By:  By Patrick Moday, BBA, RPSGT, RST, CCSH

I started working in sleep clinical research while in college and would attend pharmaceutical conferences every 3-4 months. The meetings were about pharmaceutical medications for sleep-related conditions. There were cool cities to see, posh hotels (Ritz-Carlton, Walt Disney Resorts, etc.), delicious meals (I’m talking to you Emeril Lagasse), and the alcohol was always free flowing. These meetings made sure the research sites and staff were all on the same page. This was especially important when it came to subject recruitment and FDA regulations.

Conferences are a formal meeting for discussion. Here are some reasons why we should attend the California Sleep Society conference this year:

:: Sharpen the saw

There is an idea that sometimes you have to take a break from the “work” of your work to sharpen your skills. A dull axe won’t cut a tree as well as a sharp one.

Some attendees return from a conference with new ideas and approaches that make them more effective, efficient, and inspired.

:: Invest In yourself

“Sharpening the saw” is a way of investing in yourself. It’s telling yourself that you’re worth it. It’s admitting you can do better. It’s an investment in yourself and your career.

:: Increase knowledge and solutions to problems

Both vendors and speakers may present new ways of doing things, new equipment, updated software, and research data. This presents an opportunity for the attendee to directly ask the vendor and/or presenter about their product.

:: An opportunity to present your work and ideas to others

Presenting your work and ideas is a great way to receive feedback from fellow professionals in your field. This feedback may help you view your work differently and improve it.

:: Meet new people

Conferences are a great way to meet new people. Students, CEOs, hiring managers, fellow peers, etc. This could be during a meal (Is someone sitting here?), over a drink (Open Bar), or at one of the exhibitor’s tables.

:: The energy of like-mind people

The energy is evident when you’re in a room of like-minded people. You and others want to improve your skills and bring that energy back to work.

:: Networking

Meeting new people leads to new connections and new ideas. It may lead to new job opportunities as well. You never know if your next job is waiting for you at a conference so pack your business cards and resume ready.

:: Have Fun!

And last but never, ever, least is to have fun. Learning is fun. Making new friends is fun. Getting new job leads is fun.  Conferences are fun!

The California Sleep Society will be holding its 14th Annual Educational Symposium on October 1-2, 2021 in beautiful San Diego, CA.