What Do Sleep Techs Really Want at a Conference?
Our inaugural Florida Society of Sleep Technologists meeting was a success. It was truly a learning experience for me and I am appreciative of the patience the attendants had with us as we worked out the kinks. But the best thing that happened during the conference actually occurred due to a "disaster" we could not have anticipated.
One of our speakers did not make the conference. Her flight was canceled and we did not know about it until 15 minutes before the conference started. It was the speaker scheduled right after me and now I suddenly I was going to be speaking on a subject I had not prepared for. What ultimately happened was that we spent the last 15 minutes asking the attendants what they wanted from the society. What subjects would they like to see during the future conferences? They were reluctant at first but that faded away quickly when they realized we were listening and truly want to accommodate them.
Most conferences think that people want to know what is being researched, how to move into management or to cover future growth for a lab. What people expressed during our question and answer period was very different. They wanted to know about pediatrics, advance EEG scoring, oral appliances and scoring. They wanted to know more about the day-to-day nuts-and-bolts about performing their jobs.
Having enough time to actually ask people what they want to learn was tremendously illuminating, simply amazing. The speakers who volunteered their time were even more amazing. They put themselves out there. They shared their knowledge and the idea of being mentors and supporters of the next generation of managers. What could be more inspiring?
I see the future of sleep as a strong successful profession, and this was just a small sample of the people who are currently in the field. I am honored to say I am a sleep technologist.