By Kyle Kellum, MHA
My first Annual Meeting was in Grapevine, Texas in 2011 during Roland Rhynus’ presidency. I started by volunteering and met some great people, all of whom are good friends of mine today. I found that attending the social functions and visiting the vendors was as important as attending the sessions due to the different relationships you can build.
The sessions were (as they continue to be) exceptional. Everything from customer service (service excellence) to contract negotiations was covered. I came to the meeting looking to learn some information that I could take back with me to my organization. In reality, I left Texas with more information than I had ever anticipated, peer to peer contacts, and friendships for life. To this day I text, email, call, connect on LinkedIn, etc. with many of the colleagues I met during the conference. Our conversations usually start focused on a piece of information one of us is looking for and then quickly go to “remember when…”
If you’ve never been to a meeting, the best advice I can give is to make it happen. If you have and are wondering if you should attend this year, I would say it’s time to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and enjoy one of the best experiences possible!
What was the first Annual Meeting you ever attended? Send your story to Kerri Hart-Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org), and it could be published here too!
Kyle Kellum, MHA is the director of ancillary services at Syringa Hospital and Clinics in Grangeville, ID. He can be reached at Kyle.Kellum@PSMedicalCenter.org.