As AAO members, their teams and guests gather in Chicago on April 21 for the start of the 2023 Annual Session, they will also find that Annual Session is evolving with new options and a new structure designed to help all attendees get the maximum benefit of attending.

“Previously during the Annual Session planning process, we tried to appeal to the entire membership when planning each aspect of the meeting,” says Dr. Lili Horton, chair of the AAO Committee on Conferences (CCon). “While we still strive to be inclusive, we now can focus on the best content and on tailoring each section for those seeking that type of content. As an attendee, it means that the meeting content is more personalized to the experience YOU are seeking at the meeting.”

The new program structure is built around attendee paths, which are individual types reflecting primary goals, interests or needs of attendees. 

“CCon has redesigned the Annual Session to help attendees chart their best and most impactful path through the meeting, depending on their individual goals, needs, and desires,” says Dr. Dale Anne Featheringham, a member of CCon. 

“At different stages in our practice lives, we need different types of resources, and are focused on gaining various types of knowledge and training,” adds Dr. Featheringham. “We recognized that organizing the abundance of Annual Session lectures differently would be instrumental to helping each attendee create their own, customized journey, based on their focus for that particular year.”

Attendee Paths Ease Navigation of the Meeting
“The attendee path-based structure also reflects the fact that meeting expectations and choices have changed over the years,” says CCon member Dr. Matt Larson. “We believe the new structure will help bring greater engagement for each attendee, as well as individualized opportunities to learn and better our individual career paths.

“Clearly, every orthodontist is unique,” Dr. Larson continues. “My wife, Dr. Katie Larson, is also an orthodontist, but when we attend the Annual Session together, we typically seek out different content in our lectures. Although the Annual Session has always had a wide breadth of topics that provide valuable knowledge for our practice, reviewing the available lectures to find the most appealing content required some effort.”

To simplify navigation of the extensive Annual Session lectures schedule, CCON re-organized and tailored lectures within the attendee paths, reflecting each group’s key interests and motivations for attending the meeting. The lecture-based attendee paths are:

▪ Clinical Techniques
▪ Scientific Advances
▪ Innovations & Tech Talk
▪ Business Success
▪ Inspiration and Well-Being

CCon identified two additional attendee paths for exploring the Exhibit Hall, and for re-connecting with residency classmates and other colleagues and form new friendships and professional collaborations:

▪ Exhibit Hall
▪ Engage and Connect

2023 Exhibit Hall options will continue to expand as the Innovation Pavilion develops further with new opportunities. Engaging and varied events will offer a wealth of social opportunities.

Your Team at Annual Session
Many lectures in the Business Success, Innovations & Tech Talk and Inspiration & Well-Being attendee paths will provide excellent educational opportunities for orthodontic team members, depending on their job responsibilities and goals at the meeting.

The Clinical Techniques path also includes many lectures of potential interest to team members. In particular, a series scheduled Monday morning April 24, featuring Drs, Doug Depew and Neal Kravitz and Ms. Jackie Dorst, will be specifically targeted to team members.

View the Complete Lectures Schedule

An upcoming issue of the eBulletin will feature additional 2023 Annual Session updates for orthodontic teams.