Staff Perspective: AAE19
The AAE’s annual meeting is a special time to connect with old friends, network with colleagues, and immerse oneself in the specialty of endodontics. Meeting attendees experience the fun and excitement of the city in which the meeting is hosted. By day, there are classes and seminars and by night there are parties and receptions, all of which are enjoyed among friends and peers. The experience of the annual meeting for staff is just as enjoyable, however it is a bit different from what members experience!
The senior-level staff of the AAE and Foundation arrive in the host city on Saturday prior to the annual meeting for the AAE’s Board of Directors meeting. Most other staff arrive on the following Monday. This year, the Foundation’s Program Manager, Allison, and Development Coordinator, Nora, and the AAE’s Integrated Marketing Specialist, Natalie Hughes, were on the same flight to Montreal. Having arrived around 11am, they had time to explore the city and eat lunch together at a small restaurant called Reservoir in the Latin Quarter neighborhood.
A bowl of tomato bisque and an americano at Reservoir for lunch!
Once all staff is on-site, the Meetings Services Department leads us on a tour of the convention center where the meeting is being held. This is when staff familiarizes themselves with the meeting’s many rooms and halls so we can direct attendees to the right places! After the staff takes the tour, the rest of Monday and Tuesday are devoted to preparing for attendees to arrive. Staff stand at the information desks throughout the convention center ready to answer questions and provide directions. Staff also prepares any freebies and giveaways that are available during registration. Did you pick up a tote bag and notebook at the very beginning of the meeting? Staff unboxed those and set them out for you!
One of the great parts about being on-site before the meeting officially begins is that you have some free time to spend with your colleagues. On Monday evening, a small group of staff went for dumplings in Chinatown and then explored the shops and bakeries in the neighborhood.
The dumpling restaurant had the most unique wallpaper!
The bakeries in Chinatown had the coolest dessert buns!
During every annual meeting, there is a staff dinner that we look forward to. Most of our time is spent in the hotel or convention center or moving between the two. A dinner out on the town is a welcomed break and offers an opportunity to see the host city and focus on socializing with our colleagues in a way we don’t often get to! On Tuesday night, we enjoyed dinner at Bevo Bar + Pizzeria.
Staff dinner at Bevo Bar + Pizzeria
After the meeting officially begins on Wednesday, staff participates in what feels like a marathon of long days, important tasks, and special events. Here is a sample of the Foundation staff’s activities beyond staffing the Foundation booth in the exhibit hall…
Marianne, the Foundation’s Corporate Relations Manager, and Aly, the Foundation’s Assistant Executive Director attend meetings with our corporate partners to update them on the work of the Foundation.
Foundation staff host the Donor and Leadership Reception held in honor of the Foundation’s most generous philanthropic leaders.
Nora and Allison oversee the judges’ scoring room for oral, poster, and table clinic presentations.
Allison worked well into the night to tabulate those scores and determine the top 10 winners for each presentation category!
Foundation staff and executive leadership hosted a social lunch for the Resident Expert Advisory Council (REACH) members.
Nora was the staff coordinator for the Career Fair, hosted by the Resident and New Practitioner Committee.
Aly attends the Coolidge awards brunch and finishes packing up the Foundation booth before heading home
Foundation staff was particularly excited this year to achieve our fundraising goal. AAE’s staff members cheered us on all week and celebrated with us when our goal was surpassed on Friday afternoon. Just like every other attendee, staff members look forward to Friday night’s Celebrate event. This year, Celebrate was our AED for Meetings Services Tanya Kinsman’s unofficial birthday party! Some staff kept the party going after Celebrate ended and went out for karaoke!
Staff at Celebrate!
Every annual meeting is a whirlwind and AAE19 was no exception! No matter how long the days or jam-packed our schedules are, staff enjoys the annual meeting just as much as the attendees as it offers us a chance to catch up with those we don’t see often and make new friends within the specialty we work for. There are people we email with dozens of times throughout the year and the annual meeting is when we can finally chat with them face-to-face! Now that the meeting has passed and we have met our fundraising goals for the 18-19 campaign year, Foundation staff is gearing up for summer outreach trips, processing grant funding, and putting together plans to select the 2019 Endodontic Educator Fellow.