August 26, 2016

What works best in your Chapter for member/patient benefit?

This week's BOG Update is brought to you B. Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC, Governor of ACC's North Carolina Chapter and BOG Chair-Elect.

Tips for Joint Chapter Meeting Success: An Example from the Carolinas

In this week's BOG Update we have been asked to feature the upcoming North Carolina (NC) and South Carolina (SC) Chapter Meeting and some techniques that we utilize to promote member attendance, benefit and engagement. This year's meeting will be held in Kiawah Island, SC from Sept. 23 to 25 and I would be remiss if I did not congratulate and thank Jerry Watson, MD, FACC who serves as the Governor of ACC's SC Chapter, along with his team, for planning an energizing program. This will be our 23rd annual joint meeting and the longevity and attendance of the event speaks to the success of obtaining a critical mass and perhaps some additional enlightenment from the wisdom of a large crowd. Certainly other regions have employed joint meetings with neighboring states to achieve the same success and in many occasions have settled on attractive locations to attract families as well. The following are just a smattering of some techniques we have employed to make this one of the largest joint meetings in the country with nearly 200 physicians and members, and when sponsors, family and industry are added to the mix, we have more than 300 individuals in attendance. Some tips and techniques from our joint meeting include:

  • Welcoming nationally recognized speakers, including our featured speaker this year, ACC Immediate Past President Kim Allan Williams, MD, MACC
  • Offering between 5 and 10 CVT and 5 and 10 FIT scholarships for the weekend from each state
  • Adding a separate kickoff FIT program Friday afternoon concentrating on a strategy for selecting future employment
  • Including a Women in Cardiology Seminar with networking opportunities
  • Offering an associated CVT program with networking opportunities
  • Including an optional Reimbursement and Coding Workshop for Advanced Cardiology
  • Providing an optional "Stable Ischemic Heart Disease" Lunch CME Course after the regular program concludes
  • Encouraging family attendance by offering children under 17 free registration
  • Including a wide range of academic and community ACC members in NC and SC to speak yearly at the meeting to encourage broad Chapter involvement
  • Providing complimentary lodging and registration for all speakers and councilors and encouraging them to bring at least one other member (Note: Councilors only receive complimentary annual meeting registration if they attend the spring chapter board meeting, the ACC Legislative Conference and the annual meeting all in the same year)
  • Offering maximum CME/MOC equivalent credit
  • And if that isn't enough – we also hold a Saturday evening dinner celebration with live music, lawn games, a low-country oyster roast and sunset boat cruises, as well as golf and sunrise yoga throughout the weekend.

All of these benefits are rounded out by our separate Chapter Membership Meetings held on Sunday at the conclusion of the scientific program.

I can't emphasize enough the greatest asset to our meetings has been seeking out all major ACC member stakeholders and academic and community groups in both states. Being as inclusive as possible with these folks and setting a broad appeal agenda, as well as choosing engaging speakers in an attractive setting for all is critical. It is a dependable formula. We always hold our meeting during the last weekend in September, alternating between the mountains (NC) or the beach (SC). Our members have come to expect this over the last 23 years and we have seen great success! Overall, it makes for a great weekend of cardiology, networking, and fun – and I look forward to our upcoming gathering. I'd love to hear if any of you offer similar programs or incentives for your meetings or joint meetings. Feel free to discuss on the list-serv and thanks!

To learn more about the upcoming North Carolina and South Carolina Chapter Meeting, please see our brochure.