Innovator Profile 2014: The Chicago Dental Society and the 2015 Midwinter Meeting, the industry's 'must-attend' dental event

July 2, 2014

DPR talked to incoming CDS President Dr. Susan Becker Doroshow about what attendees can look forward to at the 2015 Midwinter Meeting, as well as how the organization maintains its reputation as the respected leader in scientific dental meetings.

DPR talked to incoming CDS President Dr. Susan Becker Doroshow about what attendees can look forward to at the 2015 Midwinter Meeting, as well as how the organization maintains its reputation as the respected leader in scientific dental meetings.

Q: Congratulations to the Chicago Dental Society on this, the 150th Midwinter Meeting. What kind of celebration can we expect leading up to the show and at the show in February?

  A: In addition to our 150th Midwinter Meeting in 2015, we’re celebrating this year the sesquicentennial of Chicago Dental Society’s founding in 1864. We unveiled 10 Anniversary Molars - 4-foot tall sculptures - at the 149th Midwinter Meeting in February, and asked meeting attendees and other friends of the Chicago Dental Society to help us select which four were to be moved to places of honor in front of Chicago Dental Society headquarters on Michigan Avenue this summer. All of the Anniversary Molars will return to McCormick Place for the 150th Midwinter Meeting.   A special 150th gala dinner on August 23 will be an occasion to collectively recognize and celebrate this milestone. The Chicago Dental Society and our Midwinter Meeting have thrived thanks to the vision and efforts of our former leaders. The gala will be something of a reunion for these past presidents and former board members.   As for the 150th Midwinter Meeting in February, it wouldn’t be a party without a cake! We’ll have a ceremonial cake cutting on the Exhibit Floor, with plenty of cake for all of our guests to enjoy.  

Q: The Midwinter Meeting is a “must-go” show for virtually everyone in the dental industry. What changes have you made and will continue to make to keep the show fresh?

  A: Seasoned professionals like me consider the Midwinter Meeting a “can’t miss” show, but I want our younger colleagues to develop that same attend-every-year habit. My Midwinter Meeting team focused on the interests of newer professionals while we planned the 2015 Midwinter Meeting and created a day-long educational track specifically for new dentists, featuring four different speakers.   Of course, our on-site social and networking events make every Midwinter Meeting unique. Our New Dentist Reception has been a popular event the last two years, as our youngest colleagues have gathered for camaraderie after a long day of learning.   This year, we’ve also updated the traditional Fashion Show and Luncheon to better meet the interests of contemporary women – and men. Coming to McCormick Place in 2015 is a personal style event to help participants update their looks and polish their images. Attendees will enjoy lunch along with the program and a take-home style workbook, and be on their way in time to catch an afternoon lecture.  

Q: With all of the online opportunities for education now, how does the Midwinter Meeting continue to stay so relevant in an era filled with change for dental trade shows?

  A: The benefits of attending a live program – interacting with speakers, networking with other professionals, handling new products on the exhibit floor, to name just a few – make this continuing education format one that will never be supplanted by online learning. The Chicago Dental Society’s longevity and reputation as the leader in scientific dental meetings has given us a competitive edge.   Our challenge, therefore, is to exceed expectations and consistently bring the finest clinicians to Chicago. We’re constantly on the lookout for emerging speakers and burgeoning areas of dental research and product advancement. Our volunteers and staff are committed to one goal: A Midwinter Meeting that delivers what our brand promises to the dental professionals and companies who spend their valuable time with us.   

Q: Of course, there is more to CDS than just the Midwinter Meeting. Talk about some of the happenings with the CDS Foundation.

  A: The CDS Foundation continues to make its mark in the areas of access to care and dental education. The CDS Foundation Clinic in Wheaton, Ill., has completed its first full year of operations and, thanks to a committed and knowledgeable core of volunteers, has experienced few growing pains while delivering more than $500,000 in donated dental services.   The CDS Foundation has simultaneously been directing significant fundraising efforts toward the projects of our CDS member dentists, with support from the CDS Board through a dollar-for-dollar matching pledge.  

Q: What are some of the goals for CDS as you begin to plan 2015 and beyond?

  A: Looking back, it’s remarkable how the face of our profession has changed not just since CDS’s establishment in 1864, but in the 30 years that I’ve been a practicing dentist. Greater diversity in our profession presents new challenges; it’s time to take a fresh look at the CDS membership experience.   One of my goals is to coordinate our personal outreach efforts to non-members, to learn what their needs are and what barriers keep them from membership and involvement. On the Midwinter Meeting front, I want to see the exhibit floor evolve into a hub for greater social interaction among attendees.   There is so much to see and explore there! The more time dentists and their teams spend with our exhibitors, the more they learn at the meeting. Promoting the Exhibit Hall as an extension of the scientific program and not separate from it, and a greater focus from exhibitors on educating attendees and not just closing sales, will benefit everyone.

FEATURED MEETING

CDS Midwinter Meeting

Come back to Chicago Feb. 26-28, 2015 for the 150th Midwinter Meeting. Hosted by the Chicago Dental Society, the meeting features three days of lectures, demonstrations and participation courses coinciding with three days of commercial exhibits – all under one roof in Chicago’s McCormick Place West Building.    The 2015 Midwinter Meeting App for smart phones and tablets will help attendees organize their Midwinter Meeting experience with ease. With the app you can navigate 170,000 square feet of exhibit space, and plot a route to any of more than 600 exhibitors; find handouts from speakers presenting more than 100 courses of topics of interest to the whole dental team; and plan to participate in any of several networking opportunities, including the New Dentist Reception and the Friday Night concert event.   Registration begins Monday, Nov. 3, at

www.cds.org

. Find more information leading up to the meeting by following the Chicago Dental Society on

Facebook

,

Twitter

, and its Open Wide blog at

cds.org/blogext