Just two short weeks ago we hosted our first large event since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the first ever iteration of Reconnect. Why did we name it “reconnect?” Well, because that was exactly what we were trying to accomplish. As we expanded our CQ Partners community and worked on fostering a supportive environment among our members, it became a priority for us to strengthen this community in person through an experience meant to build better teams and address the difficulties facing our industry today.
Now that Reconnect ’22 has passed, it’s time for us to reflect on what we accomplished, what our members walked away with, and the impact that the event had. We asked four of our CQ Partners’ team what they thought of the event, and they gave us the rundown on how it turned out and why you can’t miss the next Reconnect event!
Meet our interviewees:
- Lou Condrasky, Account Manager
- Miki Follin, Assistant Account Manager
- Julie Gesuale, Account Manager, Hospitals and Universities
- Dr. Kari Londo, Account Manager
We just kicked off the first Reconnect event! How was it?
Lou: I mean, number one, it was just awesome to spend time with members, colleagues, and our vendor partners in person. Previously we have just been communicating via telephone and virtual meetings. It just seems like it has been a long, long time since we have been able to be in person like this. That may seem like a basic point, but I don’t think that it should be taken for granted.
Julie: It was so great to be in person again with like-minded people. There were easy conversations with people about all different topics. It wasn’t even just Reconnect topics. It was OTC decisions that we’re now faced with, or “how do I deal with my staff?” Some people just wanted to talk about the hardships that they’ve had over COVID-19. It felt like a really great group of people just wanting to come together and experiencing things together, so I’m happy.
Can you share any positive feedback that our members had from the event?
Miki: They loved picking their courses this year because a lot of front office people may not just be front office. They’re looking into taking career developing tests or they’re working on marketing or learning a little bit about community outreach. If they were an account that I do weekly tele-trainings with and they go to all the development programs, it really might not have helped them to go to a class about incoming call scripts or block scheduling. They have the opportunity to go and learn about other things.
Lou: It was fantastic for members to meet people in these courses that had the same challenges. Reconnect gave them the opportunity to connect, exchange numbers, and spend time together. Now they have a network that they didn’t have before they attended. To me, I think that’s one of the most powerful benefits of Reconnect. We have this huge community and they finally got to meet each other.
What were some of the members’ biggest takeaways from the event?
Kari: Members learned a lot about how they can communicate better, especially after the Insights course with Scott Schwefel. It was great to see the wheels turning and customers asking themselves “What communication style is this person? What’s the best way to approach them? What’s one way to make sure that I can communicate better?” After getting back home, one of my members actually applied the Insights training to an interaction with a patient and their companion. He ended up selling both patients new devices!
Julie: I chatted with two people from the same practice and they each went to different classes. They said they wished there were more people from their practice because they would have tried to cover as many classes as they could because the topics were so different. You could follow an ENT track, an audiologist track, or another track as an owner. There was so much to gain that they wish there were more people from their practice to go to all the classes. I thought that was really nice.
What was your favorite part of the event?
Kari: Honestly, my favorite part of the event was seeing people that I haven’t seen in years. It was great just getting everybody together. I also really enjoyed how all the vendors were there to support our mission of working together and sharing our vision. Having their support there and connecting with some of the vendors that I have not met yet was also a huge take away for me.
Miki: I think it has to be the community. It’s that inclusion that you feel when you realize that you’re not the only one struggling with OTC or managed care. You’re not the only one who gets frustrated with their staff and needs someone to help you with hiring, training, and performance evaluations. You really learn that you’re not in this alone and not only are we there to support you, but so are all these other people. We’re able to put them together and let them bounce ideas off each other and create their own community.
What would you tell people who missed out on this years’ event and would like to attend the next one?
Lou: Well, I won’t rub it in too hard. I think that the people that attended are eventually going to be able to communicate to them that they missed something that could really have a positive benefit on the growth of their practice. I think they’re going to tell them that they met peers who are struggling and share similar challenges, and they’ve just expanded their network.
Julie: The intimate feeling of it, I think, is what you miss out on when you go to the bigger events. There’s nothing like a big event with thousands of people. I get it. However, there was something about meeting everybody at the welcome reception. You get used to faces. You’re trying to reconnect the names of the people that aren’t in your area, and then by the next night, you’re walking past people with a level of familiarity. You’re saying good morning at breakfast, and you already know people’s names and faces. The ability to be able to connect to people quickly is a gift.
Reconnect ’22 ended up being a successful opportunity to build valuable skills for our individual businesses while finding the strength and support from our ever-growing community of professionals. No matter the size of your practice, how long you’ve been in business, or how many locations you have, Reconnect has proven that with CQ Partners, you have a wide network to lean on. Feeling that connection in person with your colleagues was an invaluable experience, and we can’t wait to continue building that experience for years to come. Will we see you at the next one?