AudiologyNOW! 2014: ‘Experience the Magic’

AudiologyNOW! 2014, the largest gathering of, by, and for audiologists in the world today, will witness a lot of expansion and schedule changes this year. The program is packed, with emphasis on convenience for exhibitors and attendees alike. This year’s event will feature innovative sessions designed to merge didactic and technological information, with focus on facilitating ‘hands on’ learning and new and enhanced access to session, exhibit, and program information. Academy President Dr. Bettie Borton is confident that this year’s convention will be as special as its theme, ‘Experience the magic’, promises. Prospective attendees seem to agree, because preliminary registration numbers indicate that AudiologyNOW! 2014 will be one of the largest meetings ever held."

“The location for this venue in sunny Orlando, Florida, with convention headquarters at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Hotel, will start our attendees’ ‘magical’ experience”, according to Borton. President Borton also notes that “A major trend this year is to offer accessibility between the information on the exhibition floor and the lectures in the educational sessions. The goal is to facilitate more direct information exchange between the industry and the attending professionals. For example, information regarding booth location and relevant technology offerings at the exhibits will be available at featured sessions. Additionally, manufacturing representatives will have a greater presence in our educational venues. Things will be much more interactive. I think that is a really positive change.”

Convenience

As Borton highlights, “Focus on the attendees’ and exhibitors’ convenience has been given special attention. We have enhanced social media and program related technologies, including free Wi-Fi for all attendees in the convention center, up-to-the-minute announcements via Facebook and tweets, and a new device-friendly system for attendees to follow events. We also published an electronic version of the program on the website one month before the convention.”

The goal of enhancing convenience has inspired quite a lot of changes in the program schedule, with an eye to enabling ease of travel, among other things. Borton: “Unlike previous years, AudiologyNOW! 2014 will open on Wednesday, with feature sessions available that afternoon. Also new this year will be the Wednesday evening opening of the exhibit hall. ‘Celebrate Audiology’, our opening party for attendees, will be held on the exhibit floor on Wednesday evening, offering participants a unique venue for the opening celebration, a chance to relax, network, and preview exhibits. Partygoers can visit booths in a festive atmosphere with live entertainment. Attendees can even earn CEU credits that same evening by participating in ‘Quick Solutions’ sessions on the show floor.”

Program changes

The Thursday morning sessions will open at 7:30 AM for early risers. The General Assembly will kick off subsequently at 9:00 AM in a large area right next to the exhibition hall. “This year the exhibition will close on Friday at 3:00 PM, rather than on Saturday as in years’ past”, Borton comments. “Back by popular demand, the conference on Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) will be offered again on Friday evening and Saturday. All in all, we’ve increased educational and technological components, we’ve merged learning opportunities for industry and CEU’s, and changed event scheduling to make sure we can optimize the use of our attendees’ valuable time. The new schedule will allow convention goers to have a magical, efficient, and convenient experience.”

New this year on Saturday morning is ‘The Great Debate’, which will provide audiologists with an opportunity to exchange information and ideas on the most timely professional issues. Borton notes: “The theme isn’t announced yet, but will reflect a current topic of professional interest. Also unique in this year’s packed program is the 25th anniversary of the Trivia Bowl. This special edition of the fun-filled and time honored tradition at AudiologyNOW! will now take place at 1:00 PM on Saturday.”

Best ever

In addition to events noted above, Academy President Borton suggests that attendees visit the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) ‘Humanitarian Hub’ as part of their convention experience. Information regarding the many philanthropic efforts of our Academy student members will be featured there, including the Special Olympics program. “These are just some of the magical opportunities that AudiologyNOW! 2014 in Orlando will offer. Join us for the world’s largest and best in audiology networking, education and exchange of ideas, and be a part of an historic effort to move audiology forward. I have every confidence that AudiologyNOW! 2014 will be the best convention venue ever for audiologists across the globe.”

Leendert van der Ent


Photo: Orange County Convention Center