Looking back: ADA annual meeting welcomes more than 200,000 attendees since 2010

The last decade brought 236,658 attendees to the American Dental Association's annual meeting, where they expanded their knowledge through continuing education courses, heard from famed speakers and connected with their peers.

The ADA will continue to build on that momentum with the ADA FDC Annual Meeting, a joint meeting of the ADA and Florida Dental Association, from Oct. 15-18 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The theme is "Harness the Power of Connection," and the combined nature of the gathering will mean additional CE courses, exhibiting companies and networking opportunities. Registration opens April 22 at ADA.org/meeting.
Photo of ADA FDC 2020 logo
"Building on the success of the annual meeting's last 10 years, the ADA's Advisory Committee on Annual Meetings has a forward-focused strategy to provide members with the most innovative and integrative meeting experience that organized dentistry has to offer," said Dr. Charles McKelvey, committee member and general chair for the 2021 meeting in Las Vegas.

Since 2010, meeting attendees have included 76,416 dentists and 60,545 dental professionals, in addition to exhibitors and guests, such as dentists' family members. The 2012 meeting in San Francisco was the largest, attracting 35,074 people, including 10,860 dentists and 10,269 dental professionals.

"As the diversity of membership and learning continues to expand, the ADA annual meeting will be at the forefront for dental education and experience," Dr. McKelvey said. "The integration of learning and lifestyle will not only be a focus of future meetings but a requirement as we meet our members' needs in the next 10 years."

The past decade saw the execution of many new CE concepts, with 3,407 CE courses offered in total. New features included the Women in Dentistry Leadership Series, Digital Future of Dentistry, Practice Excellence Theater, New and Emerging Speakers Series, Dental Sleep Medicine Conference and cadaver courses.

A success from the 2019 meeting was the Digital Workflow Experience, which brought dentists on a guided tour through a set made to look like an actual dental practice, where they followed a case and experienced firsthand how to integrate digital technology into their practices. More innovations are in the works for 2020.
Photo of Digital Workflow Experience
High tech: Dr. David Clemens, of Wisconsin Dells, Wis., shows Dr. Michelle Nguyen, of Redwood City, Calif., a concept on the computer during the Digital Workflow Experience on Sept. 5, 2019, at the ADA FDI World Dental Congress in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of EZ Event Photography
Besides CE opportunities, another highlight of the annual meeting is the keynote speaker. Over the last 10 years, speakers have included former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, activist and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai and Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning. In 2019, actor Mark Wahlberg shared his experiences fighting opioid abuse through the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation.

"We look forward to the expectations and, indeed, the demands of not only the seasoned professionals who have made this profession what it is today, but also the younger, eager dentists who respect the past but are creating dentistry's future," said Dr. Robert Skinner, committee member and general chair for the 2022 meeting in Houston.

For more information about ADA FDC 2020, visit ADA.org/meeting.