To most of the students in attendance, the ASDA Annual Session Dental Expo last Thursday evening was all about trying to get their “Bingo Cards” stamped as quickly as possible for a chance to win some of the fantastic raffle prizes they were giving away. For THE NEXTDDS, the Dental Expo was a challenging, exciting, and rewarding opportunity to connect with student leaders and representatives from across the country.
For nearly three hours, we had a valuable opportunity to network with ASDA national leaders, chapter executives, even future ASDA movers and shakers, and to tell them all about the peer-reviewed educational resources (articles, videos, podcasts, clinical images, etc) and social features offered by THE NEXTDDS website. Students’ interest seemed particularly piqued by our Student Ambassador Blogs, and a surprising number of people were able to immediately recognize the Ambassador from their university by name alone. This unique event afforded us the chance to talk about THE NEXTDDS with dental students who flew in all the way fromCalifornia, as well as dental students from theBostonarea who could literally walk to the hotel where the event was taking place.
It was particularly exciting to finally meet and shake hands with many of the people whom we had only spoken to over the phone or through email correspondences in the past. Putting a face to a name, and having the chance to be in the same room with someone is an irreplaceable way to reinforce an existing relationship, or forge a new one.
We had the chance to meet THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassadors who were in attendance, continue to expand the Ambassador network, and even meet District Trustees and ASDA student executives. The atmosphere was truly special; after all, where else are you going to have ASDA President Kris Mendoza as a captive audience on a random elevator ride?
As the Expo went along, it became clear that everyone we spoke to was excited by the idea of THE NEXTDDS; who wouldn’t like the idea of free, scientifically sound educational content? This experience only further strengthened our belief that the appetite for adjunct education is real among the dental student population, and that we have the means and the technology to deliver it to them.
“It was great hanging out with (THE NEXTDDS Representatives) and talking to my colleagues about the program!”
- Emma Guzman, Student AmbassadorSUNYBuffaloSchoolof Dental Medicine
As we continue to build THE NEXTDDS and our rapport with the dental students across the country, we know it will be important to attend more events like the ASDA Annual Session and individual school Vendor Fairs. If this event proved anything, it is that personal relationships are vital in such a relatively small community as we encounter in dental students, and we look forward to the challenge of bolstering these relationships in the months and years to come.