By Genni Burkhart
With global case numbers of COVID-19 currently on the decline, many experts are predicting this summer will be the busiest travel season ever. Returning to in-person conferences after two years of virtual events is sure to bring a mix of enthusiasm and apprehension as new variants keep the pandemic from finally becoming an endemic.
As dental trade shows and conferences are now returning to in-person events, many dental professionals are excited to see old friends and colleagues, make new connections, and expand their professional network – something virtual events cannot truly replicate.
What to Expect When Traveling this Summer
Gone are masks and social distancing mandates on public transportation – leaving planes, trains, and busses returning to pre-pandemic operations. This means travelers should be prepared for longer TSA lines, being in close proximity to strangers, and paying higher prices for everything from food, transportation, and accommodations.
But there’s a bright side! Most airlines are continuing to pay more attention to cleaning planes and using High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, hotels are catering to travelers by offering greater amenities, stylish extended-stay accommodations, and better workspaces, and cities are once again alive with social events, dining, live shows, and culture.
2022 is the Year of “Bleisure” Travel
All this highlights how travel has evolved since the pandemic, creating a new class of travel – the “bleisure” traveler. This combination of business and leisure travel has exploded in recent years, requiring the travel industry to keep up with the transitioning needs of clients and their new expectations. In fact, according to a recent study done by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), an overwhelming 89% of business travelers want to incorporate holiday travel with their business trips in 2022.
As dental expos include everything from networking, employee management, tools and technology, practice management, safety, and exciting new innovation, attendees are likely to find inspiration and resources from attending these live events. We’ll review some of the top destination dental conferences for dental professionals, dentists, and hygienists sure to make summer 2022 “bleisure” travel a welcome adventure for the whole family.
Top Summer 2022 Dental Trade Show Destinations
- When: May 21-24
- Where: Miami Beach, FL
- About the Event: If you’re after fun and lots of celebration, the AAO 2022 Miami Beach has you covered. Boasting a “Taste of Miami” opening celebration, fun run, guest speaker Dan Marino, a “Caribbean Carnivale,” parties galore, and 17 hours of live CEs, this event also provides hotel shuttle services, childcare (during daytime events), as well as nursing and changing stations for parents with small children.
- When: May 26-29
- Where: San Diego, CA
- About The Event: The AAPD 2022 “Where the Tooth Fairy Earns Their Wings” in San Diego, CA offers attendees an “enchanting evening” with exclusive access at San Diego’s Historic Gaslamp Quarter filled with live music, themed characters, exciting games, interactive activities, and local food and beverages. This event promises to be their largest event ever, with keynote speaker Ben Nemtin, a #1 New York Times bestselling author of “What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?” and star of the highly rated show, The Buried Life.
- When: June 24-26
- Where: Louisville, KY
- About The Event: With a welcoming event at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, the ADHA22 has a focus on celebration and education for dental hygienists and students. With nightly block parties, garden parties, and casinos events, the food and bar station tickets will benefit the Institute of Oral Health (IOH). This event has a strong student focus with plenty of educational events aimed at supporting the next generation of dental hygienists.
- When: July 21-23
- Where: Orlando, FL
- About The Event: The “RDH Under One Roof" is a three-day event offering dental hygiene education with a focus on networking. Being in Orlando, Florida this event takes place in a prime location for dental hygienists to bring along family and friends for the quintessential “bleisure” vacation.
- When: July 27-30
- Where: Orlando, FL
- About the Event: What the AGD event lacks in flashy parties and celebrations, it more than makes up for in having some of the finest dental continuing education in the world. This event is tailored to the general dentists with state-of-the-art, hands-on education and CEs (earned at the event) eligible for their fellowship and mastership awards. Many of the lecture courses end by 4 p.m. leaving plenty of time for family fun at local theme parks and attractions.
- When: August 10-13
- Where: Dublin, Ireland
- About the Event: The 2022 International Symposium on Dental Hygiene in Dublin, Ireland is hosted by the Irish Dental Hygienists Association (IDHA) on behalf of the International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH). Held at the Dublin Convention Center, the appeal of this event is its location in one of Europe’s finest cities, allowing international networking with fellow dental professionals in an ultimate international destination.
- When: September 8-10
- Where: Scottsdale, AZ
- About the Event: AADOM Conference 2022 provides social and professional growth for dental office managers. This three-day expo is sure to offer new experience and networking with fellow professionals in dentistry. Held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort, there’s a golf course, premier spa, luxury pools, shopping and first-class dining on site. For those looking to brave the desert heat Scottsdale boasts plenty of outdoor adventures.
- When: September 15-17
- Where: Las Vegas, NV
- About the Event: DS World 2002 guarantees to be the “Ultimate Experience in Digital Dentistry.” DS World is for everyone – from dentists, specialists, hygienists, dental technicians, industry experts, and office managers. The headliner at this event is comedian David Spade, with Dr. Farhad Boltchi, American Board-certified Periodontist and CDOCS Resident Faculty, performing a live simulcasted dental implant surgery highlighting details regarding use of digital technology. Held at Caesars Forum, you can book your stay here, or choose from a multitude of resorts that have family-friendly pools and water resorts. In addition to resort-based activates suitable for families, there’s also world-class shopping, gondola and amusement rides, outdoor adventure, over-the-top food, museums, aquariums, and off-the-strip destinations including Area15 and the Hoover Dam.
Author: With over 12 years as a published journalist, editor, and writer Genni Burkhart’s career has spanned politics, healthcare, law, business finance, technology, and news. She resides on the western shores of the idyllic Puget Sound where she works as the Editor in Chief for the Incisor at DOCS Education out of Seattle, WA.