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Looking Forward to SPBT Next Week

The annual Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers conference is next week in Kissimmee (code word for “Orlando”) Florida! Looking forward to seeing many friends there – on both the client and vendor side – and meeting lots of new folks as well.

If growing your professional network is on your mind, I’ll be leading a session on Wednesday morning at 11 am called Five Ways Social Media will Shape your Future in Pharma, plus hosting a breakfast roundtable Wednesday morning on Social Media and Learning: Would eHarmony Match Them Up?

I’ll also be part of group-led discussion on Vendor Selection (Strategic Sourcing: Meeting Training Stakeholder Needs with Best-in-Class Solution Providers) Wednesday afternoon at 4 o’clock.

So, what other sessions to attend? Well, looking over the program of workshops, here are some of the sessions that look appealing to me:

Period 1: I like the looks of the session Incorporating Managed Care Training in a Specialty Curriculum (Ed McCarthy/Lynn DiBonaventura), as I get many vendor recommendation requests for both areas. Also tempting is The Younger Generation of Doctors: Understanding and Meeting their Needs (Peter Shaw et. al.), because that one may focus on some of the progressive social media/learning themes that are near to my heart.

Period 2: This time slot is so loaded with good stuff that I may need a bunch of clones! I may well attend the Curriculum Analysis: Why and How session (Bob Holliday/Brenda Goolsby), but frankly, every single session in this period appeals to me – which is very rare. If you need a dose of serious motivation and fun, hang out in Jim Smith’s “Hot Seat” session. There’s some good technology stuff during this period too, with web 2.0 and tablet computing themes. A bunch of my clients and partners are presenting during this time. I don’t think attendees can possibly lose with any of these workshops.

Period 3: This time slot is very heavy on vendor-led sessions – however, a lot of the topics focus on forward-looking themes and boutique areas of interest, which is good. I’m leaning a bit toward Designing and Implementing a Corporate Medicare Communications Platform (Thomas Hromin/Dennis Falci/Steven Shuck), but am also intrigued by the Expanding Coaching workshop.

Period 4: I don’t have much choice here – I’ll be leading a session on Five Ways Social Media will Shape your Future in Pharma. You will walk out with your mind buzzing! If I could skip my own workshop and go incognito into someone else’s, however, I’d probably grab a seat at Developing Business Acumen Training (Garry O’Grady) – definitely a hot topic these days.

Period 5: This is another packed time slot. I don’t know how I’m going to choose between Learning Transfer and Retention (Chris Ayers/Seana Ziliak), Utilizing 3-D Virtual Worlds (Ron Burns/Cindy Skirvin), Key Account Management (John Miller), The Sherpa Project (Bill McDunphy/Dan O’Connor), and Using Competency Models (Diana Kramer/John Sjovall). And some of the other sessions are equally compelling. Wow.

Period 6: Again, my selection is pre-made here, as I’ll be co-leading a panel discussion on Vendor Selection/Strategic Sourcing with Gary Marinko of Proficient Learning. This will be a very lively and interactive session. But maybe I can prop up a cardboard cut-out of myself half-way through and sneak over to the Sales Training for Medical Devices workshop (Philip McCrea/Tom Egan/Darleen Weghorst).

Period 7: I’ve had a long-standing interest in this topic, so I’m likely to be at Bridging the Gap between Training and Marketing Brand Teams (Howard Hessel/Cindy Monastersky) – but otherwise I’d be seriously torn between Training Directors’ Playbook (George Schmidt/Sue Iannone) and Science-Driven Sales (Mark Vince).

These are just my probable choices based on areas of interest for me this year – obviously, you have specific needs and interests that will dictate what you choose. There are some really great presenters/trainers in sessions I haven’t even mentioned.

There are many familiar names in the exhibit hall, but also a good bunch of newer companies. It’ll be enjoyable getting to know new friends and renewing ties with long-standing colleagues.

I am available throughout the entire conference if you wish to network, catch up, or get vendor recommendations from me. In fact, you can download a digital business card with all contact info (including cell): text swoodruff to 50500. I look forward to seeing you in Orlando!

[This blog post from 2 years ago, with a brief video about maximizing your SPBT time and a downloadable form, is still a good resource, esp. for those attending for the first time.]

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