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Live-streaming deployed for first time at airway conference

April 02, 2019

By David Burger

Working remotely has become more popular in recent years, and now it could become a viable option for “attending” ADA conferences or meetings.

The ADA Children’s Airway Conference, held March 3-4 at ADA Headquarters in Chicago, became the first conference or meeting to be live-streamed by the ADA, with 92 attendees watching the conference from home or their practices, compared to 152 who attended the conference in person.

The new initiative, spearheaded by the ADA Division of Conference Services and Continuing Education, is seen as a member benefit for dentists who can’t make it to ADA Headquarters but still want to take advantage of the continuing education opportunities in Chicago.
Dr. Ratner
Dr. Ratner

Dr. Craig Ratner, the immediate past chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice, live-streamed the conference from his home in New Jersey. “Viewing the conference remotely allowed me to attend this important conference without having to travel away from home and office,” he said after the conference. “The summit coordinators and speakers all were very mindful of the remote attendees, making us feel like we were there. We were able to interact with the speakers and ask questions through the portal. This is uncommon with most remote learning.”

Dr. Nanette C. Tertel, a member of the ADA Advisory Committee on Annual Meetings, also watched the conference from her home in Ohio. “It was really enjoyable to sit and relax in my home in my comfy clothes and be able to attend an airway conference with the leading authorities in this area,” she said. “It was very easy to follow along, even though I wasn’t present in person. The availability of the online CE is wonderful for dentists like me — those who spread their time thin between family, patients and volunteering.”
Dr. Tertel
Dr. Tertel

Dr. Tertel added that she was able to attend her son’s basketball playoff game the same day as the conference.

Dr. Charles H. McKelvey, also on the advisory committee, was able to deal with an unanticipated water leak at his California home while still watching the conference online on his phone. “Due to the water leak I took the presentation outside on my cell phone with 4G,” he said. “Audio and video continued to stream well. Indeed, on my trip to the hardware store, still had a solid signal. Great for dentists on the move.”

The ADA decided to deploy the live-streaming option about two weeks prior to the conference, when staff sent an email to everyone outside of the driving distance range who had signed up to attend. The pricing was different, with it being cheaper to stream, and there was an option to purchase sessions a la carte so an attendee did not have to view or buy the whole conference stream.
Dr. McKelvey
Dr. McKelvey

Even if a person did not attend or stream the conference, the lessons can still be learned, as the entire conference is posted online. “Access to post-production videos of the live course is a further benefit because I am able to review any and all parts of the course to reinforce my knowledge of airway issues,” Dr. Tertel said.

The conference, along with a wealth of other CE offerings, is posted online on the ADA CE Online website

The ADA plans on live-streaming other conferences and meetings to accommodate other virtual audiences in the future.