By John Wallace, Editor
A move from the hot summer to the cooler month of February proved beneficial for the 2018 Imaging Conference and Expo (ICE).
The February 16-18 conference in Las Vegas hit all-time highs in registration a month prior to the first class. Walk-up registration numbers added to the avalanche of imaging service professionals and directors on hand to take advantage of ICE’s targeted continuing education, a top-notch exhibit hall packed with vendors and signature networking events.
MD Publishing is the parent company that hosts ICE and President John Krieg said conference attendance was up substantially with a sold out exhibit hall. He pointed out that the new February dates were obviously a big hit with everyone in the imaging service industry.
Kristin Leavoy, vice president at MD Publishing, echoed Krieg’s enthusiasm.
“Making the move to February was the best possible decision for the ICE conference. With a sold-out exhibit hall, an increase in attendance by 30 percent and overall renewed excitement in the conference was exceptional,” Leavoy said. “Clearly, ICE has a home in February rather than July!”
The ICE18 Leadership Summit and Reverse Expo added even more value for some of the nation’s leading experts on medical imaging.
“Hosting the ICE18 Leadership Summit is our commitment to furthering the industry for imaging administrators and service professionals,” Leavoy said. “Our goal is to give them a platform to share ideas, best practices and network amongst colleagues so that they can take back these ideas to their administration and help improve their facilities.”
From the Event Launch, sponsored by Summit Imaging, to the Finale Party, sponsored by RSTI, attendees and vendors discussed the latest diagnostic imaging trends and shared advice on how they deal with common issues. The Exhibit Hall Welcome Reception, sponsored by MedWrench, added to the close-knit atmosphere of like-minded experts. The Keynote Address, sponsored by PocketHealth, was also a popular event as one of venue’s largest meeting rooms was packed to capacity just minutes after two informative Super Sessions.
The top businesses from the industry were represented at the conference and deals were struck throughout the conference, including in the exhibit hall, at networking events and during scheduled on-site dinners facilitated by the conference and reverse expo.
The 2018 ICE conference had lots to offer, including quality education.
“The education for this year’s conference was top-notch to say the least. And, having the sessions approved by both ACI and ASRT for continuing education added even additional value for attendees,” Leavoy explained.
The conference could be even bigger in 2019 thanks to word-of-mouth advertising by attendees.
“I would let my colleagues know that the ICE conference is a diverse meeting that allows HTM leaders and technologists to hear the issues that concern our medical imaging peers,” said Christopher Nowak, CBET, CHP, CSCS, corporate director, Universal Health Services Inc. “Some HTM professionals get caught up in all of the technical aspects of our roles as fix-it personnel and forget about all of the implications surrounding our actions in the repair and maintenance of medical imaging technology. The patient care aspects, the financial reimbursement aspects and the technology needs are often overlooked by HTM professionals. The ICE meeting allows HTM professionals to make the connection between our professional activities managing and servicing medical imaging devices and the needs of our medical imaging peers.”
“HTM professionals should place the ICE conference on their calendar for attendance. The value of your time and the costs to attend are reimbursed through the knowledge and camaraderie gained at the meeting,” he added.
Attendees shared positive comments during the conference and added glowing reviews in a follow-up survey sent out to everyone who attended ICE 2018.
When asked about their favorite part of the conference a vast majority of respondents singled out the high-quality educational offerings.
“The presenters were truly knowledgeable in their fields and had concise, relevant, actionable information which they shared very well. The discourse between attendees during the lectures was also very valuable since I could see and hear what is happening around the country with like individuals,” Imaging Specialist Nick Trageser wrote in his survey.
Networking was another positive from the annual imaging conference.
“ICE18 was GREAT! Networking is always the best, being able to discuss challenges with other directors, etc. is beneficial. I have been coming to this for years and I love seeing more imaging directors here,” Director of Imaging Jessica Chambers said.
Attendees were also very positive when asked how they would describe the ICE conference to a colleague.
“A conference that provides the opportunity to learn best practices and how to impact the service and management of imaging equipment,” one attendee shared.
“A meeting place for like-minded imaging service businessmen and engineers to meet, network and plan for the future in the industry,” is how Biomed III Cory Williams described ICE.
“A really good opportunity to learn about what’s going on in our field right now. Huge networking opportunities … just plain enjoyable and fun and at the same time a truly productive use of time,” Trageser said.
“A great opportunity to gain insight from industry peers and leaders from around the country,” Adventist Health Regional Director Rick Walston said.
ICE attendees said they would encourage their coworkers and peers to attend the ICE 2019 conference in the Tampa/Clearwater area. The survey results show that 93 percent said they are “very likely” to recommend the event to a friend.
“ICE is worth the time and effort to develop relationships with other leaders to discuss best practice, including leaders in biomedical and clinical engineering. It is a great atmosphere to frankly discuss effective strategies for improving patient care across both disciplines,” Regional West Medical Center Director of Imaging and Dean of the School of Radiologic Technology Wendy Stirnkorb said.
“A lot of information about the imaging field is given to each and every individual,” VA Imaging Engineer Marshall Misouria said.
“There are many education classes that will answer any questions that you have,” ProHealth Care’s Joe DuPont said.
“Take advantage of all that is offered – education, exhibit hall and networking opportunities,” Walston said.
“Do it! Absolutely worthwhile and a great time,” Trageser added.
“A conference and expo where you can earn AAMI CEUs without the expense of the AAMI conference and see vendors focused on medical imaging,” an attendee who wished to remain anonymous said.
“Go! Find a way to get approved to go and reap the benefits of it,” Chambers encouraged.
Planning for ICE 2019 is underway. The event will be held in the Tampa/Clearwater area February 17-19. ICE
For details, visit AttendIce.com.
For up-to-date information, join the ICE Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/1713041448938354.