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Not Your Typical Society Meeting

Creating a Unique & Memorable Experience

Just about anything we encounter can be turned into an experience that is personal, unique, and memorable. When that happens, the person going through it cannot help but tell others about it. Unlike services, which are performed on an individual’s behalf and happen outside of us, experiences are felt on the inside. They penetrate beyond the typical, the mundane, and the ordinary.

Take, for example, a recent medical society meeting that I spoke at called Outliers 2022. This meeting came about from the vision of a highly respected ophthalmologist, Robert Melendez. He saw a gap between the typical society meeting and what was needed to help already great private practices get to the next level. He took a risk to organize and fund a meeting hoping to attract 40 people. Around 80 showed up in Scottsdale a few weeks ago, and here is what made this meeting great:

Topics That Were Unique

  • Discovering your “why?”
  • Body language when speaking
  • Psychology of interior design
  • Dining room etiquette

80% of the topics discussed aren’t what you’d find on the agenda at a specialty society meeting. That alone was refreshing. 


Moments That Were Memorable

  • Each speaker received a bobblehead of themselves, presented immediately after their talk.  
  • At dinner Saturday night, we were greeted by the former governor of New Mexico.  

The bobbleheads and the governor’s appearance were not on the agenda, allowing attendees to experience both surprise and delight as part of the meeting experience. 

Purpose That Was Personal

This meeting correctly identified that the key to practice differentiation is not clinical outcomes but rather patient experience.  By making 90% of the content around patient experience,  the door was opened to showing doctors and administrators how to increase the joy of practicing medicine. 

Detail That Showed Attention

The logistics team showed an extremely strong attention to detail and it helped having it at a high-end venue: The Phoenician.

Passion That Was Exemplary

What really stood out is how one man’s passion for his practice, Juliette Eye Institute, served to role model for other surgeons what they can achieve for themselves, their teams, and their patients. It was unlike any meeting I’ve been to over my career, and I’ve been to more than I can count. 

The post-meeting reviews by attendees were overwhelmingly positive and confirmed my own experience.  As a result, the organizing team is already preparing for Outliers 2023 next March in Southern California.

Expect More

I hope this causes you to think about the meetings you attend and why you go in the first place. Look for events that are different from what you’ve been used to over the years. You might just experience something that causes you to return to your practice refreshed and energized to make changes that improve the experience for your patients, your team, and yourself!

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