Part of being in the hospice industry requires attending major hospice conferences to network, learn about new technology, and let's be honest - take a mini vacation from the office. The 2018 NHPCO Conference in Washington, D.C. is upon us yet again! Our SONO team will be there and we hope you stop by our booth and tell us about all the cools stuff that your hospice is doing!

Let’s breakdown what the NHPCO Conference is at its very core.


Vendor Perspective:

As a Hospice Vendor, the NHPCO Conference is great because it gives vendors a chance to meet face to face with the customers that they serve and or hope to serve in the future. There is nothing better than meeting someone in person for the first time and finally getting to put a face with the name. Another great thing about the conference for vendors is that vendors get to collaborate on how to better service their hospice customers through innovation and technology. It is always great to see the new technology that comes out every year to help make the lives of the hospice organizations just a little bit more streamlined. The absolute best part about the conference for a vendor is getting to hear the needs and wants of the attendees that actually work for hospice organizations. When a hospice expresses a need, a hospice vendor’s ears will perk up because of the opportunity to create a new service or process.


What can you (the vendor) do to maximize your experience at conferences?

1. Make friends with other vendors.  Be good neighbors to those exhibiting around you.  This yields big-time!

2. Email selected attendees beforehand.  If an attendee has time for a meal, drink, or coffee outside of exhibit hours, that helps you maximize your time at the conference.

3. Don’t take attendees ignoring you personally.  A lot of attendees simply don’t want to be “sold” anything and consider an exhibit hall a gauntlet.  Instead, offer a welcoming friendly smile and let attendees discover you and your service.  Real recognizes real, and game recognizes game, so set the tone with your future clients.



Attendee Perspective:

As an Attendee, The NHPCO Conference is a completely different experience. An attendee is there for education and is (hopefully) wanting to meet with their hospice vendors to finally put a face with a name. Walking through the exhibit hall can feel a bit like walking through the flea market with hospice vendors trying to draw you in with free “this” and “that” in exchange for a business card or a great conversation. The conference provides a great opportunity to meet with vendors that you don’t currently work with or with vendors that you have never heard of. As an attendee, the conference is a great setting to build new relationships and/or voice concerns with your current vendor and how things are going at the hospice.


What can you (the attendee) do to maximize your experience at conferences?

1. Enjoy meeting vendors.  They really are very fun to talk with and often provide you with valuable information you can immediately use at your hospice; however, some are pushy, so walk away from those - very quickly.

2. Look at the list of attendees and circle those you want to meet.  You have limited time in the exhibit hall so err on the side of quickly making the entire round during the evening reception.  You can then always return the following day for a more substantive conversation with whichever vendors peaked your interest.

3. Realize vendors have a small window of time to greet their current clients graciously while meeting new people.  If they glance past you briefly while talking, it’s simply to ensure they aren’t ignoring anyone wanting to meet with them.  However, a vendor who is rude never improves.  Walk away from such vendors - very quickly.



Thats it! We hope this article will help you get more out of your next conference! If you are headed to D.C. next week, our SONO team is super excited to meet you! Come by our booth (#326) and tell us about your pet! Bring pictures, please! Bring your pet if you can smuggle him/her into the exhibit hall!

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Here's a clip from last year as people rushed to the SONO booth for all the great wine!