comments to get more people aware of your talk. There are some good ones!

This year the Annual Assembly is in Austin, TX from Wednesday March 25th until Saturday, March 28th. (2009: Boston - cool!; 2010: Vancouver - cooler!)

I wanted to point out some of the new features at the Assembly this year in this post, the other post today will cover the Wednesday pre-conference sessions.

Rounding with the Stars: What a wonderful idea to get more case based discussions at the Assembly! I am really glad to see this addition since the Professionals-in-Training Case Conference initiative was started as a response to the overwhelming shift towards didactic sessions at the Assembly in years past. The session is described as interactive so if you attend make sure you speak up!

Special Interest Group (SIG) Symposia: The Academy has fostered communities through the SIG system and giving each SIG a slot to present something relevant to its' members is a good way to elevate the influence of the SIG, thereby creating interest in joining a SIG. Very chicken and egg!

Going Green: Well it is very trendy these days to go green, and the Annual Assembly is now wisely asking us to make choices about the impact we make as a group. Do you really need another tote bag? How cool would you be if you just brought your tote bag from the 1993 conference?

Paper Sessions Now Without Distractions!: Although it is not mentioned in the 'What's New' section, keen observers will note this is the first year (in my short experience) paper sessions do not have to compete with other concurrent sessions. The verdict is out on whether this increases paper session attendance or gives people a reason to take a break. My vote is for the former.

One should really try to attend at least one paper session at a conference to get a a great deal of focused information on multiple subjects in a short period of time. Some things should really be explained in 15 minutes instead of a hour long session.

Photo by Flickr user by CraigAllen

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