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First trip to annual session?

A Texas-style welcome awaits at the ADA's First-Time Attendee Orientation Center

San Antonio—First-time visitors to annual session are set to receive an extra dose of Texas hospitality next month.

For the fourth year in a row, the ADA is inviting dentists who have yet to join the ADA to sample some benefits of organized dentistry during the Association's premier event, the ADA annual session. Not only can nonmembers attend the annual session at a discount rate, there will be a special First-Time Attendee Orientation Center where dentists can visit for snacks or respite, pick up tote bags and a copy of the Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste brochure, and even receive a brief overview of the meeting or tour of the exhibit hall.

"We want dentists to feel welcome and know there is a place for them to become better acquainted with the ADA and Texas Dental Association," said Dr. Ronald Auvenshine, a member of the ADA Council on Membership. "The ADA is committed to meeting dentists who have yet to join the Association, and the annual session is a great venue for that."

This year, the Texas Dental Association, of which Dr. Auvenshine is a member, will post staff members in the First-Time Attendee Orientation Center to offer additional information about organized dentistry in the Lone Star State.

"With the annual session taking place in San Antonio, it's likely that a number of dentists from Texas will be on site, so we're hoping to connect with those who haven't joined the TDA yet, discuss professional issues and share information about the value of membership."

TDA members, component societies, TDA staff and even representatives of the American Student Dental Association in Texas will be on hand in the First-Time Attendee Orientation Center.

The center is a part of the Tripartite Grassroots Membership Initiative, which engages grassroots dentists who establish relationships with dentists who have not yet joined organized dentistry.

The annual session provides a unique opportunity to connect with nonmembers. TGMI managers at the ADA will distribute lists of pre-registrants to constituent societies with the intention that grassroots volunteers will follow up with these dentists either before, during or after annual session. Dentists who have yet to join will receive contact information for their constituent and component societies, too.

The ADA Council on Membership and Council on ADA Sessions have joined a workgroup to explore additional ways to enhance the annual session experience, and included among the new initiatives are gatherings for specific interest groups, such as new dentists.

Those participating in ADA365.org, the online community that includes participants of 50 annual session CE courses, will be invited to participate in "meet-up" gatherings in San Antonio at the Café365.

Café365 is located in the ADA's new Live Operatory Center in Hall A of the exhibit floor, just steps from the First-Time Attendee Orientation Center. Meet-ups will be promoted only at ADA365.org, so log on today.

The First-Time Attendee Orientation Center will be the site of the New Dentist meet-up Thursday, Oct. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m.

While in San Antonio, TGMI volunteers should also plan to visit the Member Services booth in the ADA Pavilion to pick up a special gift.

The First-Time Attendee Orientation Center is located in the registration area (Ballroom A) at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Hours are:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 15, 12 to 5 p.m.;
  • Thursday, Oct. 16, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
  • Friday, Oct. 17, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
  • Saturday, Oct. 18, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dentists who are not yet members can attend the annual session at a reduced rate—$75 instead of $750 ($150 instead of $1,500 after Sept. 12). This offer can be redeemed only once, so those who attended the 2005, 2006 or 2007 annual sessions at the reduced rate are not eligible.

Register online for annual session at www.ada.org/goto/session. Registration and continuing education course ticket fees increase after Sept. 12.