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Editor's Note

Expo, Dread and Renewal: Trade Shows are Complicated




Expo, Dread and Renewal: Trade Shows are Complicated

I LOVE MY JOB. And writing this column every issue is one of my favorite things to do. It allows me free reign to riff on any topic that might’ve struck my fancy that month. So, it’s especially hard when inspiration doesn’t strike … And as this issue was wrapping up, inspiration still hadn’t struck.

But then I started thinking that you all must feel the same way occasionally: Loving your job but sometimes feeling uninspired. And to be sure, it was a sentiment mentioned again and again in this issue’s Buzz Session (page 76). We asked if you guys found value in attending industry trade shows. The responses were varied, but one of the reoccurring themes was that attending trade shows isn’t just about seeing new product, or technology, or education, or networking for many of you … But this overall sense of being re-inspired and re-energized by experiencing the full scope of this industry we’ve all made our own.

I have attended every Expo for the last 12 years and most times, in the weeks leading up to it, a sense of dread descends. I get anxious about the long days ahead, the endless walking, the subpar nutritional choices, the constant smiling and small talk. It all feels like a burden.

But this year, I finally realized it’s because creatively my tank is empty. It’s been six months since the last show and all the ideas and stories I generated out of Vision Expo West have been exhausted. I NEED Expo. Your responses helped me realize that, no matter how little I look forward to it each year, I always come out the other end excited again about what I do, the stories I can tell, and people I have met.

Now, two Vision Expos a year for 12 years may be overkill for many of you, and I can appreciate that, but I would encourage all of you to make it to an Expo at least every few years. The energy cannot be duplicated in any other setting.


If 2018 is not the year for you, have no fear. This is our biggest product issue of the year. So even if you’re not attending Vision Expo, you’ll find something in our pages that could ignite the spark again. Start with our Big Story on page 42. And I look forward to bringing you all the stories that light me up over the next several months.

Best wishes for your business,

dee signature

Dee Carroll


Five Great Tips From This Issue You Can Try Today
  1. Insurance isn’t sexy but its necessary. When was the last time you revisited your rates and shopped around for the best deal? (Manager’s To-Do, page 24)
  2. Sometime making patients wait is unavoidable. The least you can do is make it enjoyable. (Special Feature, page 54)
  3. Need to break up with a patient? We’ve got two suggestions to help make it happen. (Tip Sheet, page 60)
  4. He’s back with a follow up to one of our most contentious columns ever. Ladies and gentlemen, Robert Bell. (Columns, page 66)
  5. We received more responses to this Real Deal then possibly any one before it… what’s your take? (Real Deal, page 78)




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