Archive for the ‘Annual Conference’ Category

NADP Conference made an excursion to the Experience Music Project.  Touring through some of the history of the Seattle and Northwest music scene provided the backdrop to a fun experience for attendees.  The museum-type exhibits were enhanced by a number of exhibits that provided for an experience with different musical instruments and a little training in vocals. 

After a little “training” with different instruments, several adventurous musicians-in-training tried their hand at a mock’n’roll concert.  “Bands” like the Kaviteez, Floss, and the Sharonites sold out virtual concerts in the EMP’s experiential exhibit.

This is Seattle, so of course the rains came and soaked a few of the attendees as they returned to their hotels.  All-in-all, the night was fun for everyone in attendance.


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This morning’s peer to peer breakfast was very well attended for such an early start.  Discussions on the dental/medical connection, technology, small business marketing, dental benefits ROI, universal healthcare, provider networks, discount dental , children’s oral health, retirement market and working with brokers were fruitful in the ideas generated.

A big issue permeating many of the discussions was the management of provider networks.  The complexity of credentialing providers and maintaining systems to accomodate accuracy in networks spans across a number of functions within the dental plans including impacts on the auto-adjudication of claims, difficulty consumers have negotiating loosely accurate provider directories, and timely credentialing.

Other issues addressed included the need to utilize product and pricing segmentation in retirement markets, education of the various audiences of the dental benefits industry about the value of dental benefits, the use of discount dental products to address the needs of the dentally underserved market and better collaboration between public and private payers to provide more access for the care of childrens’ oral health.

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One might not put the words entertaining and research statistics in the same sentence, but the break-out session covering NADP’s research offerings and activities was both fun and informative.  Modeled after the game shows Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, Jerry Berggren, playing the part of Regis Philbin, guided the audience and the victim contestant through a series of progressively more difficult questions about NADP’s research reports and activities.

The session was held twice, on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.  Experts Karen Gustin and Darrin Hall were on hand to assist the contestants in their quest for the grand prize.  Jennifer Erb of DenteMax, Gary Pickard of Pacific Dental Services, and NADP’s own Kris Hathaway ALMOST made it through the series of questions, but Kim Sheldrake of United Healthcare successfully waded through the arcane and odd research questions posed to her through the course of the game to win the grand prize, a collection of promotional items from the NADP Conference exhibitors.

Attendees appreciated the innovative format and plans are in place to make the show a regular feature on cable public access channels across the country. 🙂

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Take Pine St. toward the water. You’ll know you’re going the right way if the numbered streets you cross (the Sheraton is at 6th) are getting smaller (5th, 4th, etc.).

Pine St. is a less touristy option than Pike  St. for walking down to the waterfront– and it appears to have fewer panhandlers.

Wear comfortable shoes (the walk back to the hotel is just 5 minutes– but it’s uphill).

While at the market, look for “pluots”– a unique fruit that is a plum/apricot hybrid. Ask the fruit vendors to choose one for you (they’ll even wash it so you can eat it while you shop).

The bargain of the day is the $5 bouquet (this price includes sales tax). It includes lillies and comes in different, bold color schemes. Why not have some fresh flowers in your hotel room this week?

–And, of course, you have to check out the famous fish throwers that founded the FISH! management approach. One of the four tenets of this management philosophy is to “have fun” as you work– a great approach to experiencing the NADP conference.

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Just in case you weren’t up for braving Seattle’s cool AM temperatures (and hilly terrain) for this morning’s “Dental Dash”, you have another unique networking opportunity.

Just opposite the registration tables are several “flip charts” on easles. Check them out– this is where you can sign up for tonight’s “Dine Around” event. Several NADP volunteers have selected unique local restaurants and made reservations for a limited number of seats.

Not sure where to eat? Don’t know anyone else at the conference? Looking to make some new friends? This is the event for you. Select one of the options by simply putting your name on the list. Each sign up sheet also lists the time you should meet your group to depart together for dinner. All groups will leave from the main lobby.

Be sure to bring plenty of business cards!

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Our featured presenter, Scott Klososky, presented this morning to a packed room about how to foster innovation through the adoption of technology. Although his presentation only lasted for about an hour, the themes he addressed are the talk of the corridors and meeting rooms.

As he took the audience on a tour of some of the trendier applications in technology, the constant challenge was for us to see how these trends could impact our businesses. Some of the applications may seem plain silly. Twittering, Cyber Twin, Second Life, and mash-ups may not be widely adopted in the corporate world, but the principles they represent can give us some insight in how to develop a culture of innovation within our organizations. Getting the people that know the business to interact effectively with those that understand the technology is the key to uncovering innovations.

Klososky provided some concrete ways to encourage the people that new the business, but have little understanding of technology to interact with those who may not understand the business, but are experts in the use of technology. Round organizational charts provide a different way for people to understand their role and position within an organization. “Ranks off” meetings have the potential to remove the psychological barriers that may prevent some smart, but green colleagues from offering ideas. Geek seeding, distributing IT talent throughout an organization, puts the technology gurus in close proximity to end-users to foster innovation where it is needed most. Technology training is the second part of the technology investment that many companies have already made.

Klososky’s unique style, which included a few dance steps that would get votes on Dancing with the Stars, kept the audience in rapt attention, and his suggestions for developing innovation sparked ideas among the attendees that will surely be discussed in board rooms and around water coolers when attendees return to their workplaces.

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It was the kind of morning you might expect in Seattle; the fog rolling in off of the bay and a light mist making it impossible to stay dry. But when it comes to the Dental Dash at the NADP Annual Conference, a small group of about 20 intrepid runners and dedicated walkers showed up to run, jog or walk their way into NADP Conference lore.

Among the runners Brandon Rosner and Joe Zons of Wonderbox Technologies were the first men to cross the finish line and Amie McGraham was the first woman to finish the 5K run along the scenic bayfront route that ran by the Seattle Aquarium down to the Seattle Art Museum.

After the run, participants received a lovely Conference t-shirt and a sense of accomplishment in their trek.

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